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

Hi Julie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I think it is working hard to do the best work possible. Growing up my father instilled in me my work ethic – so I had that. This was further emphasized by a teacher who was a very successful sculptor. He told me that if he woke in the middle of the night and heard someone working in the next studio he would immediately get up and start working as he was afraid of being out worked by a fellow artist. That stuck with me –

I don’t remember who told me this but someone said that people may not remember your name, but they will remember the work, if the work is good. This is something I think about often.

Never being satisfied with where I am in terms of my work has driven me throughout my career. This constant striving to achieve perfection, although not possible, is the rabbet I chase.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I first started out selling my work out of a 10’x10’ shack on the commercial pier in Provincetown, MA. The shack was rented by the week and I had rented the shack for weeks sprinkled thought out the summer and fall in order to test whether or not my work would sell. The biggest challenge was in trying to get people who were walking by on their way to the ferry, or a whale watch, or a fishing charter to stop and look at my work, and then purchase it. My little shack was not a destination, but rather something people passed by to get somewhere else. I wanted to maintain quality work – but I had to price the work for where I was – so I basically was giving the work away. I slept in a small backpack tent a couple of miles away at the local campground. I rode my bike to work in the morning – I had a small fridge inside the shack that held my food.

On our first day of business I sold the biggest framed photograph on display in the first ten minutes. Gail and I were beyond excited but our jubilation quickly turned to panic as we realized we had nothing to display for the rest of the week. As I laid in my tent that night I instructed my partner, Gail, who had driven the 3-1/2 hours home, how to print another photograph of the image that sold. First thing in the morning she drove to a local frame shop, dropped off the photograph and then headed off to work her full time job. After work she picked up the framed photo, and drove it all the way back to Provincetown. I thought she was crazy. She explained that you need to seize your opportunity when it comes. That was my first lesson in business and one I’ll never forget.

We worked out of this location for 4 years – perfecting the displays and business over this time. Laminated display photographs were attached to magnetic boards which could be attached to the sides of the shed in a matter of seconds. I built a large double sided easel which bolted to the pier’s decking – This held two museum framed quality photographs on each side. Large umbrellas kept everything out of the sun/rain. Bins of prints could be attached under each side of the shack with quick connects. I worked when it was hot and when it was cold. I worked in the rain and wind. I worked when it was crazy busy and when there was no-one in site. I was the first one there in the morning and the last one to leave. During this time Gail was still working a full time job but would come down on the weekends to work the shack while I drove home to print and frame. Regardless of the conditions and the location I was able to maintain a high quality of the work – as this was most important to me.

Prior to my 5th year of business Gail finally convinced me to move to commercial street when a prime spot opened up. I was terrified. I didn’t sleep for months leading up to our opening. I thought for sure I would fail, that the cost of rent and utilities would be too much for the business to endure. After one month I realized I should have moved there much sooner. The gallery was the little shack on steroids. I kept all my pricing the same – but now had the space to display much more work and much larger work. We have since purchased a home and moved down to this area – we built a production building on our property and now do all of our own custom printing, framing and shipping – we currently can ship anywhere in the country and many parts of the world.

The gallery is now in its ninth year. We have built a customer base that comes year after year to see my new work – and I still have my original customers from my years working out of the shack come in – it is these people who motivate me to continue photographing.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In-Season; A walk down Commercial street; with all the unique shops, galleries, restaurants and unique people.

Entertainment: Take in one of the many shows that are a nightly occurrence; comedy, music and theater.

Eating: Dinner at Ross Grill, or the Squealing Pig, pizza at Twisted Sister, best sandwiches from Far Land provisions. Take out desert at either The Fudge Shop, or cupcakes from ScottCakes. There are literally hundreds of restaurants to choose from –

The beaches can’t be beat – and there are plenty to chose from since Provincetown sits at the very tip of Cape Cod. My favorites would be the bay side beaches in Truro. Bring an umbrella and a good book!

Probably my favorite place is the national seashore. I love the quiet solitude of the dunes – although only ten minutes away from the bustling crowded streets of downtown Provincetown it looks and feels like a world away. Bring plenty of water, plenty of energy and wear some sort of foot covering as the hot soft sand is tough on your feet! If the walk is too much then a drive out with Art’s Dune Tours will show you the dunes without the strenuous walk.

Whale watching should also be part of your visit – You can’t appreciate just how amazing these animals are until you see one close up!

The beauty of Cape Cod, MA, regardless of the season, can not be overstated.

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?
My partner, Gail Wickstrom. She is the business smarts behind my success. I would not be where I am today in my career were it not for her. She is the driving force for the production, hiring, organization, marketing – basically she is responsible for everything outside of the creation of the artwork. She is the most unbelievably hard working person I know. She is the most tenacious person I know. She taught me what it took to run a successful business.

Website: www.JulieTremblay.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julietremblaygallery/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=julie%20tremblay

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.