Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaron Davis.
Aaron, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My name is Aaron Davis and I am a Senior at The University of Texas at Arlington studying Business for my undergrad. I recently took an entrepreneurial class in the Spring of 2019 based on a flyer I saw for a competition to win up to $10K in business funding. I figured even though I was already enrolled in 12 hours I could probably squeeze another one in for the chance to win some money. During the Spring 2019 semester, I came up with the idea for a business geared toward up and coming artists and established artists looking to reach a larger audience of fine art collectors. Being a collector myself, I found it hard to find art I enjoyed without having to wait for the expo season or travel long distances.
When doing market research for the business I realized that the artists lucky enough to be curated were paying very high commissions. Some as high as 55%. We also talked to over a hundred artists to ensure we built a platform that met their varying needs. After all our research we decided to start building our company based on a few core values; offer our platform to all fine artist without having to be curated, have reasonable and straight-forward pricing, and provide seamless logistics with automated shipping, After the initial business model was developed we entered into an entrepreneurial contest through the university and took one of the top prizes in May 2019. With the funds, we developed the beta version of our website which we launched in June 2019.
Since then we have been marketing online and in-person to gather artists to join our platform. We currently have 50 artists over 23 states. Once we have hit a collection of 200 unique pieces listed for sale we will be launching our marking campaign to potential collectors. We also recently started on a new version of our website that is easier to navigate, more responsive, and sleek.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We have had a few bumps along the way. I would say that the biggest struggle is conveying the benefits of our platform to potential artists. Since we are a startup, we aren’t well known in the art community. We have been working hard to get out to art expos to meet artists face to face as well as reaching out to artists across the country through social media. We are also working on a series of short videos that concisely explain our business model and what we offer.
Additionally, creating a business that relies so heavily on making personal connections has been difficult with my schedule. I work around 50 hours per week and have been enrolled in 12-16 hours per semester to finish up my bachelor’s in international business. I have to set aside time to make personal contacts with artists because it is important to me to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and secure in doing business with us.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Gallery2You – what should we know?
We are an online fine art website connecting Artists and Collectors. Our platform allows artists to create a custom gallery and post their work for sale. We do not curate our artists we simply only limit our site to paintings, sculpture, and photography. The key to our offering is affordability and a sense of community.
What separates us from most galleries is our price. We only charge a fee at point of sale and we will never charge over 20%. The industry averages over 40% so we are pleased to be very affordable.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Early on when I first came up with the general idea I confided in an artist friend of mine by the name of Chad Bene. He offered insight into the industry and lots of personal experiences that helped establish that there was a need for our platform. After I had a more rounded out idea of the business I knew I could not accomplish this alone. I added my spouse and sister to the business and they are key pillars of the company. From the beginning, they handled market research and marketing so I could focus on programming and logistics. We also owe our artists a great deal of gratitude. The images uploaded for this article with the exception of me are some of our very talented artists that believe in our platform and have given us a chance. We would be nothing without them.
- Website: www.gallery2you.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @gallery_2_you
- Facebook: @gallery2youonline
Krantishil Kirve, Tiffany Carpenter, Dave Goodwin, Rachel Berkowitz, Blaine Calbreath, Ali Marshall, Scout Hinzman, Chad Bene