When we opened ManMade Art one year ago this week, we were pretty excited to say the least. Four months of blood, sweat and inspiration went into building our initial catalogue, painstakingly crafting our store design, and writing the detailed descriptions to tell the story behind each print so our customers could appreciate why each piece meant so much to us.
Take advantage of our storewide anniversary sale. Enter the discount code ANNIVERSARY at checkout and save 20%!
On March 10, 2015, the launch moment finally arrived and like many entrepreneurs that open an online store, we flicked the switch, sat back and waited for the orders to come flooding in.
And we waited. It wasn't long before the simple reality hit. This internet thing is really big and if anyone was going to discover our art and why they should have it, we were going to have to take the message to them. And so we began pushing the ManMade Art brand out over social media, connecting with prominent sports bloggers like SensChirp, The NHL Rumour Report, to name a few, to get some social media love and name recognition for our work. We began searching for ways to bring the brand to the streets too. We brought our prints to local artisan and maker shows and were discovered by an even wider crowd. People marvelled over the quality of our prints and they could appreciate the details that make our work both clever and meaningful.
By fall we were picked up by a new startup store called Maker House Co. in Ottawa's trendy Hintonburg neighbourhood and soon became one of their best selling products. Our art was gaining recognition not just locally but traffic to the website from all over the world was climbing steadily. It was exciting to see art orders come in from all over North America from places like Detroit, New York City, Toronto and Vancouver, and smaller centres like Grand Falls New Brunswick, Steinbach Manitoba, Sturgis Saskatchewan, and Butte Montana. It will never get old discovering where the next order comes from or what pieces our fans have selected for their home or office!
And so evolved year one. Our catalogue grew along the way as new ideas and inspirations continued to find their way into our unique, eclectic collections. And we had help too as our loyal fan base reached out to us with ideas that more often than not became popular new additions to the catalogue. Knowing there are so many people out there that are just as passionate about eclectic art as we are has been one of the most gratifying aspects of this adventure.
Year two is on the same rapid growth path. As we enter our second year we have many new shows booked and several exciting collaborations in the pipeline for art pieces to be announced in the coming weeks and months. We're on track to expand into more stores soon too. In short, we can't wait to look back next year at this time to see where the dream has taken us by then. If it's anything like year one, it'll be a great ride we'll have a lot of kind customers to thank all over again!