We had the good fortune of connecting with Aleta Daria and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aleta, how does your business help the community?
When I founded Artlita I did it after years of searching for a calling. To add a bit of context, my parents are both retired ministers and while I didn’t want to work in a church, I did envy their passion and how meaningful their work was to them. I had already had a lot of success working for tech startups in the healthcare space and had, over time, lost connection with their mission. I felt like I was working just for a paycheck, which can only motivate you for so long. Failing to find something on my own, I hired an executive coach who did an in-depth analysis of my innate talents, passions and experience. Based on her findings I decided to found Artlita, which represents emerging artists who are based in Southern and Baja California (Santa Barbara down to Cabo San Lucas). I believe the 20 artists we represent are incredibly talented and I’m honored to be able to provide a platform for them to share the uplifting messages found in their art. Even before the pandemic I was struggling to find positive messaging in TV shows, movies, books, the news, etc. Our society seems fixated on negativity and it brings people down, affecting mental health. The goal of the emerging artists Artlita represents is to share the light – bringing joy into the lives of our clients. Right now we really need more of that. To further that goal, last month (December 2020), we hosted our first pop-up exhibition in San Diego and you can experience that virtually here: -Virtual Tour: https://youtu.be/bM_AYCBaaYg -Virtual Opening Night Zoom with Artists: https://youtu.be/orxmoYOcDxM Beyond helping our clients, Artlita is also having a positive social impact on the art community in Southern & Baja California. During the pandemic the arts have struggled at least as much (if not more than) any other sector. To quote USAToday “Music, film, dance, theater, painting, sculpture — these are the universal languages of our heritage, and they’re fighting for survival. We’re not just talking about empty seats at the Lincoln Center. We’re talking about the foreseeable end of more than 670,000 small creative businesses and nonprofits.” (see article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/12/08/covid-continues-worsen-nation-needs-new-deal-arts-column/3812329001/) Having launched Artlita’s website on Feb 8, 2020 just before the pandemic, this has been a challenging and interesting year to launch an art gallery. Everyone on my team, and each of the artists I represent, is dealing with a different set of pandemic-related challenges. Some of the artists are struggling to make ends meet and despite that, they are pouring themselves into their art and making beautiful, uplifting work. Others are taking on educating their children at home and still manage to carve out time to create. My employees are all college students who had internships cancelled due to the pandemic. When I hired them this past July they were thrilled to be able to add to their resumes and be able to create a sense of community outside of attending Zoom courses at SDSU and USC. So despite the pandemic related challenges, we are finding meaning, community and joy in Artlita. We look forward to expanding our reach, sharing our uplifting art and growing our supportive community of artists and collectors as we enter 2021 and begin a new chapter.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I shared a lot about this in the original question. Please let me know if you need more. I’d be happy to provide more color if that would be helpful.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My husband and I are also Airbnb hosts and I created a guidebook for our guests that outlines all of our favorite things to do: https://www.airbnb.com/s/guidebooks?refinement_paths=/guidebooks/214088 People generally come to San Diego to unwind, dine and enjoy the great outdoors. I always recommend cruising Pacific & Mission Beaches on a beach cruiser because our miles of boardwalk are truly unique. Dining in Pacific Beach generally leaves a bit to desire so we love to go to Ocean Beach, Little Italy, North & South Park for dinner. We also love to hike and there are countless places to hike in San Diego County. There’s a book we recommend called Afoot & Afield, San Diego County: https://www.amazon.com/Afoot-Afield-County-Comprehensive-Hiking/dp/0899974287. This is an amazing guidebook that should be owned by anyone living here – particularly if you’re looking for healthy activities during the pandemic.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are 3 shoutouts I’d like to make: 1-My husband Aron is such an inspiration to me. He has encouraged me for years to find my calling and pursue my dream. Without his support, his inspirational podcasts, the Clear Habits Journal he gave me Christmas 2019, etc. I would never have had the courage to found a company in a previously unknown yet exciting industry. 2-Gina Simmons, PhD is the executive coach I worked with. For anyone who is looking to make a change in their career I highly recommend her career guidance program: https://www.manageangerdaily.com/services/career-guidance/ 3-SCORE San Diego and my SCORE mentor Ed Andrews. Dr. Simmons introduced me to SCORE and they have been an invaluable resource to me. They offer free 1-hour mentoring sessions with a number of mentors. I was thrilled when they paired me with Ed Andrew who I knew 2 decades ago. He is a retired serial entrepreneur and is passionate about helping budding entrepreneurs. They also offer really good topic-based 2-3 hour courses for just $25.
Other: Pinterest: https://in.pinterest.com/ArtlitaArtGallery/_shop/ ASID Industry Partner: https://www.asid.org/find-an-ip/aletadaria