Joan Skimmons admitted that her foray into retail was full of trial and error — with the exception of customer service.
"My corporate career hadn't prepared me for the challenges of bookkeeping, running computer systems and setting up art displays, but I never made mistakes when it came to clients," said Skimmons, senior vice president of sales for a large, local technology company and owner of River's End Gallery. "Our clients always walk out with a smile on their face, knowing they've found a treasure that will help beautify their home. And if it's not the right fit, our free loaner program ensures that they can return it, no questions asked."
Established in Waukesha in 2006, Skimmons opened her second River's End business in Elm Grove last September. Located at Village Court, the 2,000-square-foot gallery features contemporary artwork — such as paintings, ceramics, sculptures and jewelry — from over 150 nationwide artists.
"We're the largest gallery in the region and also the most diversified," Skimmons said. "Our clients tell us we're like a European gallery because of the large variety of art on display; art that can't be seen anywhere else."
That artwork, she added, is continually updated and shuttled between galleries, guaranteeing that regular visitors to River's End will always see new displays.
At prices that range from $10 to $8,000, the gallery carries inventory for every budget. According to Skimmons, though, price point is not the determining factor for purchasing art.
"Visitors to our gallery will always find something they can afford, yet we know that no one has to buy art," Skimmons said. "If a piece of art doesn't speak to someone's soul, they won't buy it no matter how inexpensive it is.
"If we see someone who's interested in a piece of art, we'll explain the process by which it was created and answer that client's questions. Our staff doesn't work on commission, so they never push to make a sale. As artists who've been touched by art, their sole motivation is to help others connect to art."
For more information, visit Riversendgallery.com.
To suggest a business for this spotlight, send an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUST THE FACTS
Business: River's End Gallery in Elm Grove
Address: Village Court, 890 Elm Grove Road
Phone: (262) 780-1191
Owner: Joan Skimmons
Type of business: art gallery
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Business Spotlight: History lives at the Dousman Inn
- Business Spotlight: Bar Stars Bartending aims to put party hosts at ease
- Brookfield Business Spotlight: Hairstylist brings an art background to her work
- Business Spotlight: A hobby became a business for yarn shop founders
- Business Spotlight: FirstLight Home Care
- Brookfield Business Spotlight: Alli Troutman's veterinary clinic strives to be a place animals love
- Business Spotlight: A love of art and a love of space inspired architect's career choice
- Business Spotlight: Quilt shop was an opportunity they couldn't pass up
- Business Spotlight: Friends combined their talents to found Snapdragon Flowers of Elm Grove
- Business Spotlight: Family roots run deep at Biloba Brewing Co.
- Business Spotlight: Sheri Bauer wants to heal others like she healed herself
- Business Spotlight: Wayde Peronto's business takes pictures, and gives back
- Business Spotlight: North Star Catering takes the restaurant into the community
- Business Spotlight: A Savvy Bride in Brookfield strives to make a perfect day
- Business Spotlight: Jamie Durner sought fulfillment, and now helps others do the same
- Brookfield Business Spotlight: At the Fun Kids Dentist, the fun starts at age 1
- Early calling led to a practice in counseling
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Business Spotlight: Demand is strong at Self Storage of Goerkes Corners
- Business Spotlight: 3 realtors in 3 communities broadens the appeal
- Business Spotlight: Bowling is about families, including the Posnanski family at Bluemound Bowl