Art Store Owner Learns Art of the Deal

Art Store Owner Learns Art of the Deal
In 2006, Main Street Art Center in Lake Zurich, IL was a successful business. It was the place where local artists honed their skills, children and other budding talents learned the basics, and professional artists continued to grow.

Framing paintings to go and selling supplies was a good package that appealed to artists of all levels.. All seemed to be well. But then Frankie Johnson’s partner decided to end the partnership. More importantly, the partner wanted cash and Johnson was at a loss about what to do. “I felt good about being the sole owner of the business ,” reports Johnson. “I’m a professional artist who’s been teaching for 25 years and I know the art market. But buyouts were a complete mystery. I was a member of the Lake Zurich Chamber of Commerce, who sponsors the local office of SCORE, so I went to SCORE.”

Before her meeting at SCORE, Frankie had assumed that she would have to secure a business loan to execute the buyout. “I didn’t know the best way to handle it,” Johnson says. Her counselor at SCORE’s Lake Zurich office, Seymour Stoller, looked at the financials for Main Street Art Center and, after a close analysis and two meetings, told Frankie that he believed that she could fund the buyout from company profits.

Stoller recommended a structure for the buyout proposal and the details were worked out over two meetings. After a series of negotiations, the proposal was accepted. Four months later Frankie Johnson owned the business free and clear.

Frankie Johnson continues to meet with her SCORE counselor and reports that on her own she has been able to maintain a healthy level of profitability and the business continues to grow. Check out her story at