We had the good fortune of connecting with Jena Priebe and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jena, how do you think about risk?
When i started my business, i knew it was going to take a lot of hard work, a series of good choices and a little luck for it to succeed. I also knew that if i didn’t take the risk, i wouldn’t get any reward. Basically my mantra in life is to go for it; jump off the cliff and figure out how to build wings on the way down. There is no way to know what is around the next corner in your business or personal life, so arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can and then go for it. Take the leap. I’ve taken this approach as long as i can remember. I’ve have worked in different jobs and even started other companies before my current business that have “failed”. I’ve taken innumerable risks along the way and they haven’t always panned out. But i learned from every single “mistake” and got back up, brushed myself off and kept going or started a new path. Every risk has great reward, whether it is a life lesson or a realization of a dream. I truly believe the measure of a person is not how they deal with success but in their failures. If you can take a little beating, you’ll have a better life in general, but especially if you’re running your own business. I think Helen Keller said it best; ““Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
FOLD is such a gem. It is tucked away above The Last Bookstore in The Spring Arts Collective surrounded by creatives and gorgeous art. That energy creates such a warm and inviting space. I feel so grateful to be in the space and to have helped create the space as an artist myself! We are really different from everyone else because of our location within such an interesting art space. There are not many galleries that embody the same Art, Books, Creativity feeling that we are immersed in. Its an amazing feeling to have been a part of it since its induction in 2012. There have certainly been challenges along the way in the last 8 years for the gallery. We are part of a Collective so we work together to make the entirety of the space beautiful outside of our own spaces. When you have 6 strongly opinionated people making creative choices in a space it can be so challenging! There is a fine balance to working in a team and it’s been equally wonderful and teeth gritting! Such great business experience.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When i’m feeling particularly thoughtful or pensive i take what i affectionately call my “Zen Tour” I’ve done it since i became an artist in my Downtown LA building 15 years ago. First stop, Grand Central Market to grab a bite to go. This place has changed so much over the years and i personally love all of the new eating options. Next i get on Angels Flight and go to the top of Bunker Hill. It always makes me so happy to get on that weird little car and get my old time ticket at the top! I then walk past MOCA and The Broad to Walt Disney Hall. If you go up the steps to the interior of the building there is the “Blue Ribbon Garden”. It is such a tiny oasis. The gardens are well maintained and gorgeous, there are birds everywhere and usually, a quiet place to read a little while and eat the delicious bite from Grand Central Market. Once i’m satisfied and have gotten through a chapter, i walk back and stop in at MOCA. I will usually sit and stare at the Rothko’s for a spell and then walk back to Bunker Hill, taking Angels Flight back down. I then walk through Biddy Mason Memorial Park (there are such cool fountains here) and in the back way to the Bradbury Building. I admire the insane Victorian architecture and fabulous design work (those elevators and skylights!) and then walk back to my gallery. I always feel full of ideas, life, artwork and design after this walk and highly recommend it to anyone who needs a creative jump start or even just a nice day with yourself or others.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There have been pivotal points in creating FOLD Gallery these last 8 years and it is due to our being inspired by my fellow artists in The Spring Arts Collective. So big shoutout to Liz Huston, Andrea Bogdan, Winston Secrest, Darrell Harvey, Robin McGeough and David Lovejoy.

Website: FOLDdtla.com
Instagram: FOLDdtla
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jena-priebe-7a74658/
Twitter: StepintotheFold
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFoldattheLastBookstore
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/fold-gallery-los-angeles?osq=fold+gallery
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCevWNsxXN4Sg0ojgPLi7tXg

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.