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At MediaJobs.com we have established our mission of Finding the Great Companies First. In keeping with our mission we have created this interview series with some of the newest startups in the New York City market area. We encourage you to learn about some of the newest companies and think about what might be a good fit for you.
What is the name and location of your company and who are the founders?
ArtStager, New York, New York, Founded by Kipton Cronkite
How did the idea for your start-up come about?
The idea came about in 2010 when I leased my first gallery space on the ground floor of the Hyatt Andaz Hotel at 75 Wall Street. During 2010 while in the space, the developer of the project began asking me for art for their apartments. As a result, I began creating value by enriching each property for sale with great art.
Of the key people involved what is everyone’s experience and background?
I’m the face and creative force of the company and proud to have over 10 years experience as an art advisor and collector while also gaining valuable insight over 10 years in finance (Citigroup and Bank of America in New York). While at Bank of America, I was the Director of Investor Relations in the Alternative Investment Division and worked closely with high net worth clients (many who had significant art portfolios). In 2005, I realized there were very few places online people could go to discover art so I created KiptonART.com. In 2013, I also co-founded an e‑commerce site for artists (at60inches.com) to give people an opportunity to buy art online.
How do you see your company creating value or disrupting an existing market?
ArtStager is one of the preeminent art staging groups in the U.S. We are disrupting the current staging model in real estate by introducing a curated group of emerging artists and installing in each property. I’m also a real estate agent so if people wish to list their property and also have me curate and stage all the art; I’m able to do this too. The goal is to make the property as attractive as possible to fetch a top price.
When was the business founded and how are you being funded?
ArtStager was founded in 2015 and is self-funded.
What is the current size of your business, number of employees?
There are currently five consultants advising the business. I’m the stabilizing force behind the company.
What is the product and or service you are providing?
ArtStager enriches environments by showcasing artwork in order to inspire investments in art, design and real estate.
Explain how you are seeking entry into your marketplace.
ArtStager builds and maintains relationships with top real estate agents and new developments in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Wellington, Florida.
What seems to be the biggest strength of the team so far?
The biggest strengths are the long-term relationships with clients, artists and the business community combined with the ability to nurture media companies and service top advertisers through brand integration of art.
What was your greatest “Ah-Ha” moment to date?
In 2015 when a developer demanded I stage art for their property in order to help it sell more quickly. A few months after the staging, the property sold for a record price. I thought, “I can do this and have a blast doing it!”
What was the funniest thing that has happened?
The funniest thing so far was when I was de-installing art in a development and met a future client in the elevator of the building. It turned out the client needed art and became one of our biggest clients to date.
If you can only do one thing in your industry what would that be?
If I could only do one thing, I would focus on art advisory. Fortunately, I’m able to add to this expertise and stage art for people who are nervous about picking art for their homes.