Bad Economy, Bold Moves
Think it’s a bad time to launch a new business? These brave entrepreneurs don’t.
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Once you meet Geoff Blake you no longer wonder why he named his business Red Mohawk Gallery and Studio. The blazing, 7-inch Mohawk he sports gives it away.
“I’m my own best advertising,” he says.
Blake’s hairstyle is the perfect symbol for his approach to his craft. Ever since the 27-year-old picked up a camera 15 years ago, he has looked through an unconventional lens. His idea of art and creativity don’t necessarily fit the 20th century model, so those families who go to him for a portrait had better be ready for anything.
“I’ll do it with a little bit of rock styling,” Blake says, laughing. That would make sense, since he spent a year as the “right-hand man” for noted rock ’n’ roll shooter Mark Weiss. That meant getting the chance to hang out with Black Sabbath in ’07 and meeting plenty of other big names in the music business. Not bad for a guy who attended Middletown High School and started at the University of Delaware studying electrical engineering. “That was not what I wanted to do,” Blake says. So he switched to visual communications and earned a degree in photography. After a year in southern California, he returned home and looked for a place to pursue his passion.
He found it at the corner of Ninth and Tatnall in Wilmington. Armed with a Small Business Administration loan, Blake settled into a space large enough to allow local artists to show their work and run his photography concern. At his grand opening in September, a local artist’s paintings were on display. It was a perfect start for Blake, and he intends to forge ahead. “It’s a little scary, because the economy is kind of in the gutter, but I’ve always been the kind of guy who sticks his finger in the air and goes for it,” Blake says.