Artist Trades Brick-and-Mortar Gallery for eBay Store
12 years ago, Eloise Holbrook, an entrepreneurial artist, decided her brick-and-mortar art gallery just wasn’t cutting it. The large space was expensive and not bringing in nearly enough compared to the effort she was putting forth. She needed a way to generate income that not only matched her efforts, but also afforded her a lifestyle that would allow her to spend more time caring for her autistic daughter.
“I knew very little about computers at the time, which made the idea of starting an online business pretty intimidating,” admits Eloise. “So I started learning computers and all about eBay and began researching other artists. When I found an artist that made more than $1 million a year on eBay, I knew then that there were real opportunities available online.”
Eloise conquered her computer issues and went on to have a successful, virtual art gallery known as Eloise World Studio (eBay ID abstractelle). Today, her eBay store gets thousands of visitors a day and generates enough income to support her daughter and all her efforts in the autism community.
Fun Fact. During our interview, Eloise recalled an interesting story about how her eBay store provided a much larger audience for her work. “Some years back, during the corporate bail-outs, I did a large painting that said “Bail Me Out” and signed it “Joe American.” It got a lot of attention and was actually purchased by a company on Wall Street for $1,500.”
Biggest Logistical Challenge. Although Eloise mastered the computer, she faced an even bigger challenge with finding space appropriate and cost effective packaging. “Packaging for large pieces of artwork requires lots of space. And when you’re working from home, that space is precious,” said Eloise. “Not to mention expensive. So we developed our own boxes. We purchased 48” x 36” sheets of cardboard and scored them to fold easily and quickly. Problem solved.”
Advice for Women in eCommerce. Eloise encourages any woman that wants to be independent and have a career of her own to look into selling online. Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. Realize that everything has a learning curve. Realize that you can do it!
Eloise is the owner of Eloise World Studio, an eBay business that sells her unusual, abstract, original paintings and limited edition hand textured artwork. She is a finalist in The eBay SHINE Awards Woman-Owned Business category. The SHINE awards is a seller recognition program designed to recognize the entrepreneurs who have used eBay to help build successful businesses. The awards includes 5 categories, Woman-Owned Businesses, Growing Business, Global Business, Charitable Businesses andFamily Business. A winner from each category and an overall grand prize winner will be selected and announced at the conclusion of the 2016 eBay OPEN conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 26th-29th.