Norma Krieger is spending her golden years managing creative talent from her home in Brooklyn.
Instead of heading toward retirement like many of her peers, Krieger, 71, founded Krieger Creative Group, a multidisciplinary talent and marketing agency, in 2011.
She connected with Life Reimagined -- a platform created by AARP that helps pre- and early-retirees turn their unfulfilled dreams into a reality, for which she is now a spokeswoman -- to get her business off the ground. To fund the agency, she used her own savings.
Krieger Creative represents visual artists from across the United States and as far as Spain, including painters, photographers and sculptors.
Krieger takes pride in the cultural diversity among her artists, which is a reflection of her own colorful life.
She was born in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and came to New York City at 6 years old, where she was raised in the area that is now DUMBO.
After studying art curating and photography at Pratt Institute, she spent her early career in advertising, including 14 years at Ogilvy & Mather on Madison Avenue.
Later, while working as a freelancer in the art field, she got a call from The Buccaneer Hotel, a four-star historic hotel in St. Croix, asking for her to come work as its quality control manager and handle its aesthetics.
"It was more transformational than I thought it would be because I realized I was not creatively fulfilled," she said of her time at the hotel. "New York kept calling me back."
She started Krieger Creative while still living in St. Croix. And though she loves her hometown -- she has three books published featuring her photography of St. Croix -- it was too small of a market to satisfy her hunger for talent.
"I thought that because New York is a culturally diverse city I think really fits perfectly," she explained. "My artists are diverse -- Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics -- I think that's really exciting."
Krieger Creative helps its artists find work utilizing their skills and sell their art to collectors.
It turns a profit selling art to collectors at salons Krieger hosts in her Prospect Heights home.
"I showcase what I consider amazing work and we put it up in sort of an exhibition space," she said.
"That's how we've been moving the art."
The branding arm of the agency, though, is having more trouble gaining momentum.
"[Our] graphic designer and our art director could create your message, your branding ID, TV commercial, we can do the entire message consistently," she said. "I thought it would be an interesting niche, that we could do it all."
Krieger is hoping to target real estate developers and small businesses in need of branding.