Lindsey Wickham, "WISE Women Igniting The Spirit Of Entrepreneurship, FEUTURED ENTREPRENEUR", Syracuse Woman Magazine, August 2015

Maria Rizzo - Owner/Operator, Maria Rizzo Art

Photo Credits: Alice G. Patterson Photography - Makeup: A-List Artistry

Photo Credits: Alice G. Patterson Photography - Makeup: A-List Artistry

Growing up in Italy, Maria Rizzo found her “aha” moment of wanting to become an artist/entrepreneur at age nine. Her teacher, who was also an artist herself, told her that she could be an A+ student if she would just apply the same dedication and talent to her homework rather with her drawings. From that moment forward, she knew she wanted to make a living as a professional fine artist. For the past five years, Maria has been living this dream and specializes in acrylic painting on canvas, which she executes using a skillful and polished technique. In the early stages of the business, Maria was facing some challenges, including high price points, lack of an e-commerce website and could not accept payments by credit card. Determined to succeed, she decided to invest in herself as an artist and entrepreneur and hired a business coach to help turn things around. “Once I learned the ABC’s of running a business, I started shifting my mindset to be more client-focused.” Investing in herself taught her how to discover what makes her unique as an artist and soon she was able to diversify her product line, accepting all forms of payment and selling online.

Not so long ago, Maria faced the greatest challenge of her career when her husband, also an entrepreneur, was seriously injured in an accident at work. Already a stay at home mother of two young boys, Maria was now faced with the emotional and exhausting challenge of managing the household, supervising her husband’s recovery, and working on her business. At one point, Maria wasn’t able to sustain her family with her business alone and was considering finding another job. Her family made sure she didn’t give her dream up. After their support and encouragement, she again invested in herself by working with a business strategist who helped her find purpose again and a way to stand out from the competition. Business and family are both thriving once again, and Maria’s vision is to become an expert in acrylic painting and also in business strategies for creative people.

I love the challenge of being an entrepreneur,” says Maria. “There is nothing like setting goals, achieving them and getting closer to realizing your dream.

Words to the wise: “The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it.” – via Stephen Covey

Edlund, Carolyn. "Artist Success: How Painters Sell Their Work." Arts Business Institute, December 13, 2016. Web.

Henahan, David M. Dreaming in Purple” Takes Home First Place and Wins Poster Contest in Annual Student Art Competition. SUNY Empire State College, November 15, 2016. Web.

Johnson, Melinda. Artist Maria Rizzo ends her community tree projects with art exhibition. The Post Standard, March 12, 2014. Web.

Norris. Maria. Artist promotes nature appreciation with Symbolic Tree project at Skaneateles Library, Skaneateles Journal, May 07, 2014. Web.

Johnson, Melinda. Artist invites everyone to help paint 'Community Symbolic Tree' at weekly sessions. The Post Standard, April 17, 2014. Web.

Johnson, Melinda. Maria Rizzo curates 'Trees: Symbols of Powerful Experiences her last show at Tech Garden., November 05, 2013. Web.

Cabe, Jessica. Color Their World. Syracuse New Times, September 18, 2013. Web.

*Rotella, Mike. Local Art: The Language of Trees at rehouse. Syracuse Guru, August 31, 2013. Web.

Johnson, Melinda. Maria Rizzo named curator, artist-in-residence at The Gallery at The Tech Garden in Syracuse, The Post Standard, March 27, 2013. Web.

Johnson, Melinda. Maria Janina Rizzo to open exhibition 'Trees: Totems of Life' with Saturday reception at May Memorial. The Post Standard, May 11, 2012. Web.