Laura Burkett left her corporate marketing career in 2015 to focus on her leather bag and accessories business, which she started while living in Italy in the early 2000s (www.lauraburkettdesigns.com). Opting to be a full-time entrepreneur allowed (and required) her to leverage her marketing skills in the art and craft world in a deeply meaningful way. When RISD cancelled their long-running, highly successful holiday sale, she saw an opportunity to both continue the legacy of the event and help other artists market and sell their work. She founded and now leads ArtSmart Productions, a team of experienced marketers that produces the Art Providence Holiday Show and offers integrated, low-cost marketing services to artists and art-based businesses. Burkett grew up in Kentucky and lived in Europe for nine years before moving to Pawtucket in 2009. She loves Rhode Island because, well, where else in the US can you find so many Italian speakers with whom to speak your favorite language?