It wasn’t an easy task to go from stay at home mom to business owner, but Caron always had the support of her family. She considers both her father and her husband as mentors, and her husband even cosigned on a line of credit to help her open the gallery.
With the help and encouragement of her family, Caron became part of a wave of Mississippi women becoming entrepreneurs. Caron believes that women are leading the forefront in business, and entrepreneurship. That seems to be true in Mississippi––in the last five years, an estimated 10,000 more female-owned businesses have opened in the state.
While Caron still sees issues with female-owned businesses finding capital and funding, her community in Tupelo has been nothing but supportive. She also had the benefit of seeing other female-led businesses like Main Attraction and Elizabeth Clair’s build success in her town. Caron ended up finding more than local support. “The community was so supportive, and has continued to support us, and it hasn’t been just our community. We ship art all across the country now, and that’s been exciting,” she said.
Her goal was always to be able to showcase Mississippi artists all over the world, and she has succeeded at that, sending pieces across the United States and as far as Europe. She credits social media as a big part of helping her meet that goal.
“It didn’t happen overnight. It was plugging everyday and pushing and having great staff who have the same goals as I do to showcase our artists and try to get that art sold,” Caron said.
In 2020, the Caron Gallery will be entering its 10th year of business. During the decade, the gallery moved three times before settling on Main Street. It’s there that the gallery continues to grow, featuring more than 45 artists and also offering custom framing. She now has one full-time employee and three part-time employees––all women. This happened by accident. Caron said women are often seeking part-time jobs, and she’s happy to be able to provide a job that offers flexibility.
Taking a leap of faith is never easy, but for Kim Caron, it was worth it. The Caron Gallery has become a must-visit in Tupelo, bringing Mississippi art to far-reaching places. With Caron’s passion and drive, the next ten years at the gallery will be just as exciting.