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People Doing Cool Stuff: Brandy Calvert Ringelmann of These 4 Walls

People Doing Cool Stuff: Brandy Calvert Ringelmann

Get to know Brandy Calvert Ringelmann of These 4 Walls in downtown Trenton, an art gallery and event space that creates a unique experience for all five senses, plus the sixth sense of belonging. Follow the gallery on Facebook or Instagram to stay up-to-date with events (and there are lots!).

Photos by AMP Visual Media

Read time: 3 min
a woman with light skin, dark curly hair and a striped shirt standing against the wall of an art gallery

Briefly describe your business.
At These 4 Walls Gallery we feel that art should be an inclusive and immersive experience for everyone. Guests can not only enjoy the visual arts but can also order from the bistro, come to live music events or even attend workshops and exhibit opening nights. We’ve curated a creative ecosystem that takes into account all the senses. From sight, sound, taste, smell and touch, guests can engage with art on a multifaceted level that suits the experience they are looking for. At the risk of sounding cliche, we have built a community with guests returning again and again to our workshops, classes and events that also brings in the sixth sense of belonging. Our gallery is welcoming, warm and different from any other gallery with everything we have to offer. Guests often book the gallery for their own private and corporate events because they love the intimacy and design of the space.

What brought you to the region?
I was born and raised in this region, Carrying Place to be exact. I did briefly live in St. Catherines and Hamilton while I attended school and started a family. I returned to be closer to my family. My mother was raised in Carrying Place and my father in Gosport and they have always remained in the region. I have three beautiful children that have benefitted from also being raised in Quinte.

What makes the BoQ a good fit for your business?
The gallery is unique. I know many say that about their businesses, but it really is. Because it is so different it brings something that visitors remember and will even talk about after leaving. This area brings a lot of guests from other geographical regions which is perfect for showcasing local artistic talent. All of our art is local, which is desirable for both Quinte residents and visitors to our area. Quinte West specifically was lacking in gallery representation, so it only made sense to me that Trenton was where I wanted These 4 Walls. 

What was the hardest thing about starting a business?
The financial cost of starting a business and time management. I think you can grow slowly if you are unsure of the market or maybe do not have the financial resources to jump right in. Either way I think it is more important to make an impact and big impression even if you are starting small. Quality is better than quantity if the budget doesn’t allow for both. Know when to hire out what you cannot do yourself really well to get that quality impression. Starting your own business means wearing many hats and a ‘to do list’ that doesn’t ever get done it seems. It’s easy to get in the trap of overworking and struggle with work life balance. I’m still working on that, I have been getting more skilled with prioritizing what needs doing ASAP and what can wait. 

How has your business expanded in recent years?
My business is still quite young, so expansion hasn’t come in the way of physical space… yet. We have grown and expanded in what we are offering in terms of programming, events and classes. We have even expanded into a bit of retail that we strategically have branded such as our sassy candles, grocery items and a vintage inspired clothing line. 

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the area?
Take the risk but make sure you do your market research. Most importantly, don’t ignore that market research. Don’t underestimate yourself and keep your standards high. Admit when you don’t know something and then find out or hire someone who does. Learn from your mistakes. Fuel the relationships with your team and clients. Know that you will not always be everyone’s cup of tea, you can’t be all things to all people. No business is perfect 100% of the time. 
How do you like to spend your days off in the region?
Honestly I like to dine out, especially on a patio. I enjoy artisanal foods which is likely why we offer that with the gallery bistro. My newest favourite spot (outside my gallery) is the new Local Social House in Belleville. The food is great, the finishes of the newly renovated building are top notch and the sprawling patio overlooking the river is even better. I enjoy time around my pool with my family, and especially love locking myself in the gallery to work on my own art. 
What are some other local businesses you like to support?
I partner with The Grind and Vine on a regular basis with special events. My go to caterers if the gallery has an event that the bistro can’t handle include Fawn Over Market and Kaleidoscope, both amazing options and our guests love the food. Other businesses that I have supported either in my personal life or with my businesses are Beams Lighting, Blackbird Stone and Tile, B&H Carpet, Hollandale Landscaping & Garden Centre, Stirling Carpet and Flooring, Farquhar Cabinets Stirling, Bermuda PEC, Lavender Lane Media and Lange and Fetter Ford. I hire local musicians to play in the gallery and of course all the art is local, providing representation for visual artists. 
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A collection of all our stories from the BOQ

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Let’s see what we got!

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The Bay of Quinte RMB Land Acknowledgement

The Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board is committed to acknowledging, appreciating and understanding the Indigenous peoples’ historic connection to this land and to raising awareness by building relationships in collaboration with Indigenous partners and communities. 

We recognize and acknowledge that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Mississauga, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee which includes the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte) with whom we work in direct partnership with. 

This partnership focuses on the common goal of celebrating the region with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka who are equal partners within the organization and at the Board of Directors table contributing to the mandate and operations.

This mandate includes listening to, learning from, and collaborating with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka and actively incorporating their culture and heritage into the practice of responsible destination marketing and management of the region.

We understand that this land acknowledgement is only a small step towards the larger process of reparations and reconciliation.

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