I wanted to take some time to focus on my life outside of the studio because I was having a tremendously awful time at work and traveling 3hrs a day for the pleasure. I was really struggling both personally and professionally and what was happening at work was bleeding all over the rest of my life and I realised that it was no way to live.
Earlier this year I did a lot of soul searching to figure out what it is I really want to do with my life, how do I want to spend each day? What will satisfy me and give me a sense of purpose and pride in my working life?
And I found it, a little 'happy place' thought that has been floating around in my mind for so many years, an idea that until now I didn't think I would ever be capable of realising.
But in February it hit me. I'm an artist and a picture framer, I have a BA Fine Art, a Cert IV in Small Business Management, I've worked at arguably the best art supply store in Melbourne and received incredible training and education on pigments, raw materials and artist supplies and finally, I successfully managed a business for over 3 years- where I got my start by offering to do unpaid work experience after I graduated uni. I have all of the necessary experience and passion to start up and run my own art supply store!
And that's what I want to do. That's what I'm going to do.
I have spent most of this year refining all of my ideas and developing my business plan. I have met with suppliers and manufacturers, banks and real estate agents and spent hours talking though my plans with my (self-appointed) mentor, a woman who I admire so much (if you're reading this, thank you!), who build an incredible business from the ground up almost 20 years ago, an art supply store that is the Mecca of art supply stores. And with all of these meetings, conversations and research I can see how possible and amazing this could be...
The store will be called The Alchemist Artists' Supply Store. It will open in Sunbury because there are so many amazing artists living and working in the Hume area, in The Macedon Ranges and Hepburn Shire regions but there are no specialist art supply stores between Melbourne and Castlemaine, so these artists have to either travel long ways or just use whatever supplies they can get their hands on. I think they deserve better, I knew I wanted better when I moved here.
The store will stock artist quality paints and mediums such as Langridge, Golden, Schmincke, quality drawing supplies including Sennelier, Conte, Nitram and Palomino, Rag papers, custom stretching and framing, painting panels, a vast selection of brushes and sundries, pigments, binders and raw materials as well as beautiful journals, stationary and little gifts for the artist in your life.
I want to create a store that artists, makers and hobbyists can go to get the information, advice and materials they need to pursue their creative practice and down the line I want to open the store up for floor talks, demonstrations and workshops. The store will also run an annual art prize to showcase and promote all of the local talent.
Everything from branding and mission statement to stock-in and trading is planned, lined up and ready to go, the only thing holding this back is the 20% deposit I need to get the business loan to make this happen so I have started a Go Fund Me campaign to help me raise some of the money I need to make this dream a reality.
So if you would like to help me to get this store open I would greatly appreciate any support you can offer, share this campaign with anyone the store will benefit, chip in anything you can, $5, what-ever you can spare because it all adds up and if you can spare more there are donation incentives that will reward you with an ongoing discount in the store!
You can see the Go Fund Me Here
Thank for taking the time to read this very long post. And a massive thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign so far, everyone who has talked through the business plan with me, offered advice, insight and encouragement. It all means so much to me.
I'll keep the blog updated with the progress of the store...