Life is full of curve-balls. It’s a sentiment as true as it is cliché, but sometimes things are cliché because they just are so true. The “What’s Your Story” was given a reminder of that this week with the story of Brandy Aucoin, the owner and operator of Artique along the main strip of downtown Breaux Bridge. It’s an old building with exposed beams that run along the ceiling with wooden floors and an old rustic feel. Lining the walls are various shelves and displays all housing a variety of art from Louisiana artists.
Brandy wasn’t always in the art business, in fact for years she had made her living as a nurse. Working everywhere from hospitals and even the jail, helping the sick or injured and playing an initial role in their return to health. That was until she received a diagnosis that would change her life. She always knew she had a hard time hearing, but was told a few years ago that her hearing would continue to regress. At 92% deaf being a nurse was no longer an option. It’s hard enough to diagnose the various beeps, buzzes, and sirens that could indicate life or death changes, but when you can’t hear them that task becomes impossible.
Leaving the medical world behind her she set out in a completely different direction, the world of art. What started as a hobby to do with her daughter in their spare time 15 years ago, making soap would be her first steps in the direction of full time artist. The way Brandy tells it she didn’t even know she could do half the stuff she does now until she just started doing it. She now does a little bit of everything, from making the shelves of the store, to painting, candles, and of course she still does the soap. When I asked her if all of this seemed overwhelming she responded by saying she preferred a full plate of projects to work on.
The store’s been open for a few years now, and the initial fear of failure has receded slightly into the background. There’s a good collection of vendors in the store and enough variety to keep people coming back. Even though she’s not in the hospital as a nurse she’s still finding a way to help people. Offering a place for local, Louisiana artists to display and sell their art.