Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ART OF SUCCESS

A young black entrepreneur reinvents himself in the Las Vegas art world

BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD

Artist Duane Alexander

African-American men and boys are succeeding every day, and Eulenthius Duane Alexander embodies a generation of black males who are achieving success on their own terms.

A Las Vegas native and graduate of Rancho High School, Alexander started his first business at 18 and was a self-made millionaire by the time he was 29. “After graduating from high school, I was surprised to find out that I would be a father,” he recalled in an interview. “One day I was watching a couple of guys laying down tile; and after watching and asking questions intently, I knew I could do it too. I literally started my first business after watching those guys — and going to a nearby Carpet Barn, and getting hired as a subcontractor after I obtained my contractor’s license. I put together my own crew and was getting a job a week. That was very good money at the time.”

The young father eventually married, and after the downturn in the construction business in Las Vegas, he took the equity out of a home that he purchased at 21 and started another business. “I opened a board shop called Board Deep — we sold snowboards, skateboards and [other] merchandise for extreme sports,” he said. “I eventually opened two stores that operated for 14 years, but it all came to a stop when I went through a divorce. I really wasn’t expecting it, and my business suffered.”

Designed by Duane Alexander

After selling his businesses, Alexander took some time off to travel. Along the way, he was fortunate to meet great people who introduced him to the world of design.

Designed by Duane Alexander

“It was a very nice man who took me under his wing who I met while operating my board shop,” Alexander said. “He was a designer of slot machines as well as other projects. As I hobby I would draw and design cars and he asked me to work on some jobs for him. By this time I had lost most of my wealth; I was able to travel and design cars, nightclubs and slot machines with this gentleman. Then I had the pleasure of meeting a couple who are both artists, who encouraged and exposed me to the art business. They are like my brother and sister now, and exposed me to many things that have resulted in a profitable website, ArtisticLifestyle.com, and my current ownership of two art galleries: Artistic Lifestyles in Las Vegas and now one in San Diego in the Gaslamp District.”

The Artistic Lifestyle Gallery is at 2758 Highland Drive in Las Vegas, and has been opened to the public for a year. “The art world is very captivating,” said Alexander, “and I love doing what I do. They say, ‘If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.’ So, I really enjoy this business. It keeps my mind sharp, keeps me creative and I truly love it.”

For additional information, call (702) 754-3355 or visit ArtisticLifestyle.com

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