It is hard to believe that it is two years since Artful Living Gallery & Studio began. What was a dream of mine – born out of 40 years as an artist – became reality when I decided to blend my studio with a showroom to showcase my art along with artful products created by some manufacturers in home decor and clothing I licensed my artwork to.
Since I opened my doors at the gallery on Broadway, and then moving it to Plaza Colonial I have learned a lot about the world of retail and about my customers, supporters and friends. Most of all I have learned a lot about myself.
It was my desire to create a unique gallery experience where people who had a love of colour could go to view my art and enjoy browsing and shopping for artful accessories and clothing.From the beginning I made a decision to not represent other artists and instead take the gallery in a completely different direction. I advertised, received lots of wonderful press coverage, and found a connection to those who could appreciate my vision and work.
I knew building a business is a slow process. I’ve done it before. Sometimes with some luck you can develop a clientele quickly. Most often it takes years along with money and hard work. And of course the right location! I have devoted a lot of time and money to this project and have worked tirelessly to turn plans into reality. I had a strong marketing plan and worked to build a solid social media following.
Coming up for a breath of air I can see that it will be many more years and many more dollars of investment before this business in its present form can stand on its own. I also had some issues with location which on the surface and at the time all seemed right but in fact were not the best choices or presented the best circumstances.
I have considered my options going forward and come to the realization that even though I have tried my best to make this business work, it just is not growing as anticipated. I consider it successful in that I have been able to connect with far more people than I ever did in my secluded work-only studio. I also know those people who have supported me and the business have truly understood my concept and appreciate the quality of my products and the sincerity of my art. And those relationships I hope will continue.
Bottom line: I have decided to close the doors to my brick and mortar business unless something changes to convince me otherwise. I will continue to create art from a studio space here in Tucson and am looking to renew/continue my relationships with galleries here and beyond. And I may even maintain some inventory of some of my best selling products at the studio…we will see. I will of course continue to promote and sell my art through my website and work with those companies that feature my artwork on their products. I also intend to forge new relationships when they build on my brand and artful philosophy. And you will see my products here and elsewhere in small independent retailers I can develop partnerships with. One of them you already know well – Old Town Artisans.
So for now I want to thank you and all my supporters, friends and community for being a part of Artful Living Gallery. It’s been a total joy to connect with so many new people over the last two years. I will certainly miss the gallery here in Plaza Colonial as I miss my gallery on Broadway. It’s been fun.
Most of all I am not gone…..I will let you know when I have a closing date. For now plans are to continue here through the end of June. The gallery will be closed for the last 3 weeks of May and my huge sale of art and merchandise NOW ON WITH UP TO 70% off will continue through June or while inventory lasts. IF THERE IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE YOUR EYE ON PLEASE COME IN AND GET IT NOW. I AM EAGER TO REDUCE INVENTORY AND THE SALE IS ONLY ON MERCHANDISE AND ART IN MY GALLERY. Online merchandise is at regular prices.
Thanks for your support and for the great memories. I hope you can make it to the gallery before the end of June. After that I will be in touch about the next chapter for me and Artful Living.
Again thanks for your support and let’s keep in touch.