Recently, we were informed of coming changes to the short-term arrangement and long-term use of our commercial gallery space. The bottom line is that the gallery tenancy will end October 31, 2022.
This situation is nothing new for small businesses in rental spaces. It is the nature of the insecurity of our situation. I was reading just last week about eight artists who lost their studio space in Longueuil, Quebec when the city sold the property to a developer. This is something that has happened to small and large galleries all over North America and elsewhere as property values and rents increased and sometimes usage changed. But not being the only ones who have faced similar circumstances seldom makes it easier. We have always been aware of the risks for our carefully renovated gallery rooms that are located in an heritage house right in the centre of the tiny commercial hub of our small island. Still, one hopes against hope - until it happens. When the unthinkable does happen, then it is important to take a deep breath and come up with a workable, if not ideal, solution. And I found an excellent and creative option! We can have a small portable container gallery pod at our home property. It will work extremely well since most viewing and purchase requests are made from online. And the gallery pod is eco-friendly, long lasting and adorable!
Next, I needed to come up with a compelling offer for my art collectors and serious fans… and then ask. Yes ask! Like, for help. Gulp! That kind of ask.
The timelines were tight to get in on the next building cycle to be able to receive the gallery pod by May of 2022. I quickly drafted a letter for my special “Terrill Welch Originals” offer that included a high level background and a little about my creative solution. Then, I sat my bum in a chair and sent an individual, personalized email to 50 of my existing art collectors and serious fans. I found it extremely difficult to send each letters. Ten letters each day was all I could manage. But I got it done!
The results have exceeded all of my expectations! Each day, with each group of letters, more paintings sold. In just five days, 19 works had found new homes plus 4 more were commissioned. And the purchase requests keep coming in. I was blown completely sideways as if a Pineapple Express weather event had swung the doors to my idea wide open! In just five days, I had reached my bottom threshold to go ahead and work out the details and confirm my order for the new gallery pod. Now how cool is that!?
Never be afraid to ask when you are committed to a vision. The answer back from the universe might just be one big YES!