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Leeza Arkhangelskaya | Why Naples?

Jan 08, 2018

The idea to relocate to Naples, FL was well thought-through by our family. My parents’ first priority was to find a good private school for me, as the quality of public school education in Washington DC was atrocious. We knew of Community School of Naples and decided to apply there. Second, the overall quality of life and support for the arts that Naples provided attracted my family. However, relocating to Naples required serious adjustment to the local laid-back lifestyle after the cosmopolitan feel of life in Washington DC. We learned very quickly to appreciate the stress-free life with friendly people around, (including government services), easy parking, and beautiful views right from the windows of our homes.

Since the year 2000, when we first moved here, Naples has grown larger, become more diverse, more sophisticated and risen to even higher cultural standards with world-class performing art centers, visual art centers, nature-exploring activities, and educational venues – it’s got it all. We are delighted to see young generations visiting Naples, coming back, or relocating – to have fun, establish their career, build their families and raise children.

The quality of residents that live in Naples is very important to my family. The sense of connection and tight-knit community is very rare to find these days. People are sincerely interested in each other, supportive and pro-active. I couldn’t imagine a better environment to start and grow your business, especially an art gallery.

In 2000, my mother opened our Art Gallery, East West Fine Art, and we find individuals in Naples have means and time to build the house of their dreams and decorate it beautifully with fine art. It’s no question as to why there are so many art galleries, art centers, and local artists – we all work together to make Naples even more beautiful.

Plus, visitors and community members are very open towards fine art and eager to learn more. The city is

constantly evolving. As our community is growing new homes are being constructed and new communities are growing like mushrooms. Lots of new walls call for lots of new art!

Selling art is only a part of the business. To share my love of art with the community – is equally important. Naples offers a broad audience of art lovers – people of all ages and backgrounds. There is a vast opportunity to conduct lectures and seminars, give talks at businesses, organizations, schools, and art centers. It is amazing how much we learn from these activities and how many friends we make!

Naples has an incredibly friendly business environment. The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce is a tremendous asset and an invaluable resource for every business. Government officials, even tax authorities are understanding and willing to help. Business services are numerous and well-developed. We have a broad range of customers. We support framers, shippers, craters, restorers, electricians, installers, caterers, musicians, etc. It’s a true plea

sure to work with all our business partners. Daily, we are dealing with honest, open-minded, diligent and highly professional community members.

Finally, but most importantly I must stress that The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, and its former President Mike Reagen had a tremendous and positive impact on my professional development and reestablishment of the family business. Having graduated with my Master’s degree in Economics in 2008, I returned to Naples, as there were no jobs available in Washington D.C. in the post-recession atmosphere. The Chamber staff guided me in my job search and ultimately Mike Reagen became a mentor to me. He encouraged me to apply to Leadership Collier and made numerous introductions to his friends and colleagues in Washington, who assisted me in finding work when I returned there. Additionally, the Chamber encouraged my mother, Olga, to re-open the art gallery, East West Fine Art, in its present location, Mercato. We often speak of the Chamber and remember that if it wasn’t for Mike’s encouragement, the gallery would not be here right now.

Later I returned to Naples from Washington and immediately applied to the Leadership Collier program. Learning about Collier County alongside the county’s most influential leaders has been the experience of a lifetime. I wish I could go through the program again! I now have deeper connections Naples and I am cognizant of the challenges and opportunities our community faces. The program provided me with the platform to deepen my professional relationships, and to find common ground with new people who I meet. As a small business owner, these relationships are invaluable. The connections I made also make me feel that I can easily get involved in any number of causes and projects that will make a positive impact on the community. The Leadership Collier alum network is strong, active, and a wonderful resource for expanding your knowledge of local issues and networking.


About East West Fine Art

Founded in 2000, East West Fine Art (formerly Gallery on Fifth) is one of the largest fine art galleries in Florida.

East West Fine Art galleries specialize contemporary international artists, with a focus on Russian and Eastern European fine art.

Our galleries represent world renowned, academically trained artists. We carry a selection of oil paintings, mixed media works, photography, and sculpture. Our artists work in a range of styles including realism, impressionism, abstract, cubism, etc. We also carry works in unusual mediums such as handmade paper, wood, and resin glass.

Leeza, and her mother Olga Arkhangelskaya are owners of

East West Fine Art
Russian American Museum of Art
Mercato
9115 Strada Place, #5130
Naples, FL 34108

East West Fine Art
Bigham Galleria
2425 Tamiami Trail. N. #102
Naples, FL 34103

Learn More here:
www.eastwestfineart.com
239 821 9459

Interested in writing about your own Naples experience? Email Madeline Young, Director of Marketing and Communications, at madeline@napleschamber.org