We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian & Lindsey DeStefano Velde and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brian & Lindsey, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
We ourselves are artists, and started AAZ because we couldn’t find affordable or reliable custom printing or framing. So, when I blurted out, ‘How much is one of those printers!’ and we decided to go for it we knew that we had to have the quality that we were ourselves looking for. We strive to provide the services based on quality

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Our art is a mixed media variety that tells the story of N. AZ through a locals vantage. We have an interesting style in our photography, and use that to create a variety of art in different formats. We decided to be all things art, printing, and framing. The idea of having to choose one was anxiety riddled, so we do ALL. Brian and I met while I was professionally Framing for another business, and he would come visit me at work. Over the year of watching me thrive in the art world, and struggle against the Corporate rules, Brian started asking what I would need to run my own shop. At the time I thought he was crazy, but he also had 2/3 of what I would need already, having been a woodworker and craftsman for over a decade. we took and continue to take the challenges in stride, and together. We went from a moment of frustration trying to print one of our photos for a 3rd time, having it come out wrong, AGAIN, to a dedicated shop and show room of over 24,000 sq ft! Lessons? Go for it! I often have felt scared, or almost as if I was an imposter- what makes you think you can- I believe. It is not that we are not afraid- we just do it anyway. Jump in. Do it afraid. Say yes.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Flagstaff, AZ is one of our favorites, and our home-town, and where we get to raise our blended family! We would start our day with brunch- Macy’s for a fancy coffee, or Toasted Owl for a patio sit and avocado toast! we then would stroll from the restaurant headed dt by way of the many beautiful murals, created by our amazing local artists. We would head to Heritage square, and people watch the families doing the same as us. Next is Flag Brew Co. for a local beer and burger, or some of the best french onion soup! Pay special attention to the art, look familiar? it should! Brian and I have been blessed to have a collection there for a few years now. From the Brew, we stop in at Rainbows End for some local fashion, to Western Post for some at home yummy, and then to The Heart Box gallery to see Jill, and the local art that revolves in her gallery. Need something sweet? Next on our stop is the Sweet Shop, maybe a caramel apple. Let’s walk off that treat, and ramble around dt Flag, window shopping and dropping dollars for the buskers. As the light starts to fade, we make our way back to Lerox st and to The Old British Chippy for some AMAZING fish and chips. Enjoy the mural, and all the art- as well as check out who they are sponsoring this month, buy an original for your wall at home! All within a walk, and a day spent in Flagstaff, AZ our hometown.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Community. Brian and I, Lindsey are partners, and a husband and wife team. We credit our success to our support from our family, friends and community. Brian and I both grew up here, and have made decisions to stay in Flagstaff, AZ to raise our family and be a part of the town and community we grew up in. That, I think is a huge part of why we are successful, is our roots, and home town values. We also put quality and affordability above all else. We are able to source locally, and provide beautiful framing at a fraction of the cost. Supporting local is not only one of our core values, but why we are able to do what we do.

Website: abandonedaz.com

Instagram: Abandoned AZ Photo

Linkedin: Abandoned AZ/ AAZ Custom

Facebook: Abandoned AZ Photo

Other: We also sponsor other artists and have a grassroots campaign to give back to other small businesses called StARTLocal, Abandonedaz.com/StARTLocal, and my mixed media can be found at Chameleon.gallery

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