Shelley Schenker understood what kind of venue she needed to sell her own art. In 2016, she found and secured a location she knew could become much more - a destination. From that moment Eco-Depot Marketplace blossomed and grew into a unique creative community. It now serves as a retail sales outlet for more than 50 local and regional artists to bring their eco-friendly handmade arts and crafts to the visitors of Asheville's burgeoning arts district.

How SCORE Helped: 

"My biggest challenge was not speaking 'Contractor-ese.' While I surrounded myself with trustworthy people to help me deal with a negative contractor relationship, I also had to learn to distance myself from the process and learn to accept things out of my control."

My Successes: 

"I measure success in how many checks I have to write to artists at the end of the month, sales equals success! The other success I have is in having all my available spaces for artists taken, with a waiting list for artists who want to join."

Shelley's next goal is to master a series of workshops that are led by Eco-Depot Marketplace artists. "Getting the public to know about the workshops and sign up for them and enjoy taking them - this serves as another way for my artists to earn money on their creativity and that is ultimately my goal...for them."

What's Great About My Mentor?: 

"SCORE's initial consultation gave me confidence and a framework to 'get my act together.' My continued relationship with a SCORE Mentor exposed me to other business owners that inspire and teach me. My SCORE Mentor was able to foresee issues before they became serious and helped me plan for various scenarios."