Friday, November 30, 2012

Wednesday's Featured Business - Thousand Word Photography

What do spray paint, a second hand store, a beautician's license and a whole bunch of kids have in common?  They are the roots from which Thousand Word Photography was born.

90 Seconds and Velvet, Jennifer Goulart Amero
Jessica Adams and Vanessa Gigliotti are Gloucester, MA mothers with an eye for opportunity.  From Jess's skills with second hand props and her trusty spray can to their use of the natural environment of their beautiful Cape Ann neighborhood, the photographers at Thousand Word Photography create natural, light embracing, artistic portraits for clients using props lovingly scouted in antique shops and thrift stores, refinished in their homes and studio space and arranged to create anything from boudoir to bridal to newborn images.

Jessica is an aesthetician and cosmetologist by trade. She is also the mother to a yours-mine-and-ours family of five busy children ranging in age from one to thirteen.  She and her partner, Jon, met several years ago and to quote the message (spray) painted on the wall in the family's den, her world changed, "All because two people fell in love".  Motherhood shifted her schedule and Jess, ever the entrepreneur, set out to find a profession that blended her salon skills and her eye for art and creation with her hectic schedule.

Vanessa, a mother of two and a server at a local restaurant had been operating solo for awhile, mostly through personal connections, but was ready to move into a larger, more structured undertaking.

90 seconds and velvet, jennifer goulart amero"Vanessa and I have been great friends for a million years", says Jess. "We were always the ones with the camera, the ones who grabbed that shot of the kids walking in the woods that ultimately ended up being used by our friends for their Christmas photos.  So we started talking about it, starting our own business.  And then it all came together.
I love the camera.  And I have always been crafty.  I collect old stuff, paint it up and use it to decorate my house.  So when I started to read photography books, enrolled in online course and really learned about the technical side, my mind started going towards creating unique settings using what I know best, old stuff refinished".

Jessica spray paints everything - old headboards missing the rest of the frame, battered baskets just big enough for a baby to slip inside, the fabric on a faded love seat (yes, she assures me, there is such a thing as color-fast fabric spray paint).

And it works.  Thousand Word Photography produces truly memorable images in their Washington Street studio using those otherwise overlooked yard sale finds.  Their clientele is growing exponentially in the short year since they officially opened and with their vision for new enterprise, it's doubtful that'll slow any time soon.

Currently offering hair and makeup pre-shoot using her cosmetology skills, Jessica and Vanessa's packages include Bridal hair/makeup/photo and little girl birthday parties, Bachelorette Beauty Bashes and Hollywood Boudoir Shots with full makeup and hair prep.  Her energy is electric, her vision is vast and her skills, abundant and very frugal - all the makings of a successful small business.

But small is not their goal. Vanessa and Jess have bigger plans. "With the hotel coming in to town, we will finally be able to capture the location wedding business that is dying to come to Gloucester.  And we already know how we are going to make that part of our success".

Thousand Word Photography creators share the dream of creating a one-stop-shopping business where formal wear specialists, tailors, cosmetologists, photographers and caterers work with busy brides and event planners to simplify the overwhelming elements of the "Big Day" in a one-venue, one-visit personalized session. They, of course, will head up beauty and photography.

"We know it's a long ways off, but with the amount of business we already have and the ideas we keep coming up with, this is only going to get bigger and better," beams Vanessa.

Like I said, these girls are entrepreneurs.

And they are hopping with Holiday Card Business, with a special kickback for 90 Seconds and Velvet readers - 10% off holiday sessions or a free 8x10 print for your home when you mention 90SecondsandVelvet.

 Find them online at

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