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The Art of Innovation: How This Entrepreneur Found Her Passion (by Imagining It)

Meet Trish Duggan of Imagine Museum.

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BY Tom Popomaronis - 05 Jan 2018

The Art of Innovation: How This Entrepreneur Found Her Passion (by Imagining It)

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey once said, "Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." This is a lesson many entrepreneurs know all to well, and especially Imagine Museums' Trish Duggan. A talented artist and entrepreneur, Duggan is the type of savvy businesswoman today's founders and business owners would be well advised to emulate.

The [Literal] Art of Innovation

Originally from Arlington, VA, Trish Duggan has traveled the world pursuing her passions for education and art. From studies at the University of California of Los Angeles and the University of California at Santa Barbara to studies at a Japanese Jesuit university, Trish has a made a life out of combining her passions. Introduced to art in high school, Trish Duggan has traveled to places like India, Nepal, China, Europe, and South America pursuing her artistic passions.

As her immersion in the arts continued, so too did her love for the art of glass blowing, especially glass works by famed artist Marlene Rose. This love of exquisite glass works of art has led her to her current passion project, Saint Petersburg Florida's Imagine Museum.

Imagining a Trend

Imagine Museum features glass artistry ranging from the 1960's studio glass movement to current, contemporary works of glass art. Located in Saint Petersburg Florida's Central Art District, the Imagine Museum hopes to not only introduce visitors to stunning examples of glass artistry but preserve and document the history of glass works. In an effort to grow the Gulf Coast's art community, Imagine Museum is focusing on interactive art participation, scholarship grants, and introducing younger generations to the exquisite medium of glass blowing.

There's a clear upward trend with glass art piquing consumer interest with many experts agreeing that it won't slow down any time soon. Dubbed as the 'Creative Class', the emergence of this category has an affinity for fine art. Online sales are equally seeing growth and in 2016, sales were totaled at $3.75 billion, up 15% from 2015.

In an interview with Duggan, she shared,

"Glass is an art medium which looks most alive when it is touched by light. Of all the arts, glass is the only one which truly is unique from every angle showing different forms and impacting the viewer depending on light angles.

Duggan added,

"After working with Marlena Rose, who worked with me to design my first piece and seeing the result I had made I became avidly passionate in designing and producing hundreds of forms."

By focusing on her passion for art, Trish Duggan has been able to enjoy a long and illustrious career not only as an artist, but as an entrepreneur. Drawing on the power of what excited her, she created a life that not only allowed her to travel the world expanding her knowledge, but that helped her introduce those around her to the works of art she encountered.

"In starting any activity, if it excites you, fascinates you, captures your thoughts throughout the day -- then you are looking at something which you could probably muster up enough drive to carry through to a success."

Duggan continued,

"It doesn't matter if it is art, business, a single product or idea. If it creates the above in you, then pursue it relentlessly."

Inspiring the Modern Entrepreneur

Duggan's philosophy challenges the entrepreneurial status quo in a very positive way and provides a new perspective on the stereotypical 'hustle' we think of. To that end, it should be inspiring that entrepreneurs can be borne out of exploratory passion to create something completely new and unique.

In its simplest of forms, my takeaway message from Duggan was compelling:

Entrepreneurship is an art.

If you're an entrepreneur or business owner contemplating the future of your career, consider first digging deep inside your own passions to discover how you can pursue your purpose. You may be surprised what is ignited as a result.

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