Sun, Aug

Candid - With Lea Willett LeRoi - Catching Up With Alison Updyke

Muskegon Metro Area News
I sat down with Alison Updyke, owner of Minty Vintage and current marketing director for Pound Buddies, to catch up on what it takes to be an entrepreneur with a young family, several business successes under her belt, and three dogs of varying sizes.  
Alison is known locally for her portrait and fashion photography, most recently with Wildflower Studios. The cooperative project began as several professional portrait photographers combined forces to provide a more dynamic offering. The studio has been highly successful over its six years in operation and continues to be a top recommendation for families looking to capture their most important and intimate moments. So I had to ask - why would Alison choose now to step away from the business? 
As Wildflower has expanded its staff and gained a following, Alison felt now was the moment to leave the steady business in capable hands and take new chances in other areas of interest.  Like any accomplished artist, she is focusing on her next body of work.  Always on the move, Alison decided to take her love of fashion on the road, acquired a 1964 Avion camper, and painted it Mint Green. Dubbed a "Traveling Shop", Minty Vintage moves to locations around the city for Pop-up shops and offers a selection of retail clothing and an online shop. The website is also a portfolio; using local models to create her promotional material, her fashion photography is both playful and honest, reflecting body positivity, and showcasing her style as inclusive without compromising its edge. 
An animal enthusiast, Alison takes her talents to Pound Buddies for the same type of promotion of her canine friends. "I have three dogs: "Small, Medium, and Large". Adding to her energetic family has been a no-brainer for her, but she doesn't take the responsibility of care lightly. "I just want people, when they are ready for a dog, to think of Pound Buddies first." In addition to marketing, Alison really found spending time with the animals to be fulfilling, so much so that she asked to be an animal care specialist for the organization. 
A multi-faceted entrepreneur, style guru, mom of one human and three canines, doesn't she have it all? The Anxiety, yes, she says. In our frank discussion, Alison admits she struggles with a perpetual teenage angst. But she has learned to isolate the things that make her feel confident - creative reflections of her human and animal community, a zest for getting out into the world and taking chances, and uses these to overcome. 

Visit Minty Vintage online at http://mintyvintage.com.