As the saying goes, when one door closes another opens, and for Rebecca Baptista owner of Impresario Artisan Market, in downtown Port Hope, which will be closing its doors on April,30th, the end is just the beginning of something new.
“Even though the business isn’t continuing,” said Baptista. “I believe I made all the right choices. I allowed the business to evolve because of the people I met, not only the customers but the artists and what they were creating. I did what I could to connect their work to the public.”
All items left in the store, which includes, Canadian designer apparel will be 60-80 percent off. Baptista has been sole proprietor at Impresario while also working full time at the Arts and Heritage Centre in Warkworth, as an Art Administrator. She says she plans to remain connected to Port Hope and volunteer with some of our local organizations.
“There’s so many people doing great things here, like Critical Mass, an organization I have always admired and Green Wood Coalition, who really understand the value of art and culture in human lives. Port Hope is such a social town with great restaurants and great night life.”
For Baptista, one of the highlights of running a business like Impresario was introducing her customers to local, original works of art, telling the artist’s story and helping to bring the work to life.
“Even though the business is closing I want people to know you can discover so much out there about your community by visiting your galleries, going to your local bookstores, supporting your local writers and artists. It’s not just a piece of art, there’s someone behind it, and I was privileged to be a witness to that.”
Running a small business is hard work it’s wrought with challenges and hurdles, moments of success, and missteps. It’s a continuous high and low, but one thing is for certain, it takes the whole community to make it work.
“Because the community is small,” said Baptista, “We depend on our people to visit the downtown shops, to support small businesses because the support of the town really does matter. We are not Toronto, we do not have the population or the income or the walk by traffic. Here your patronage really makes a difference.”
Along with running her own business and working in the arts, Baptista is also a trained dancer who studied at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and The Royal Academy of Dance. She is now part of the Northumberland Contemporary Dance Collective.
“Through my business, I was able to meet ex-professional dancers and working together we have created a few pieces that have been performed in various programs in the region. We have found stories that are common to people in this area. Last year we started a piece on Susan Moodie and Catherine Parr Traill, two early women settlers in this region.” Said Baptista.
Baptista works to support the arts, in all its mediums, because that’s what she does, it is who she is. Sometimes from the outside looking in we only see the end, but every end is a new beginning and Baptista is surely on her way to something new and great.
Be sure to visit Impresario Artisan Market before the doors close, take advantage of the sales. Enjoy this lovely shop, that brought so much to our community, and of course, chat with Rebecca; she’ll get that inner artist out of you in no time!