Posts Tagged ‘art’

New Zealand company takes art gallery experience online

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Photo credit; Les Haines on Flickr

Photo credit; Les Haines on Flickr

Auckland-based takes the Asia-Pacific art world into the 21st century.

The aim of the site, co-founded by Chris Taylor and Simon Fisher, is to help collectors do due diligence on possible purchases, enabling them to see exhibitions close up and providing them with details of each work’s provenance, history and creator.

“It’s like a virtual version of an art fair with the galleries all in one place. Except we’re on all the time – that’s where our model came from,” says Taylor.

Taylor says Ocula is selective, choosing galleries in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America whose works it displays.

The new business has a number of platforms. It has a consultancy service for collectors and an auction website, Ocula Black, which has sold works worth $3 million since 2011.

For the portal, galleries choose a monthly, quarterly or annual subscription which includes a range of marketing and advertising services.

With nearly 150 galleries on its books and $1.35 million invested of their own money, Fisher and Taylor are looking for just over $1 million of funding, an 18 per cent shareholding, to market Ocula to more international galleries.

“The potential funder or funders could be from the online, e-commerce, technology, publishing, marketing or media sectors or they might be a significant art collector or private art institution,” says Fisher.

He envisages hiring about a dozen more staff, adding to two in Hong Kong and three in New Zealand.

The company is forecasting revenue in 2015 of $2.365 million rising to $6.2 million in 2018.

Sales this year are running at $400,000.

To read more on this story, click here.

Sisters show you’re never too old to start an online business

Monday, October 14th, 2013
Photo credit; Steve on Flickr

Photo credit; Steve on Flickr

If you have been thinking about starting an online business, but you also think you might be a little on the mature side for that, these two Kiwi sisters will be an inspiration to you.

Back in 2001, before online businesses really took off, sisters Rhondda Sweetman and Justine Kingi developed pioneering New Zealand online retailer, when they were in their 50s. They sold the business ten years later, in 2011.

The sisters shared what they describe as an undeveloped interest in NZ art and craft at the time and believed online retailing, although in its infancy back in 2001, would be an interesting way of sharing this work with the world.

They began it at a time when they had eased up on their full time jobs. Rhondda had been head of science at McCauley High School and was then doing part time teacher training at AUT University. Justine lectured in social policy and social work on the Bachelor of Social Practice degree at Unitec Institute of Technology when the two started their business.

The sisters say they got to the stage where they were representing over 100 New Zealand artists and other suppliers. Some of whom did very well out of the business. As the business grew the sisters were consistently busy all year round and rushed off their feet ahead of Christmas and other public holidays.The business grew so much, they had to automate their accounting practices and hired other employees.

To read more about this story, click here.