A Legend in The Making
Master Artist, sculptor, educator and entrepreneur, Edward E. Parker, is making history one day at a time and shares his journey along the way.
Edward Parker was born in Pittsburgh in 1941. When he was in elementary school his parents moved him and his brother to Toledo, Ohio. He studied at the Toledo Museum of Art as a child. He attended Lincoln Elementary School and graduated from Scott High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and a master’s degree in art education, with an emphasis in sculpting from Ohio’s Kent State University. He also completed additional graduate level work at the University of Illinois and at Ife in West Africa.
The name of his gallery, Snickerfritz, means sweetheart or mischievous and came from a nickname his grandfather gave him as a child.
Parker considers himself an investor in the city of East Cleveland, Ohio. Not only does he have his gallery there, but he also has Parker’s Guesthouse, which you can check out on bedandbreakfast.com.
He bought an old hospital building and has spent the last 19 years turning it into the 19,000 square foot EEP Creative Arts Complex, which Snickerfritz shares with three galleries, classrooms for the education of budding urban artists, an African bookstore, the Hair Bender Salon, gift shop, and the bed and breakfast.
According to Parker, a retired professor, a spark ignited in him to start his own business when people told him that he couldn’t do it.
“As far as the bed and breakfast is concerned, I used to pass through Chicago frequently and in my opinion, the Ritz Carlton has got nothing on us,” Parker said. “We have private bathrooms in every bedroom of the guest house and we serve the best breakfast in the country.”
In addition to his entrepreneurial prowess, Parker has been able to grow his business and help to increase his visibility by joining organizations such as America’s Best Companies, other business organizations, bedandbreakfast.com and by being involved with community groups such as the local school and library boards. Parker is also in the process of going back to school to take some classes on marketing so that he can use that knowledge for running his business.
He added that for him, motivation comes from within. “That’s what I was always taught. You have to do something that you like.”
Parker also believes that there is a formula to follow for success. “You have to work at it and you have to believe in yourself. I live in the community and I’ve changed it considerably. We don’t play around here. If we’re going to do it, we’re going do it right. Or else we’re not going to do it at all.”
His businesses have grown tremendously from when he first started out, according to Parker. “I’ve been over here for 27 years, and while we’re not quite there yet, we’re going to get there. There’s a whole area in town that is coming this way. They have no other place to grow. As a visionary, I invested in the Euclid area. If nothing else, Euclid Avenue is the longest street in the country. (Euclid is U.S. Route 20 and spans over 3,000 miles.)” —Lynn Celmer
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