Wordsmith Beth now communicating through art at her St Andrews gallery

Beth Junor runs The Junor Gallery in South Street, St Andrews.
Beth Junor runs The Junor Gallery in South Street, St Andrews.

What does your business do?

The Junor Gallery specialises in contemporary Scottish and European art.

Connections between the literary and visual arts is a feature and each exhibition is accompanied by talks or events.

I have a range of price entry points to be as inclusive as possible.

I also sell a unique collection of designer-made jewellery and the gallery space is available for hire as a venue.

Why did you start in business?

I’ve had a fulfilling career as a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist in the field of childhood autism.

I loved my work and met some extremely talented youngsters, with or without additional learning difficulties.

I was planning for early retirement when severe cutbacks in the local authority accelerated my plans!

I’m amazed by how many of my professional skills have been transferable to the gallery.

In a nutshell, I’ve gone from working in one area of human communication to another.

How did you get to where you are today?

My lectures in Fine Art here at The University of St Andrews some 40 years ago taught me how to look sensitively and set me on a path of appreciation.

I’ve tried not to neglect my own writing, editing, translating, over the years, so I guess there’s an element of loyalty to creativity involved.

Working in London for the past 12 years I was able to attend the major exhibitions and visit a lot of small, independent galleries as well. Latterly, I took a course in ‘the business of the visual art world’ at City University.

Who has helped you along the way?

The talented, professional artists who believed in me right from the start.

Business Gateway Fife has also provided me with tailored advice and support from an adviser and through its workshop programme.

It’s amazing to have that level of quality support out there, just for the asking. Scottish Development International has also been brilliant.

Your biggest mistake?

Nothing catastrophic but I make lots of smaller mistakes, from which I learn.

Your greatest achievement?

Without a doubt, being given the privilege of showing Alexander Moffat’s monumental new work, ‘Scotland’s Voices,’ at the end of July.

Hopes for the future?

To build on the trust buyers have in my judgement, standard of curated exhibitions and service.

Many of my buyers are from overseas, so I want to optimise that area.

Do you want to recruit in the future?

By selling professional artists’ work, my gallery already supports the living they make from their profession.

I’ll need to recruit but this won’t be for a few years.

What is the hardest thing about running your own business?

Having always worked in a team, the non-stop responsibility for everything related to running the gallery.

Advice to wannabe entrepreneurs? Preparation is everything.

Take what you’re passionate about, don’t underestimate your experience – especially women entrepreneurs – then go for it!