Suzy Hosley has so much passion for Frankfort she doesn’t even realize when she’s selling it.
For the past 10 years, the homegrown Frankfort activist has been serving the community through the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce. She currently is the member service director.
Hosley graduated from Franklin County High School in 2001. She attended EKU originally but transferred back to Kentucky State University and graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s of art degree in studio art painting.
“I really enjoyed the professors up there,” Hosley said about KSU. “I specialize more in painting. I like to work in oils.”
Hosley and her husband Luke, have a son Quinn, 1, a dog Balin and cat Sebastian, who is always dressed to impress she said.
“(Sebastian) wears a tuxedo,” she said.
FRANK.: What do you tell new businesses when encouraging them to join the chamber?
Hosley: It’s a great way to network and brand yourself in the community. One of our strengths is that we’re the community connector. We can help people get to where they’re going.
I tell them to think of us as a business resource center. When some people start up a business, they might need more help promoting themselves. Older businesses may need help expanding. We can help them. We’re their support.
FRANK.: What suggestions do you give entrepreneurs?
Hosley: Sometimes they really need to get that blueprint together.
Say you have an idea and you give me your story and your idea. Based on that I try to think of our members and who we partner with who can help them accomplish that.
We also have a business that does small business counseling. I often direct entrepreneurs to them.
FRANK.: Have any of your artist skills crossed over into the work you do at the chamber?
Hosley: A lot of creativity is needed for this type of job. I’m a big people person. I didn’t realize at the time that community outreach was a passion of mine, but it is the right direction for me.
I also do the chamber newsletter, where I can apply design.
FRANK.: Do you paint in your free time?
Hosley: I try. I was up, until the toddler. I did just do a commission painting for a friend for Christmas. It’s very much a passion of mine.
Painting more was a part of my new years resolution. I have a little studio space at home. My husband plays music. That inspired me.
Between Luke and I, (Quinn) will be a painter, learn an instrument or write.
FRANK.: What has kept you in Frankfort all of these years?
Hosley: I just have a real passion for this community. It’s a charming town with a big community.
I remember when I was younger, there was part of me that wanted to move, but through the years, there isn’t anywhere else I’d want to live.
I think Kentucky is a beautiful state with lots of tradition and Frankfort encompasses a lot of what I love about the state.
FRANK.: What do you tell business owners to get them to open their business to Frankfort?
Hosley: Really it depends on what kind of business. People call me and ask me about Frankfort. I’m so passionate about the community. I’m selling it and I don’t realize it.
Frankfort has a big community. Word of mouth is strong here still. There are a lot of opportunities to brand your name to the community. It’s such a family oriented base, and there’s the convenience of being near big cities, but they don’t have to compete with the bigger businesses and cities.
FRANK.: What are your hopes for the future of the business community in Frankfort?
Hosley: I think there’s a lot of potential for Frankfort. We’ve come a long way since I was in high school. The downtown is building.
I’d like to see a brewery in Frankfort. When you see that, there’s more development along the way.
I would like to see Frankfort be more of a standalone community — separate from being the state Capitol and having the negative rap of politics. That when people think of Frankfort, they think of a destination.
There are a lot of people trying to get us there, especially with the new community brand. There’s perks to being the state Capitol that we want to maintain, but we want to shine through all the great things that are here.