By Donald Ross
Scioto County Candor
A business started by a woman remains owned by a women today. Georgia Osbourne first started Georgian Portraits in 1939. Today the studio is owned by Stephanie DeWitt, a business owner who says she enjoys her career and working with other strong women in local business.
A native of Portsmouth, in her earlier years, DeWitt spent a brief time living in California, before returning to her hometown.
Growing up, DeWitt experienced many of the social ills other community members share, but it was through these experiences that she was able to become the women and entrepreneur she is today. Both her mother and father were also natives of Portsmouth. As a child, DeWitt said, her mother struggled with addiction. As a result, her father raised her on his own for several years before he remarried. As a result, DeWitt’s grandparents played a major part in her life.
“My grandmother and great-grandmother had a really big role in bringing me up and teaching me good work ethic and the importance of community,” DeWitt stated.
Though family was certainly important in shaping the person DeWitt would become, she says that the Portsmouth City Schools also played a major role.
“I grew up in the old Highland Elementary,” she remembered.
From an early age, DeWitt was captivated with every form of art. She was active in music, art, sports and band.
At the age of 16, DeWitt started her first job as a carhop at Sonic. She continued to work at restaurants throughout her college years.
DeWitt explaind, “When I came back to Portsmouth and started going to Shawnee, I kind of knew then, I wanted to be here. It really taught me how to work with other people. That’s my big love. Especially with what I do now here at Georgian, I get to meet all kinds of new people. It taught me how to be respectful with people.”
Working with the local community members has become DeWitt’s passion.
“My husband and I live and breathe Portsmouth. We really love the area,” DeWitt commented.
She spent more than 10 years as a professional photographer before she bought Georgian Portraits from the previous owner in 2014. She then moved the business from Kentucky to Portsmouth shortly after.
Running your own business has its ups and downs, but DeWitt finds it very gratifying to do what she does. Overtime, she said that she has learned through her mistakes and grown as both a person, a woman and a business owner. And, though there are hardships, DeWitt says they are worth it.
It helps that she has support, not only from the community but also from other local business owners. DeWitt explained that she enjoys that she can turn to two close friends, who are also strong woman working towards running strong businesses in Portsmouth. Though she values having a support system that can relate to the difficulties, DeWitt said she enjoys being able to support herself and her business.
DeWitt says she works hard but never regrets it, as her work always pays off. It is that work ethic that is at the center of how she runs her business. She finds it very important to have the best quality and lowest prices, which requires her consistent best effort.
DeWitt has more than 15 years experience as a local photographer. She offers a variety of photoshoot options that include either time in the studio or shooting on location. For more information about DeWitt and Georgian Portraits, stop in at the studio, located at 843 Gallia Street in Portsmouth.