It was a roundabout path that brought entrepreneur Julie Taylor to her current role as founder of Guns & Rain, an online gallery and sales portal specialising in African art and showcasing emerging artists from the region.
In many ways this project was the perfect fit for an Oxbridge-educated anthropologist who made her mark as the communications lead for sub-Saharan Africa at Google. Guns & Rain is Taylor’s way of combining her disparate spheres of knowledge and experience with her passion for art. She says she also saw in it an opportunity to support African artists.
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“In 2008 I visited Zimbabwe, where I grew up and where my family lives. It was a dark year in Zimbabwe’s history. I learnt that some artists were literally not eating for days at a time,” she says. “With a gallerist’s permission, I posted some images of artworks on a blog site — and three works sold overnight to international buyers. I realised then that the Internet had the potential to change artists’ lives.”
In 2014, Taylor left Google to pursue Guns & Rain full time.
Her early successes, however, didn’t mean she was in for an
easy ride. There are dozens of competing online art portals, and selling a high-end, high-value product especially one as personal as art was always going to be an uphill battle.
But there are at least some constants in the online sales arena: buyers want honest, comprehensive descriptions and information about what they are buying, and great customer service. “This is really important, and it’s surprising how few businesses get it right.”
Source: Business Live