Q & A with Hayley Savage - Innovate New Albany | New Albany, Ohio

Q & A with Hayley Savage

An Artfully Inspired Community

In less than four years, Hayley Gallery has amassed a loyal following of art patrons eager to invest in the work of Ohio artists. Inspired by her success, this summer New Albany residents Savage and Amy Schottenstein will open Ella – Eat Local. Love Art., a fusion of art and cuisine at 266-270 E. Main St. The restaurant and adjoining gallery will enable guests to enjoy contemporary American cuisine and contemporary American artists.

What attracted you to New Albany?

I was commuting from Chicago for nearly a year on behalf of a former employer and needed to relocate to central Ohio to be near my company. The first thing for me was the school system. Even though my kids were in a private school, New Albany’s schools have proven to be just as good. I was also drawn to the smallness of the community. After living in downtown Chicago, I thought it would be good for my children to experience something entirely different.

How has Hayley Gallery fared in a smaller community?

It has been wonderful. In a very short time, the gallery has become a true destination that people often compare to the Short North. In fact, they are blown away by the range and diversity of work we carry. I knew that demographically, New Albany was an up and comer based on the homes, income and education levels and that art would be welcome here. For me the only calculated risk was the type of art since the gallery is on the contemporary side. People have absolutely embraced the art and the eclecticism of all the diverse media we carry. Even people who are traditional can find art, jewelry and glass they love. We usually have hundreds of people through the gallery each month. We’ve also rented the space for weddings, birthday parties, fundraisers and have hosted school visits.

Why are you opening the restaurant?

Two years ago, I met Amy Schottenstein, who owns a restaurant in Lakeside, Ohio. We shared a passion for healthy, local food and the idea took off. Our investors are all local people who are doing it because they want a restaurant to succeed here. At Ella, our guests can meander through the gallery with a glass of wine and then have a meal that is made with locally grown foods. There will also be a chef’s table in the gallery that can be reserved. The viral marketing that has happened about Ella and the pent up demand is amazing. Its time has come.

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

I worked in the corporate world for over 26 years and hit my head on the glass ceiling. I knew I wasn’t going anywhere working for entrepreneurs so I decided if I can’t lick them I should join them. I am a creative person and a risk taker by nature. If you don’t take a chance you will never know what you are capable of achieving. I would rather try and not succeed than never try and always wonder.

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