WHEN TALENTED PROFESSIONALS TALK, WE LISTEN.

As you look to furnish, decorate, or upgrade your Montana home, you wonder: What is behind the doors of that business? More importantly, who is behind those doors? WHJ introduces you to three talented Bozeman and Big Sky professionals: a boutique owner/interior designer who is 100% artist; a painter and gallery manager whose canvases capture that vast “Big Sky Country” landscape; and a real estate agent who embraces ever-changing digital tools but understands that ultimately authentic, honest, and driven people must close transactions to put you in that dream home.

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“I am 100% artist in all that I do. The experience in the boutique is not just visual but tactile…and even thought-provoking and emotional.”
–Dawn Josephine, owner, Collective by Dawn Josephine

Collective by Dawn Josephine
Dawn Josephine

In the heart of historic downtown Bozeman, the Collective by dawn josephine functions as a meeting place of the old and new, where classic art deco meets mid-century modern meets funky contemporary. Like a curator, dawn blends and mixes items, eras, and styles; like a guide, dawn can help you navigate through the Collective and find the right combination to enhance your wardrobe, add decorative flare to your spaces, and create a style all your own.

What do you offer in your shop?

Our eclectic mix of items ranges from Will Leather satchels to one-of-a-kind martini glasses to whimsical art pieces. Most items are handmade by artists from Bozeman and across the United States.

How would one describe a customer’s experience?

The way I display products in the store has been described as clever and unconventional. The home decor is displayed on vintage draft tables and antique bookcases. Embroidered pillows rest on comfy chairs and leather sofas. The experience in the boutique is not just visual but tactile…and even thought-provoking and emotional.

What additional services do you offer?

With our furniture we offer interior design consultations. I’ve worked with clients on a myriad of projects. They range from redecorating an historic Craftsman-style house to an extensive interior design project in the Yellowstone Club.

What is your background?

My background is varied from being a 4th grade teacher, to interior designer and project manager, to illustrator and jewelry designer, and now boutique store owner. I am 100% artist in all that I do. I appreciate art and sell art in all forms, from furniture to jewelry.

What are your most exciting current projects?

I am most excited about creating my own private-label furniture line for the store.

For what are you known?

I design jewelry that is made right here in the store. The customer can be involved in the creative process to customize their own jewelry. People can buy from what is completed and on display or they can customize by moving pieces around.

What might not the community be aware of?

Furniture. If you’re looking for some unique pieces, we have chairs, coffee tables, sides tables, cabinets, and sofas in the store or we can order them. Some of my favorites
are the Magdelan Leather Sofa, Messinki Bar Cabinet, and Kismet Club Chair. Additionally, we offer discounts to the industry—real estate agents, interior designers,
and architects.

Why do you enjoy living and working where you do?

What I get to experience every day is historic Main Street with its unique charm as well as the surrounding mountain ranges and big blue skies. Additionally, I feel fortunate to get to interact with the eclectic mix of personalities and businesses in this community.

What is your inspiration?

Much of my work has a gypsy soul in that my inspiration comes from traveling and collecting ideas, stories, and things. For example, the vintage postmark jewelry has been 100% inspired by my travels and the stories from people’s own personal journeys. My love of vintage artifacts and finding new uses for how to incorporate them into my world
is a constant inspiration.

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“Experimenting with new techniques and mediums keeps me challenged. Sometimes it may work. Most of the time it doesn’t, but I learn. And that’s what life should be about.”
–Kevin Rose, artist, Western Art Forum

Kevin Rose
Western Art Forum

A native Montanan, Kevin Rose was fortunate to be exposed to art through Ted Waddell. Friends with Waddell’s daughters, Kevin spent time on the family’s ranch and found himself sweeping out barns or stretching canvas in the art studio in the presence of Warhols, Autios, and Lichtensteins. Today, Kevin Rose is an established artist in his own right and splits his time between Billings and the Western Art Forum Gallery in Big Sky.

How did you get started in your field?

I’ve always been drawn to the visual arts, mainly contemporary and abstract. At an early age, I was introduced to the work of Ted Waddell. His style and technique has been a huge influence to this day. In the last ten years or so, I started taking my own work more seriously and through the encouragement of family, friends, and Kira Fercho, I’ve finally made the leap into being a full-time artist. 

How do you see your field changing?

The advent of social media and online galleries has really opened up the art world. The exposure of an artist to a new audience, near and far, has provided more opportunities for someone breaking into the world of art.

Which project are you most excited about right now?

I’m currently working on two large pieces for an estate in Colorado. While the homeowners have been specific with their desires, they’ve given their trust to my creative eye. It’s daunting, but also incredibly exciting, when clients allow you the freedom to just create. 

How do you work with clients?

Meeting clients, other artists, and designers is my favorite part of this business… besides actually painting, of course. Being surrounded by new ideas, amazing talent, and people who appreciate the arts is indeed a driving force behind any artist. 

What do you offer that is unique?

My abstract, almost landscapes, seem to be what draw collectors most to my work. 

What tricks of the trade have you learned over the years?

Listening to clients, designers, and gallery owners is a must. Everyone has a different perspective, different tastes, and different needs. So I’m always learning, evolving, and hopefully getting better as an artist.

What is the most exciting new product or development in your field?

Experimenting with new techniques and mediums keeps my work fresh. Challenges push an artist, and nothing is more challenging than doing something completely new. Sometimes it may work; most of the time it doesn’t, but I learn. And that’s what life should be about.

What words do people use to describe your work?

My work and style have been described as brash, yet not overpowering. Subtle palettes. The favorite question I get about my art is, “So, how do you do this?” 

What inspires you?

What amazes me is the enormous concentration of talent here in Montana—from poets, to painters, to potters. The talent of these craftspeople and artists is mind-blowing. And then add the vast and dramatic landscapes that I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by, and it’s almost impossible not to be inspired. 

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“Be bold in the face of negotiation and real estate road blocks… if you can get all parties focused on the real goal, you can ‘get ‘er done.’”
—Arison Antonucci-Burns, owner/managing broker, Aspire Realty

Arison Antonucci-Burns
Aspire Realty

While technology makes information gathering easier, communications quicker, and financial transactions faster, real estate buyers and sellers still need people to bring them through the process. Arison Antonucci-Burns shares with WHJ her understanding of the market, team approach to client service, and integration of digital sales tools. Even with Aspire Realty’s adoption of cutting-edge technology, Arison stresses that, at the end of the day, real estate transactions still require human facilitation and leadership.

What excites you about the Bozeman market?

The Bozeman market is busy with both commercial and residential real estate. New businesses are thriving, growing, and setting up shop here. Many new young families are contri-buting to the growth, innovation, and vitality of Bozeman.

How did you get started in your field?

As a property manager, I operated over 70 properties in Bozeman. I loved the process of helping new prospective tenants get settled into their new homes. Many of my tenants were buying homes at the time so I decided that I needed to jump into real estate and help my tenants find homes. The love affair with real estate has been going ever since. I opened up my own brokerage, Aspire Realty, in 2016.

What new technology is helping facilitate real estate transactions?

The age of the wild-wild-web and mobile apps has changed the nature of the entire business. Over 80% of home buyers identify the home they end up purchasing from browsing on the web. The key is finding the right agent to help facilitate the transaction. That’s where Aspire comes in!

Describe your process. How do you work with clients?

I interview clients much like an employer interviews an employee. I want to know about them, their background, and their short- and long-term goals. I can typically get to the “nitty-gritty” within five to ten minutes of meeting a new client. Then I can try to determine the best route to go with them.

How is Aspire different from other agencies?

My real estate team. Most agents do not have a team of people to help get from A to Z. A lot happens in a transaction and some days it’s like “herding cats” to get all parties on the same page. Every transaction is unique and it takes a team to get to the “end zone” when it comes to closing a deal. My determination, problem-solving techniques, and ability to work with all parties in a professional manner keep every-one “in check” and “on track.”

What tricks of the trade have you learned?

Be bold in the face of negotiation and real estate road blocks. The fastest way to get through the pain is to power on through it. Some days are not so pretty in real estate, but if you can get all parties focused on the real goal, you can ‘get ‘er done.’”

What do you enjoy most about living and working where you do?

I love the sense of community we have. It’s small enough that you are able to make true personal connections but large enough that there is undeniable energy that resonates. Of course the awesome mountain views and natural beauty contribute to our great quality of life.

How do you and your agency give back to the community?

We do a variety of charitable work throughout the year including home buyer classes for HRDC and volunteering for the Food Bank. We support fundraisers for the Blue Print Program (an outreach that assists homeless teens in our community), Toys for Tots, and various other programs throughout our community.

What inspires you?

My child, Xander. He’s three and a half. I look at him and he makes all the wrong in the world right.

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