Kollecto was started as Tara Reed’s side-project while she was working at Microsoft. She was then accepted into an incubator program called OrbitalNYC, which focuses on helping people launch their side-projects. The program is run by Gary Chou, who was formerly a GM at Union Square Ventures. Kollecto was launched in July, 2014 through the Orbital program.
“Shortly after launching, I teamed up with Emily Havens, who is an amazing Art Advisor with 15 years of experience. She is Kollecto’s Chief Art Advisor.” Tara Adds.
Over the few months they’ve gained good traction and Tara has been building the company full-time.
Kollecto connects young professionals looking to build a collection with Personal Art Advisors who guide them through the process. Individuals fill out a questionnaire on their preferences, which a consultant, or “personal stylist for walls,” uses to curate artwork and negotiate prices. The service is aimed at those wanting to buy art priced at under $3,000, which can be paid out in monthly installments.
Tara says “I started collecting art a few years ago. And there were a lot of things I wanted to see available to me. Mainly, I wanted help. And getting an Art Advisor wasn’t really an option, given my budget ( I bought my first piece for $800). I started blogging about my experience of collecting affordable art and got great responses from young professionals saying that they would love to buy art too, if only they had help “.
Kollecto was started as a response to the feedback she got. She is from a technology background and has worked at companies like Foursquare, Microsoft, & Google. It was easy for her to apply her tech experience with her love for art to create ‘Kollecto’ as an internet art startup.
“The hardest part is getting our clients to understand their own taste. Over half of our customers have never bought art before! Others have maybe bought art once or twice, but few feel super comfortable articulating their taste in art. ” Tara explains.
Tara even launched a free class on affordable art collecting to help solve this issue. The class offers straight forward answers to questions like: “how much should I spend on art” and “how do I explain my taste”. People who come out of our free class have a much better understanding of what they want.
Buying fine art for the first time can be intimidating and overwhelming. In fact, a recent study reveals that nearly 70% of people have never purchased a work because they find the process too exclusive. And getting help is expensive since most Art Advisors require a $10,000 budget. So then you’re stuck doing it yourself combing though millions of artworks online and calling galleries to negotiate prices yourself.
So Kollecto offers you a “personal stylist for your walls” to do all the work. It focuses on art under $3000 and let’s you pay in monthly installments. The whole process is fun and not exclusive at all.
Kollecto is a it’s a third-party player- so they hunt for art across thousands of websites & galleries. and they are open to negotiating price down. Kollecto works with young professionals all over the world.
Their revenue is from art advisory fees & financing fees. And they say, that artists & galleries would pay for the ability to have their art shown to Kollecto’s clients based on the client’s taste profile. Their plus point is that they connect budding art lovers to discover their taste in art with the help of art advisors. Tara says “Thus far, we’ve had over 700 people apply to be an Advisor on our platform”.