Rising local talent honored for initiativeBy Katelyn Gendron
Reminder Assistant Editor
WESTFIELD She's got drive, talent, ambition and an eye for detail the all the makings of a successful business owner and sought-after photographer.
On April 29, Westfield native Christine Costigan of Christine Costigan Photography will be honored as one of the recipients of the annual Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation's Entrepreneurship Initiative. Each year, 13 local colleges nominate students who demonstrate "entrepreneurial spirit" to receive grants ranging from $500 to $3,000 from the foundation.
In an interview with Reminder Publications, Holyoke Community College (HCC) Business Professor Anne Potter said she nominated Costigan for the grant based on her outstanding advertising and marketing plan.
Gail Olmsted, public relations coordinator for the annual Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation's Entrepreneurship Initiative, explained that the candidates must represent a "commitment to self-employment" and the wherewithal to achieve that goal.
"The award is about recommending someone with talent and drive," she said of Costigan. "It was her quality of work and her pursuit of a business plan [that made her a viable candidate]. She's just so creative and she has the initiative. She gets and idea in her head and she follows it through."
Costigan explained that she has been taking photographs recreationally since she was 12 years old. Now in her late 20s, she has decided to turn her hobby into a career over the past year.
Costigan noted that she is pursuing a degree in marketing at HCC in order to better understand how to develop her business model.
She explained that she will use the $1,000 grant to remodel a room in her house into an office and photography studio.
"I didn't expect to be a grant recipient," Costigan said. "It means a whole lot to me."
She explained that she previously owned a cleaning business in order to make enough money for professional photography equipment. Costigan added that she began offering free wedding photography last year in order to build up her business via referrals.
Since then she's photographed a rising pop star in New York City, numerous weddings and portraits.
When asked why she has chosen to pursue a new career in photography, Costigan replied that she loves to be the one to freeze time and capture a dramatic moment that many have missed but will cherish within the photograph.
She added that when she conducted a free photo shoot for a musician in New York City, she was amazed to work at "Quad Studios.where Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Alicia Keys, Bob Marley have all recorded.We also got to shoot on the rooftop of the New York Film Centre building. The Kemia Bar was also rented out for our photo shoot and we had the whole place to ourselves. So it was sort of the point when I realized there is no other job in this world that I would rather be doing."
For more information about the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation's Entrepreneurship Initiative visit www.hgcf.org.
To view Costigan's photography, go to www.chrissycostigan.com.
For caption information, click on each image.