Coleton Lunt: Artist, Hiking Guide, Showcases Diversity of Entrepreneurship
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation will be announcing the winners of its Young Entrepreneur Awards next week on June 21st. It’s important to recognize that that entrepreneurship is not limited to “typical business.” Be sure to ask for the Alternative Exercises of this free, Powerpoint entrepreneurship curriculum (registration required). It showcases the diversity of entrepreneurship, as does our entrepreneur profile of today: hiking guide and artist Coleton Lunt.
(beginning August 26th) Full time Northern Arizona University student majoring in ceramic art.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Salt Lake City and raised in St. George Utah. St. George is the Southwestern-most part of the state with Zion Nation Park in my backyard. At the age of 16 I started hiking and exploring the area which helped me develop spiritually and mentally through the beauty of the desert. Today I am 24, a hiking guide and ceramic artist with a strong love for dancing, drums, and all forms of art.
Tell us about your business.
I am just beginning my business while I am the manager of a hiking program at Green Valley Spa. I make a living guiding people around the red rocks of Southern Utah, which is a sweet gig. After work, I spend the rest of my day working with clay. I make functional pottery, things you can use like cups, mugs, bowls, pitchers, bottles and so on. I also dabble in decorational art but I most enjoy the pieces one can put to use. I sell pieces out of a gallery here in town but most of my clients are guests I guide through the desert. It is a great way to sell to the client for a cheaper price while at the same time making a larger profit, it is also nice for the friends I meet to take something home that reminds them of this special place.
My main life goal is to be a great ceramic artist. I will get a Bachelors degree and maybe even a Masters degree in ceramics. Those degrees will give me credibility and teach me more, I plan on making a name for myself and putting my work on display in fine art galleries and museums. The dream is to be able to sell my wares out of my home. I will have a separate studio on my property where I will be able to create art amongst my family and travel to art shows and workshops on the side.
What were the early signs that you were a future entrepreneur?
The early signs of my future entrepreneurship are happening now. The more people I meet that want to purchase my pieces, the more I begin to realize that my dream is possible.
What is the most exciting/ rewarding part of your business?
The most exciting part of my business is when I finish a piece I know is good. Its like Christmas morning every time I open the kiln door and see my finished pieces for the first time. I feel the style of my work represents my own inner beauty and the way I see the world. The other great part about it is selling a piece of art I made with my own two hands! It is amazing to me the things I create are good enough for people buy and cherish, it is an incredible compliment and I am grateful for people that enjoy my work.
What is the most challenging part of your business?
Every aspect is a challenge. Finding the time to create, finding a studio, constructing the piece, generating original ideas, making a profit, and purchasing resources; clay, tools, studio time, firing costs. I guess I would have to say the most challenging part is creating work that will truly be accepted by the art community. You can know it all, but you are nothing if your work doesn’t pop. Creating worthy art is not something you can learn, it is a gift, one you have to constantly improve to properly portray your vision of beauty.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
I know it is cliche but I know you have to do what you love and love what you do, the rest will follow.
NFIB YEF more information
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The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at www.NFIB.com/YEF. The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.
Entrepreneur In The Classroom. The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom (EITC) supplemental curriculum exposes students to entrepreneurship and the necessary steps to take an idea and turn it into a business. The free curriculum can be integrated into classes teaching a variety of subjects including music, art, fashion, business and many more. You must be registered to view the full Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom curriculum.
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