Michelle Gibbs turned her passion into profit over a decade ago when she launched her online art gallery business, Art2Arts in 2006. After gaining a degree in Interior Design, the urge to embrace her natural talent for painting grew too strong and soon she searched for a platform to sell her work, identifying the need for an online art gallery like the one she now runs. From an initial spark, start-up Art2Arts has grown into a trusted art retailing platform, now hosting hundreds of emerging artists from across the UK. Here, the creative CEO shares her story.
Michelle Gibbs, Director at Art2Arts revealed, “I’ve always been a ‘maker’, ever since I was young, and always assumed I would work in the world of art. After graduating and travelling the world, I worked in a call centre. It was then that I started to take up painting seriously again, satisfying my craving for creative work. The idea for Art2Arts came from here, soon realising that I wasn’t the only artist in need of somewhere to sell my work and spread it to a wider audience.”
Following her instinct, she took this bright idea and turned it into a business, setting up a website that enabled herself and other artists to take control of the way their work is displayed, marketed and retailed to customers.
“There were so many emerging artists out there who I admired – I was ringing them up and emailing them all to tell them about my idea! They were glad of the opportunity, and naturally it grew from there. Now, we have many artists applying to join our hand-picked community every day,” Michelle continued.
Art2Arts is a fine example of a wider trend growing in the world of business, and the wider start-up community. Identifying a small, niche gap in the market where larger conglomerates cannot, talented individuals such as Michelle use their passion and skills to create a service that is in demand, leading to its inevitable success. With this underlying requirement for such a business, sales are organic rather than dictated by corporate systems.
Michelle, now recently a mother, explains how her business gives artists the chance to also take their career into their own hands, “Thanks to my platform, you no longer need to rely on physical galleries to make a living from your art. Here, the only limitation is the amount you can make to keep up with the demand of your clients! We give each selected artist their own online space to curate and fill with paintings they believe will work commercially – something that many conventional galleries don’t offer. You can make it on your own, just like I did, and I’m pleased that I am able to facilitate this with my business.”
Over 10 years after its initial launch, Art2Arts caters to a varied and faithful customer base, offering a loyalty rewards points scheme to build the relationship further.