Amanda Venezia, Entrepreneur + Fine Arts & Museum Professional

“I still pinch myself when I get to hold a Michelangelo.”

Q: Some would say museums (and art) are battling to uphold relevancy and keep up with the evolving scientific, digital landscape. How might you respond to that perspective? Why is art still so important?

A: It’s true. Our world is changing so rapidly with technological innovation that I think the place of art in that landscape is somewhat threatened. To me, art is the ultimate grounding human force—a touchstone. Art reminds us of our humanity, creates evidence of human expression and also helps us to slow down in a world that is moving very quickly. There are so many varied ways to create and share art—but the common ethos is that it draws us back to the human experience. We need that more than ever.

Q: You’ve mentioned that if you had a tagline, it would be “preserving and creating beauty.” Can you tell us how this phrase developed and what it means to you?

A: I think it’s developed over time and is the sum of my life’s interests and work. I have always been fascinated with history experienced through the lens of art, and also with the various ways that beauty is expressed. Give me a Vogue magazine and, while I love fashion, my eye always goes first to the editorial makeup. I absolutely love the way that makeup can transform and enhance the human face. Now in my business, I get to help others look their best, preserve their skin, and also experiment with crafting their own vision of beauty through personal transformations. It’s very rewarding.

In my museum work, so much of what we do centers around preservation and always working to keep beautiful pieces of history safe for generations to come. That central theme is the sun around which all our decisions orbit. So you have it—preserving and creating beauty!

Q: You’ve got a full-time job AND a side hustle. How do you balance both?

A: I’m not going to lie: entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It takes grit and grace but I am so glad I took the plunge! I am lucky to have found myself at a sweet spot at this point in my career---where I have a lot of knowledge and confidence in my professional life that I can leverage to work effectively, while at the same time finding a side hustle with a ton of flexibility baked into the business model. I work traditional business hours at my job, but I have found ways to fit my side hustle into small pockets of time that I work in and around my busy schedule. It helps that my business is virtual as well—so all I need is a Wifi connection and my phone and I’m good to go!

Q: Tell us about the novel you’re working on, which you call “a fairytale for grown-ups.”

A: I’m writing the sort of book that I love to read: magical fiction. I didn’t set out to write a novel, but sometimes a story finds you and you need to tell it. The book started with a very real dream I had after returning from my first trip to Paris, and when I started to write, it grew into something much bigger and unexpected.

It’s a coming of age story, and a tale about finding your birthright (heavily influenced by places, mythology, and historical objects I’ve encountered in my career with a dose of magic woven in). The power of mother-daughter relationships and the tension between destiny and freewill play a role. And, of course, there’s a really juicy love story.

Follow Amanda on Instagram @laavenezia

Email:  avenezia@isgm.org

Skincare side hustle: laveneziabeauty@gmail.com

BIOGRAPHY

Amanda has managed fine art collections and exhibitions at some of Boston’s top institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts, The Harvard University Art Museums, and, most recently, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. She orchestrates much of the behind-the-scenes work of bringing global artwork together for the public to view in special exhibitions.

Outside her formal career, Amanda runs an entrepreneurial side hustle in skincare and makeup. She is passionate about sharing the gift of confidence that comes with looking and feeling your best.

As a creative outlet, Amanda is working on her first novel that she likes to call “a fairytale for grown-ups.” She derives inspiration from her hometown of Salem, MA where she lives with her spouse and three spoiled pets. She loves to cook and eat good food, and will never say “no” to a great bottle of wine and lively conversation.