This is not a normal 'about us' page, I wanted to present something more personal and give you an insite into Art2Arts and how it started. If you wish to read our old 'more corporate' version you can do so here: About Us.
Art2Arts the story so far……
I will start by introducing myself. My name is Michelle Gibbs and I am the founder and director of Art2Arts, a company that I am so very passionate about and here’s why:
My desire to run my own business
I have enjoyed creating since I was a child, always drawing and playing with different arts and crafts materials. From a young age I have wanted to own my own business, I remember making hair scrunches on my sewing machine and taking them to school to sell, along with Christmas stockings I made – anything that enabled me to create and make something!
My dad owned his own business and I would practice my customer skills by setting up a desk in my bedroom like a mini office and waiting for his phone to ring so I could professionally answer it and make bookings for him – He loved it, free labour I think they call it!
A bit about me
I studied Art and Design and college, art has always been my first love. I then went on to university to study Interior Design. During these years I travelled a lot and took gap years to see the world. Still with a passion to run my own business and an even bigger passion for my art, but unsure what business I wanted I started university. This is when it all began really.
I first started painting in my early 20’s having decided to decorate my bedroom and create a feature piece for my wall. From the moment I picked up the brush it was love at first sight, so to speak and it wasn’t long before friends and family started commissioning me for artwork. My dad lent me £200 and I brought a bulk of art materials and have never looked back.
I quickly jumped from selling to friends and family, to creating my own mini exhibitions and ‘painting parties’ around people’s homes to setting up Art2Arts, which started with just my own work and rapidly grew to what it is today. I began admiring other artist’s work and wanted to share my site with them so began contacting artists who inspired me.
I completed my degree even though I knew this was not my path, I never give up on something and continued to paint throughout university whilst running Art2Arts.
What dives me with Art2Arts
A Gallery Artists are Proud be part of
Being an artist is a wonderful thing and many of the artists on the site are full time artists. It’s a pleasure to make a living out of your passion, however it can also be a bit lonely working all day by yourself (I knew only to well) so having somewhere artists feel part of is really important for me. It’s a place they can upload their own artwork, put up their own descriptions and talk to customers if they need help or want to commission something.
They can come to our Facebook pages and connect with others about what they are creating. All the artists take great pride showing their work and being an artist myself having trusted gallery representation is so important.
Excellent Customer Service
I have worked all my life, even during education and most of my jobs were dealing with customers. I worked in a hair dresser, restaurant and for many years during college and then as a customer service adviser at Southern Electric and I believe it was here that I learnt the most about customer satisfaction. This was by far their biggest goal for advisors to give an exceptional customer experience and to always deliver the very best. This is what I feel stands Art2Arts apart, I am not just someone who wants to sell and make money I want every customer to feel important and to have a really great experience when dealing with my company. Somewhere they want to tell their friends and family and to feel secure in knowing they will be looked after. In fact many of our customers are either repeat or recommendations and that’s really satisfying for me to know, it means we are getting it right!
As well as good service I also strongly believe in quality. More often then not I actually source artists to join the site. I don’t heavily promote for new artists to join as I feel we have a good selection of work and too much work can be overwhelming.
All the artists on the site are well-established artists with a good practicing record. I generally turn away 95% of applications and all artists provide me with a CV, an example of previous exhibitions and of examples of their work before a decision is made.
All artwork is checked before going live on the site to again ensure quality and to make sure the work is described fully.
To often sites are cluttered with too much! They are not easy to navigate and it becomes frustrating. One of the key elements of the site is user experience. I want ever visitor to be able to find what they are looking for or be able to ask questions and engage with us whenever it is required. The wish list means artwork can be stored later for comparison and our new ‘try before you buy’ allows you to send photos of the intended area for the artwork so we can show you what it will look like prior to ordering.
Security & Satisfaction
Security is probably the most important thing of all. We hold an SSL Certificate on the site, which not many sites do. This is basically an Internet padlock, meaning your card details are 100% secure and your details will not be shared with anyone!
Satisfaction is paramount and I never let a customer leave dissatisfied and I strongly believe that everyone should be 100% happy with their artwork and the service they received and unless this is the case a full refund is issued.
I am so confident about the artwork on offer that in 2011 I introduced a free 14-day return which no other online art gallery offer. I believe if your not completely satisfied you shouldn’t have to pay to return the work; so I will.
Choice – but not too much!
Physical galleries are great you get so see the art in the flesh before buying however they are limited on space and can therefore only fit in so many pieces of artwork before it becomes cluttered. Art2Arts has over 6000 original artworks all by UK based artists. This may seem like too much choice but I have made sure the search features on the site help you narrow down what you are looking for, there is plenty of choice but no clutter and although you don’t see the work in the flesh first hand I have created peace of mind with the free return service.
The great thing about Art2Arts is your dealing with artists! The artists on the website and me the owner: an artist. The point I am making is we have the knowledge to help you with your decisions and your questions, we realise not everyone has a knowledge of art and no question is to big or small for us to answer and I know some worry about asking what may appear to be an obvious answer but we are here to help you and will answer anything.
A Closing Note
I’m really pleased you found our online art gallery and hope you are enjoying browsing the collection as much as I have creating it. Art2Arts has become a place where artists are proud to showcase their work, having their artwork on the website means they can leave all the running up to me and my team whilst they can do what they do best – create wonderful works of art!
Buying through our gallery means you are helping the artist establish their presence on the website as well as securing yourself with the knowledge of a secure payment system and free returns and of course our gallery staff members are always on hand to help in anyway you need, so please get in touch.
Happy browsing - buying,