Hello Internet family!
I've been due to give an update for a little while now and today is that day. I thought I'd share what we've been up to these last few months with our pop-up gallery and share what are our next steps.
As you may or may not know, we launched our concept shop inside of Monday Night Garage in September. Since then, we have been testing out our ideas to see what works and what doesn't. Originally, we were hoping to use the space as part artist workspace, part showcase space. Once we got in - it was clear to see that our 300 square feet best accommodated an art gallery and a workspace to host small workshops and classes.
We've seen some great successes, which we'll share more about below - art sales, artist meetups, creative workshops, and engaged customers. We've also seen some less than successful attempts - low event attendance, pieces not selling, and creative partnership negotiations. There are definitely many things that we've learned even in such a short amount of time, the most important is that in the life of entrepreneurship - change is inevitable and necessary.
But, before I get into that piece, let's talk about our successes. We been able to connect our artists with some great individuals and connect those individuals to some great pieces of art. It's always such a thrill when you see someone find a piece they love.
This element is one of the ways in which we are hoping to change the way in which people experience art - the hope is to make creative works a more consumable product. Art should constantly change, allowing you access to new pieces and different types so we can better explore the world of visual creation.
This shot is from the newest owner of a piece by artist Nicole Kang. Justin, the buyer had been considering this fun portrait of Cardi B for a while and decided it was time to add it to his collection. He mentioned that he's usually intimidated at the thought of buying art, but really enjoyed the more approachable experience of having art showcased at a brewery.
While we love selling pieces of work, in full transparency - we've seen the most financial success in running creative workshops out of the space. A few examples of these are our beginner watercolor painting, indigo dyeing, and cross-stitch / embroidery classes.
I've found that there is a big desire for people to engage in creative activities, but facilitation is the factor that actually gets them out of the house. Most of the individuals who have attended my class have enjoyed trying something new without fully investing in a creative pursuit they didn't know well.
The question to answer is: where does that put us now? We have some exciting things in the works for the last month we're in the brewery - paint and pint nights, an artist market, and our final art exchange and artist launch party. But, we have to consider the business side of the equation. While we've been able to have some strong sales numbers, and make back the money that we're spending in rent - the honest answer is that this business model is going to be incredibly difficult to afford if scaled to our own brick and mortar.
I've spent the last few months running the numbers and we simply aren't at the level where we can generate enough revenue to pay an expensive lease on a space.
But, we're not giving up. As the title of the post states, we're changing course. We're not ready to give up yet - it's time to look at where we should be on the demand funnel. We've been trying to solve for a need that satisfies the requirement of arts space, but first need to address the need for more art. That is why we've decided to shift the focus of our business to generate more demand for local art.
It's still in its early stages, but we are going to be introducing Atlanta to an art procurement & rental service.
The idea is to provide businesses and individuals art that can be refreshed by the season or by the occasion, to support the local creative community by getting their works into temporary homes or staged locations, and to open the accessibility of expensive art by offering affordable options that fit all budgets.
The next steps on our end is to start working closely with our collective of artists and get the word out to the community of buyers to gage their interest in being able to access art this way.
I appreciate you following along with us this whole time and hope you'll continue in our journey. We're not calling it quits! It's time to try another idea and see where we can go with this one :) I would love your feedback as an artist or a possible customer. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any thoughts.
Speak to you soon!