Art Dimensions, the baby of Mike and a friend, was founded in 2001. Through the organization they’ve organized an art rotation, an art gallery (which has since closed due to time constraints), and an art detour. The art rotation is a way for local businesses to display art from local artists in a rotation. It benefits the artists because they receive exposure, and the businesses because they rent this art for a discounted price. The art detour is an annual event where buses truck people to different art exhibits in St. Louis, with musicians on each bus! Because of his passion for the arts, Mike loves working on Art Dimensions, but says, “I started it, so I know how big it could be, but it is a lot of work”.
Phat Buddha Recording Studios is another one of Mike’s businesses. They’ve recorded artists like Nelly and the Black Eyed Peas and are one of the most well-known studios in St. Louis.
Blayzer, Mike’s internet marketing company, is the newest thing on his crowded business card. With his personal experience in print shop, graphic design, interactive design and back-end design, it was the natural thing to do. While the company is working on some big projects, he has a bigger vision. “There’s just so much we could be doing, and we can’t do it all or we wouldn’t be doing anything right”. To which I responded, “Or you wouldn’t be sleeping”. I then proceeded to bore Mike with my information on Emperor Franz-Joseph and how I was very impressed with his work ethic and lack of sleep.
Six companies (I haven’t mentioned them all here) is enough to keep anyone awake at night, but add 3 kids to the mix and you’ll understand why Mike is lucky to get any sleep EVER! Mike has required his kids to help him and his wife with their garden and his son has a natural green thumb. One year the whole family planted pumpkins in the backyard. His son snuck off and planted his in the front yard. Guess which one thrived? Mike laughingly told me how he had to work around this giant pumpkin when he would mow the lawn! I told Mike about the troubles we’ve had with deer in our garden and he agreed it was a lot of hard work, “It’s like a constant battle, and usually you’re going to lose, but...it’s all good”.
While talking about gardening I told Mike that when I have kids, I’d like to get them involved in gardening and cooking. A TED talk with Jamie Oliver, opened my eyes to how little kids know about food, especially healthy food. In this talk the kids certainly knew what a chicken nugget was, but most of them couldn’t name a tomato.
After meeting Mike, I was inspired to pursue some things I’d always been interested in, and two months later here I am at my new job! I ran into him again yesterday and it sounds like he’s as busy as ever with all of his exciting ideas and ventures. Maybe the next time I see him it will be at the 110th anniversary of the 1904 World’s Fair event that he’s planning...
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