Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

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Higher Art Galleries week #8

Saturday, August 12, 2017 9:52 pm

I cannot believe summer is already coming to an end. The end of summer means that I need to go back to Wake Forest for my senior year, which also means that Higher Art Galleries will need to operate with the founders in different states for the first time.

After this summer, however, I am confident that we will be able to work via Skype and other forms of communication to keep our business up and running smoothly.

This summer was a summer of many changes for Higher Art Galleries. Two of the three founders graduated, and all three founders (Brooke, Zanny, and myself) had to juggle jobs and internships along with our jobs at Higher Art Galleries. While juggling everything was challenging, it showed us that we could have full time jobs, go to school, and still operate the business. It is our dream to one day not need to work additional jobs, but that is not a reality anywhere in our near future.

Right now, we are focused on giving our customer what they want in the most efficient way possible. We are streamlining and changing our website, artist contracts, and other forms of communication so that our company gives the customer what they want, which in turn gives us the income to help Higher Art Galleries grow and prosper.

Brooke, Zanny, and I were fortunate enough to carry out our entrepreneurship venture in New York City this summer. We were exposed to incredibly resourceful mentors and business people who gave us guidance and advice. We took what they gave us, coupled with customer discover, and created a more succinct vision of our company- one that delivers a product that is more personal and “niche.”

Our largest realization this summer was that our customer not only wants to buy art made by students from their university, but on top of that, they want the art to remind them of their university. From a social media marketing perspective this will help boost our reach and target market as well.

I have technically finished my Wake Forest Summer Fellowship, but I never really stop working on Higher Art Galleries. This summer has been full of changes in our vision (with a few sales here and there), but more than anything it was full or business discoveries that will help us in the future. If you are interested to see Higher Art Galleries’ changes to come please follow us on social media (handles below). It’s been a wonderful summer!



Higher Art Galleries week #7

Thursday, August 3, 2017 7:11 pm

As Brooke, Zanny, and I approach the end of summer, we are rapidly trying to organize our business so that our day to day tasks can be completed without meeting in person.

Most importantly, that means we need a completed website, artist starter pack, and contracts for business partners from our legal expert.

This week we made great progress on our website. It is structured very differently from our previous website. The new site is more simple, sleek, and designed to get the customer to make a purchase more quickly.

We also worked on creating content such as blogs, Instagram photos, and newsletters. In addition, we created a Pinterest (which is an important social platform to be on in the art world).

This week our artists have been working on inventory for our site. It is our goal to have our new website up with our new inventory within the next 2 weeks. Once we complete that, we will make a social media advertising push to gain traction and better understand our customer.

This week we also created a calendar with important Wake Forest University dates (ex: move in day, parents weekend, etc.) so that we can strategically plan our social media campaigns following our launch.

Stay tuned for next week, my last week!

Higher Art Galleries week #6

Monday, July 24, 2017 11:10 pm

Right now, Higher Art Galleries’ main goal is to organize and prepare ourselves to operate as a business while Brooke and Alexandra juggle careers in NYC and while I finish out senior year back at Wake Forest.

Our most pressing business that needs to get done before I move back to Winston this year is reincorporating in the state of New York and redrafting artist contracts. In the winter, we had filed for an LLC of “Higher Art Gallery” before realizing that all the social media handles and websites to that name were taken, so we quickly changed the name to “Higher Art Galleries.” However, because our LLC was “Higher Art Gallery,” writing and receiving checks became an issue. Long story short, we have decided the best way to fix this problem is reincorporating in New York. I plan to move to New York after graduation, and Brooke and Zanny already live there, so it definitely makes sense.

In addition, now that our business model has changed, and we commission our artists instead of simply showcasing their work, we need to create new/updated legal documents for our artists to sign. We are working with the Wake Forest Law Department on those documents, who have been extremely helpful.

Next week Brooke, Zanny, and I hope to complete all things on the legal front so that we can start uploading Wake Forest inspired art for purchase!

Higher Art Galleries week #5

Friday, July 14, 2017 12:30 pm

Over the past few weeks, the Higher Art Galleries Team has been having in person and Skype meetings with mentors and experts in our field. In addition, we have been conducting customer discovery interviews.

As a result, we have pivoted slightly yet again. Our product is still art and our customer base is still the same, but the type of art we will be selling is more specific to the university itself.

Our best selling pieces are pieces that exhibit affinity to Wake Forest. Therefore, we have decided to do more of what is selling more. It is not our job to decide what our customers what. It is our job to give our customers what they want, so that is exactly what we will do.

Through our entrepreneurial studies, Brooke, Zanny, and I have learned that a simple and seamless business has the greatest probability for success. We want to streamline our platform and deliver a simple product through a simple platform that gives the customer exactly what they want.

This week we are in the midst of drafting new contracts and reworking our website. The business model is changing slightly, since we are now commissioning artists instead of simply selling their work.

In other news, we are very pleased with the results and accountability of our new printing partner in Brooklyn, NY.

Stay tuned for next week!

Higher Art Galleries week #4

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 9:45 pm

This week Higher Art Galleries has put all of our effort into creating a business proposal and content creation.

Our goal is to publish our content on a reimagined that acts more as a hub for all things art and emerging art related, and less of a normal online gallery. As a result, our content will represent our new vision. The content will range from anything from an online video tutorial for painting techniques to our top 10 favorite art blogs. While our content will be honest and true to our core values as a brand, we want to expand our revenue stream to include paid advertising that we can integrate into our content and platform.

Since we have made a lot of changes to our business lately, customer discover is extremely important for us right now. Tomorrow (Thursday) we will be interviewing local emerging artists to test our hypothesis and narrow down our company vision.

Friday we have a very important meeting with a powerful figure who is an expert in the digital advertising and paid advertising field. We have conducted research on his area of expertise and have come up with a list of questions in order to get the most out of our meeting.

Next week I will have a full update on our customer discoveries and meeting recap!

Higher Art Galleries week #3

Friday, June 16, 2017 5:22 pm

Higher Art Galleries has made tremendous progress this past week. We have had small successes (ex: creating Higher Art Galleries business cards that we can now give out to interested customers or businesses) all the way to much larger successes (ex: finding a printing partner in Brooklyn).

However, what we are most excited about this week is our redefinition of our company and what we sell/do. After weeks of contemplation and evaluation, we have decided our content creation needs to be our sole focus. Our plan is to be in the business of creating content above all else. Then, once we create content and gain a following, selling our product/products will be much easier.

There is no platform on the market right now that is a hub for emerging artists. Higher Art Galleries wants to be the fist. Our content will include many different resources for emerging artists and anyone interested in young artists. In addition, we hope to include native advertising in our content for an added revenue stream.

We want Higher Art Galleries to be so much more than an online art gallery. We want to be a one-stop shop for anything that relates to emerging artists. Whether what you want is an art related article, video tutorial, interview, or original painting, we want Higher Art Galleries to be the only website that can give you everything you need.

We have a meeting with an expert on content and distribution next week that we hope to gain insight from.

Look out for many changes in our site in the coming weeks!

Higher Art Galleries Week #2

Friday, June 9, 2017 12:35 pm

I am very excited to announce that Brooke, Zanny, and I are finally all in the same city (New York City). We have realized that as a team, we do much better all working together and in person. We get more done, and have bigger and better ideas when we are all together.

After meeting we have decided to focus our efforts on content creation and customer acquisition over anything else. We have each tasked ourselves with coming up with content ideas, and at our next meeting we are going to narrow the list down and put the ideas into action.

As for the printing/matting part of our value proposition, we have decided to outsource that. This week we have been researching a company to partner with, and we hope to have that finalized by next week.

In addition to content creation and customer acquisition we have set up meetings with mentors/experts in the art world to pick their brain on our current idea and the pivots and iterations we have begun to come up with for Higher Art Galleries.

The Higher Art Galleries Team is so excited to all be together again! Stay tuned for week #3!

Higher Art Galleries Week #1

Thursday, June 1, 2017 11:16 pm

My name is Hana Polizzotto, and I am a co-founder of Higher Art Galleries along with recent Wake Forest graduates Alexandra Dow and Brooke Einbender. In a nutshell, Higher Art Galleries is an online art gallery that showcases and sells student artwork to alumni and parents across the nation. With every piece purchased, a portion of the profit goes back to the student artist and their art department. Brooke, Alexandra, and I launched our company this spring at Wake Forest, but this summer we are putting a majority of our effort into expanding to other universities (primarily in the North).

We are so excited that we are a part of the Summer Fellows Program because the resources from it will help us with our goal to expand! I am already living in NYC working on the company, while Brooke and Alexandra are currently working remotely. However, they will be moving to NYC in the coming weeks, and we cannot wait to be back working together in person!

This week, I spent a lot of time working on our website. Since we are an online art gallery, our website is the core of our business. We have received tons of entries from extremely talented artists, so I have been diligently working on getting their artwork up and available for purchase on our website.

The rest of the week was devoted to launching our GoFundMe. As a startup, we need all the funding we can get. If you are interested in learning more about Higher Art Galleries or want to donate, please check out our GoFundMe here: Please help us reach our goal and spread the word!



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