Updated: Apr 14
Are you ready to join me on my exciting adventure? Allow me to recount the initial months of my journey, where I left behind a 20-year career in humanitarian assistance to start an art gallery from scratch. And let me tell you, it's been quite a ride!
Let’s be honest, I may have underestimated the challenge of conquering the art world with my non-art background. But, unsurprisingly, reality hit me pretty hard! It directed me down an unexpected path filled with marketing, sales, web design, and logistics. And frankly, these tasks didn't exactly sound like music to my ears! However, the thrill of attracting new artists willing to team up with My Petite Gallery and exhibit their meaningful creations kept me motivated and excited.
Social media and Instagram came to my rescue early in the game (which is kind of ironical as I personally never post on them). It opened up a whole new world of artists, galleries… and pictures of adorable cats (thank you algorithms!). But let's get back to art :)
Instagram actually helped me connect with people, understand their work, and expand my gallery's audience.
While the journey has not been perfect, it is the little victories that keep me going. Launching My Petite Gallery's website last month was one of those moments. It gave me a platform to showcase my collection and share my love of art with the world. I was so excited to discover my website reached 45+ countries!
Handling logistics is an entirely different game. Crating, storage, framing, custom clearance, and shipping are a few among many new challenges I've tackled, and I admit, some of them were alien concepts to me. But as the saying goes, sometimes we need to think outside the box to get the job done. I have even found myself ironing canvases. Who would have thought that an ironing board could be part of an art gallery's inventory?
Looking back, I can't help but smile at the day (actually earlier this week!) I phoned high-end vendors to see if they would be a good fit for My Petite Gallery, only to have them reply they were supervising the transfer of a Rembrandt bought in an auction the week before! And that's not all; my custom broker once asked me if I needed an armored vehicle and a follow-up car to ensure the security of the artwork until it reached its final destination. It was like throwing me back to my humanitarian convoy years, but in the streets of bustling New York City – and without the daunting security clearances! These were bizarre and hilarious moments, but also thrilling ones since I am, somehow, part of this world now.
Through it all, I found joy in discovering new artists, talking to them, connecting with them, and sharing their art and their journey with the world. It's an incredible feeling when an artist is willing to partner with you and actually trusts you with his/her work.
Partnering with humanitarian organizations - such as Watsi - is also a big reward. Whether it’s through donations from a portion of our sales or partnerships with organizations supporting refugee artists or artists-at-risk, being involved in this effort resonates with me on a deep level. The ability to support artists while also giving back to communities and projects that are dear to my heart makes the journey with My Petite Gallery all the more fulfilling. Hint: the more you buy, the more we donate (just saying! :))
At My Petite Gallery, I am slowly but surely building my roster of artists, figuring out marketing and sales (not that easy, but I'm getting there thanks to Gallery Fuel ), and starting to consider hiring staff. The next crucial step is building my network of art collectors, and who knows, maybe, they are reading this blog right now!
I love the artists I represent and their artwork, and I'm sure you will too. So, follow me on this journey and share My Petite Gallery website with your friends and family who share the love for art because together; we can make this world a better, brighter and more creative one.