As you walk around our local area do you sometimes wonder what the people who live behind the front doors do for a living? Do they commute into town? Travel to work locally or maybe work from home, as an ever larger number of people are doing these days?
One such person is Andrea Chung who has given up her career as a structural engineer, to found a number of award winning new businesses. Born in Scotland, Andrea has lived and worked in Europe, America and the Caribbean. In addition to working 9-5 as a structural engineer, over the past decade she has started up and successfuly run a bookstore and café, a management consultancy business and a dating service. Business is in her blood, her grandmother and parents who have all owned businesses in retail, furniture manufacturing, food services, car rental and carpets – a broad spectrum of successful small businesses which were an inspiration for her own ventures.
Now settled in Winchmore Hill with her family, Andrea is focusing her business acumen around her love of art. In 2015 she founded Go Global Art, an online platform targeting a new generation of art collectors and delivering affordable contemporary art from countries around the world.
Andrea explains her concept:
"The initial idea for the venture arose from my own love of travel. and my obsessive purchasing of art from each country I visit. There is just never enough time (or space in my suitcase) and I realised that you pay a much lower price when you buy art directly from the artist. so I thought of creating a business that would meet the needs of people who are interested in buying affordable art from different cultures.
It is a portal enabling peopleto experience the culture of different countries around the world and connect directly to the people who drive culture – the artists. Go Global Art is borne out of a desire to see artists and creatives succeed. I wanted to shape a model which would give artists easy access to broader audiences, and create a secure platform for artists to build their own business networks.Go Global Art meets a real need: connecting local artists and galleries with the overseas consumers that they need to grow their business. Increasing their revenue while centrally handling the logistics of moving products around the world, international marketing, customer service and managing the online platform.
The number of persons purchasing artwork online is growing rapidly, with approximately 6% of all global art sales being made online. There are several companies that are selling art online, but there remained a gap in the market for buyers to have easy access to international art from different cultures priced from £100 upwards. In this model, the buyer has all the prices and information about the artist to make their own purchasing decision and can make the purchase instantly.
When you buy music, you don't need to take a class to learn about the musician or ask an intermediary whether it is good or not – you simply know instantly whether you like the sound and if you like it, you buy it. Similarly with food, no-one can convince your taste-buds of liking something you don't. Visual art is actually much the same, but we have been made to feel insecure about our own intuitive preferences in art. However, there is a new generation of collector that wants access art from cultures that they feel connected to, at affordable prices, topped off with an Amazon-style purchase experience. This is what we hope to deliver.
Go Global Art is still in the first phase of the business, an online platform and sales forum for the best emerging artists around the globe. While a broad range of culturally diverse artists is the fundamental content, Go Global Art is dedicated to presenting contemporary art which is appealing, affordable but, most importantly, investment-worthy.It is vital that we provide great value for customers, as well as open up new markets for creative businesses around the world. Each and every place has its own unique culture expressed through its art – visual arts, culinary arts, music, dance and literature. Ultimately, Go Global will curate the best of art, crafts and cultural products, so that customers will be able to select a country, buy a piece of art or handmade jewellery, download a recipe for a traditional meal, listen to music, and even plan a dream vacation with a stay at a Go Global Villa".
After eight months, Go Global Art is showing work from 21 artists from 18 countries including, China, Lebanon, Chile, Uruguay, Jamaica, Trinidad, Kenya, Australia, Serbia, Italy, Tunisia, Israel and the UK – it is very international. They are appealing to people who love travel and culture, and who want to buy something different - art from countries that they have visited or have a connection with.
Here is a selection of the diverse artwork that Andrea is exhibiting. (March 2016)
Summer Wind - by Christian Furr | United Kingdom | £1,750
Smudged Rain - by Nara Walker | Australia | £240
Flowery Girl II - by Vicky Ng | Hong Kong | £1,700
Love is in the Air - by Daniel Acosta | Argentina | £800
Passions Shelter - by Shalini Seereeram | Trinidad | £2,475
"Go Global Art helps people to really understand the artist's story. When you know where someone is coming from, it gives so much more meaning to the artwork." Chung cites the examples of Momcilo 'Moma' Bjekovic from Serbia and Maya Lebbad from Algeria. "Both artists lived through turbulent civil wars, which has shaped their artwork, but in very different ways. Maya's artwork became delicate, colourful works of fable and fantasy – as a form of escapism from the war which raged around her, while Moma's art expresses "depressing optimism" – he confronts the negative head on, starting every painting with full black, and then layering vibrant colours on the canvas to overcome it"
Andrea is a recent graduate of the Enterprise Enfield RSA Inspiring Women programme. Andrea took part in a recent Enterprise Enfield International Women's Day event.
Her keys to setting up a successful business?
* Passion – Love what you do
*Persistence – Keep pushing despite the challenges
* People – Surround yourself with the right core team
*Integrity – Do what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it
"I believe that art is for everyone, and my only advice is to buy art that you love"
079 3872 7737
Read how award winning entrepreneur Andrea Chung is putting Winchmore Hill at the centre of the art market