ArtbyRizzo: On A Mission to Empower the Community

Jeresneyka Rose. Her name itself is intriguing, isn’t it? For Jeresneyka’s entire life, she’s known art. In elementary school she won numerous awards for her raw talent. Friends saw her doodles and often asked for custom birthday cards to draw a Disney character. The Boys and Girls Club was her solace. It was a place she and her friends could go to be together, tap their creativity and stay out of trouble.

She started her professional art journey in 2014 when she picked up a paintbrush and painted her first original canvas—her first ever as an adult. By 2018, ArtbyRizzo was a legally-registered business. Like most entrepreneurs, Jeresneyka worked hard to figure out a lot on her own and was in a good place. In 2020, Jeresneyka registered for a class with the Pikes Peak SBDC taught by senior consultant Cory Arcarese.

“I thought I knew the basics and did everything correctly. Boy, was I wrong,” said Jeresneyka. “It’s so hard to find accurate information, especially on the internet. Cory made things super clear and easy to understand. She took the time to talk to each of us and make sure we were all set up in the best way to make our businesses profitable and successful.”

“I would 10 out of 10 recommend every business owner take a strategic planning class at the SBDC. As long as you’re learning, you’re growing, and I can definitely say my business knowledge has grown.”

With her business restructured as an LLC in 2020, ArtbyRizzo was an established brand that represents Jeresneyka as an artist: her beliefs, ethics, and a mission to create unique and colorful visual art to represent expressions and experiences aiming to engage and empower the community. The challenges extended beyond merely running her business. She faced adversity in a conservative Colorado Springs. But every “no” fuels her to create a “yes.”

“I get overwhelmed. I get sad. I feel disappointment. I doubt myself. I’m human. I just don’t quit,” said Jeresneyka. A true entrepreneur, she continues to move forward with a mission to bring light and voice to hard topics and what her heart believes is right.

Jeresneyka’s short-term goals are to continue to support the community in a positive way. Long-term goals include opening an arts-based community center like the Boys and Girls Club she was once a part of and provide the oppotunity for youth and adults to take part in all forms of art, from dance to painting. The plan to provide for all with an arts-based community center keeps her motivated.

“I want the community to feel empowered and represented through my work. I want the community to feel inspired. I want the community to feel seen. I want the community to feel supported…it’s all about the experiences for me…the connections…that is how I thrive…that is what fills my cup,” said Jeresneyka.

“ArtbyRizzo supports community popup events, exhibitions, private paint parties and more. Support for ArtbyRizzo is more than a purchase; clients support a mission to create art that represents a population that isn’t often featured in local galleries and museums,” said Jeresneyka. “By supporting ArtbyRizzo, you’re supporting a mission to help others know they can create a life as they want it.”

Learn more about Jeresneyka’s original paintings, illustrations, prints, apparel and stickers at ArtbyRizzo.com and on Facebook.

Meet the Author

Aikta Marcoulier

Aikta Marcoulier joined the SBDC team as the director of the Pikes Peak center in May 2012. Prior to the SBDC, she was the director of partnership marketing with the Professional Bull Riders (PBR). Marcoulier first began her work within the Colorado Springs community with the Native American Sports Council, a community-based organization of the United State Olympics Committee, where she received the experience of acquiring grants and local support to meet broader goals of the organization. Aikta is involved in the El Pomar Emerging Leaders Program. She is an active board member of the Pikes Peak Workforce Development Board, Pikes Peak Community College Business Advisory Board, Better Business Bureau Board of Directors, BRCA Girl, and the Colorado Business Development Foundation.. She serves on numerous committees for the Colorado Springs Business Journal (Women of Influence, Southeast Business Plan Competition), is a mentor for Leadership Pikes Peak, serves as Co-Chair for the Census 2020 Business Committee is on the Technology and Funding Committees for the Colorado SBDC Network and is an acting a board member for the Colorado Business Development Foundation. Additionally she is a member of the Employer Advisory Committee for the UCCS College of Business Career Development Center and ROAR (Relationships, Opportunities, Acumen, and Readiness Committee). Past memberships include board membership to the Colorado Institute for Social Impact, Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Women to Women Mentoring and the Executive Leadership Committee for the Leukemia Lymphoma Man/Women of the Year Gala. Marcoulier received her MBA in global management from the University of Phoenix and undergraduate degrees in both economics and psychology from the University of Iowa. She was awarded the University of Iowa Leadership Award in 2011 and was named one of the Colorado Springs Business Journal’s Rising Stars for 2013 and Women of Influence. Additionally, Aikta earned the Colorado State Star Award in 2013 and lead the Colorado Springs SBDC to earn the UCCS Deans Award, El Paso County Recognition Award, SBA Region VIII Award for Innovation and Excellence and the Pikes Peak Arts Council Arts Advocacy Award. She is a 2018 Colorado Springs Leadership Institute (CSLI) Alum and 2017 Leadership Pikes Peak (LPP) Signature Program Alum.

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