We had the good fortune of connecting with Victoria Kennedy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Victoria, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Everything in life is a wager between risk and safety.
Growing up, I was cautious and tended to prefer the path of predictability and comfort. I naively assumed that risk equated to brash and uneducated decisions. However, throughout my professional life, I’ve found that taking educated risks is one of the best ways to advance your career.
It is so easy to favor comfort rather than push yourself to do something hard. I found the hardest part of opening the gallery was getting into the mindset that I was able to actually accomplish the goal.
Ultimately, I was the only one holding myself back from taking the risk.
Once I accepted that I was capable of doing this (and I was willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen), everything else just fell into place.
And I’m grateful that (so far) the risk has paid off! The response from our community has been incredible and we are expanding more quickly than I had originally planned. Every day, there is a new risk or difficult choice to make, but I am grateful for the challenge and opportunity to grow.
What should our readers know about your business?
Kennedy Contemporary was born from my experience in the international contemporary art world. I’ve worked in small brick and mortar galleries, to online startup art galleries. Along the way, I’ve learned that although it’s important to showcase good art, it’s even more important to provide a stellar brand experience.
In opening the gallery, I wanted to create a space that showcased exceptional artists for my regional clientele. Although Laguna Beach is often considered the art capital of Orange County, I saw a need for notable contemporary art for my Newport Beach-based clients.
We pride ourselves on being a young gallery as we bring a fresh perspective to buying art – focusing on modern sales techniques (like photoshop and Instagram) to traditional hospitality and customer service. Our main focus is developing long term relationships with our clients and introducing beautiful and meaningful art into their homes and offices.
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?
We actually did play tour guide for some friends from New York a couple weeks ago!
Here was our itinerary:
Morning coffee at Moongoat
Breakfast at Haute Cakes Cafe (and browsing the Urban Gardener while we wait for our food!)
Riding bikes along the Newport Peninsula
Lunch at Tidepoole’s Deli & Brew
Shopping for houseplants at Penelope Pots (and stopping by the Kennedy Contemporary gallery just around the corner!)
Dinner at Tres Muchachos
Post-dinner drinks at Semi-Tropic Wines
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My partner – the amazing Weston Reel of Wesfilms – was a huge supporter of this goal from the beginning. He helped me believe in myself and put in the hours to make my dream a reality – painting walls, running errands, and helping to deliver art. It’s also been helpful to pick his brain about running a small business, as he’s been doing it for over a decade!
Lauren Cate Photography https://www.laurencate.com/