So today I walked into the office and it was a full house! And it was just as well because today was another one of those big meeting days. It was George, Jilke, Sophie, Longlong, Rashmi and Mario’s turn to perch around the a3 flipchart armed with ideas about the monetary aspect of the project but also to properly introduce Rashmi and Mario to the different stages of the artFix project, as the newest members of the team.
Across the 3-hours they discussed ideas about costs and revenues, as well as additional plans for funding towards the pop-up store, which is now due to open in June.
Otherwise, sunny Soho Square saw myself, Jilke and Sophie through our break, again, and reminded us that summer is on its way when we might even be able to take the office outside.
So today in the office we have been carrying on working hard, developing our press lists and contacting various organisations. Discussion also continued from yesterday with regards to new ideas that we could implement in the pop-up store, opening soon. The once orange walls are slowly being take over by sheets of white a3 and the desks are getting more colourful as mind maps are taped up with blue, red and green gel branches. So we’re moving along nicely.
But just as the office is getting more full it is balanced by things in short supply. As well as the supply of coffee, printer paper also ran out just at the time when we were in the middle of printing a few pages – another thing to add to the ‘to buy’ list. But that’s what’s great about working on Oxford Street – all our needs are met on the doorstep of the office which is great because this allows us to get on with our work to meet yours.
So today the office has been busy as the team have been busy working on their responsibilities to the April store. This currently involves liaising with a variety of organisations and writing a lot of e-mails. So fingertips have been pattering at the keyboards like light rain pretty much all day.
This morning we welcomed the bright sunshine with a team meeting – our first one since the event on Friday. So this was a great opportunity to throw around a few ideas with things that we could add to the mix and improve to make the overall experience better. The Starbucks break in between was a brilliant interval and really boosted our energy to match that of the lovely weather. Look forward to some great caffeine-enriched additions to our next store!
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone who may be celebrating out there ❤
In the office we were also celebrating our love – for the arts as we heard news from Brussels that WE DID IT! Third prize at the European Final of TiE’s International Business Plan Competition 2013-14! George and Zafeirenia went to make the pitch on behalf of the team and, as you can already see from the picture below, the judging panel were fierce.
However, travelling all that way clearly paid off – there will be celebrations back in the office on Monday!
In the office today, the rest of the team continued discussion of the ‘artFix Event’ taking place at the end of February and contacting artists and organisations on our shiny new telephone. So the office was nice and alive with ringing phones and voices – look forward to speaking to updating you all on Monday and enjoy the weekend!
P.S: Make sure you get your applications for ‘Calling All Artists’ in this weekend if you have not done so already! I would hate for all you talented people to miss out!
So today has been a great day for progress which means that the team can go home happy – just in time for the weekend.
Longlong has been working on applications to True Start and the Big Venture Challenge, both of which help start-up companies in the retail business sector, like artFix to develop faster. If we succeed to the final stage then they will not only provide us with funding but also space and mentoring which will allow us to develop a complex and accurate financial strategy for our venture, which would be fantastic! Wish us luck!
On the other side of the office Jilke and Sophie are continuing their work to get more artists on board. In addition to receiving a lot of positive feedback from artists they also have a lot of meetings scheduled in the next week so the office is looking to get very busy! I had a conversation with them this morning about how they were doing and they were really excited by the energy in some of your replies. Sophie said that she really liked it when artists said that the concept of artFix is something which is really needed in society.
Sam also arrived at the office today and met with George to discuss the need for projectors at the ‘artFix Experience.’ He is going to help us to locate projectors and install the pop-up and is also thinking of inviting some friends who are video-artists, to the event on the 27th. They will not only be able to film the event in its entirety but also individual artists which is great for you who are participating. So things are looking very good for the end of February.
Finally for today, Ingrid came over to discuss the technical design of the event space with George, Jilke and Sophie. From exhibition areas to drinks at the bar, they bounced around lots of ideas – a very good meeting and a nice way to close the day.
So, artFix gossip of the day – Longlong and Zafeirenia discovered that they go to the same gym as David Beckham (!) which I must say is an added incentive for me to re-start that New Year’s resolution.
Having spent most of Saturday at the UCL Student Enterprise Hub event, however, Longlong needed some time to relax, with or without the presence of David Beckham. The busy one-day event hosted several pitches and discussions held by eminent business individuals in the morning and two interactive workshops in the afternoon. Particularly, the Finance workshop proved to present some useful information on important tools which we will definitely be looking to implement in our own business plan.
This morning, the team were continuing our good work on engaging the interests of artists and investors by meeting up with a representative from London Fusion. George, Sophie and Jilke met with Vanesa Sánchez to discuss further funding opportunities to boost the development of the artFix venture. As part of this, Vanesa has promoted the artFix blog to the London Fusion website so now I am probably also speaking to some of you who have arrived here along this alternative route! If so then hi – welcome to artFix.
So discussion is continuing and we are constantly reaching out to widen our circle and develop our network via business events, meetings with individuals and even by bumping into the odd celebrity, which is great.
Good evening fellow art-lovers! Today is Sunday which, for me, means a day to recover from the week, relax and read. So in between munching through a late dinner and watching re-runs of Eastenders, I was willingly captured by ‘Fairly Popular’ an interesting article featured in the Economist online. It is about the competition between art galleries and art fairs and is a really great read, not least because it provides supporting context to the work the team is doing at artFix.
The article is interesting for the way that it attributes the declining interest in museums/ galleries to the increase in demand for modern artists but also the old-fashioned nature of art establishments; unlike art fairs, museums/ galleries generally demand a lot of time to explore.
It’s funny because a lot of the time we talk about the way that technology is becoming more and more advanced so that we can get/ do things easier and faster. However, as it develops so does our desire for everything in our lives to advance in a similar way – including our experience of art. People don’t like to spend half a day ‘traipsing’ around a single gallery. Consequently, dealers are also becoming more efficient about changing the way they operate to meet this need. NEED is the key word in all of this; it is all about having and being able to satisfy ‘need’ which allows for organisations to do well.
Going to seasonal art fairs is one increasingly popular way this need is met. With several dealers in one place they are suitable to host a variety of art at the convenience of the public. artFix also supports this idea, supporting and encouraging the boom of modern art as well as the classical style with the aim of not only making art more accessible but also affordable. Unlike art fairs, artFix stores will also have the added advantage of hosting art all year round. In the UK the creative industry is the second most-powerful sector, worth $32 billion a year. Despite this, however, 85% of the population still do not attend art events more than once a year because it is expensive and time-consuming.
If anything, reading this article has made me more excited about the future of artFix because it confirms that there is a need for everything that our store represents – accessibility, affordability and variety, needs which are only just beginning to be met.