This month we interviewed Elle-May about her Fitzroy handmade emporium and art gallery – in.cube8r
Inner Circle: What do you do as part of your job?
Elle-May: Oh boy, that depends on the day! If you wander into the gallery on a weekday you will often find me spread out on our green oceanic floor, taking pictures from weird angles trying to hide from the shadows and show off the products in a fun and interesting way! If you come on a Thursday evening you’ll find me serving drinks to artists and their networks who have visited for an exhibition and to check out the 100 odd artists we have exhibiting work via our cubes. I organise workshops, exhibitions, do bookkeeping, maintain all our marketing…. The question is what don’t I do.
IC: What makes in.cube8r so special?!
E-M: To the public we are a retail store, but to the artists who work with us we are much more. Our creatives rent cubes, shelves, clothing racks and walls to exhibit their work & we take no commission on what they sell (they just pay their memberships to be involved). Besides selling their work to the public on their behalf though, we try to work with them to fine-tune their offerings and run their creative endeavour as an actual business. Sometimes this is through one-on-one chats and sometimes it’s via our free artist workshops we run each month… depends on the topic!
IC: What kind of things do you help artists with?
E-M: It really depends on the artist. We are in a unique position to get honest feedback from consumers on their products, something they may not get in face-to-face interactions. We also help with marketing, goal setting, social media, running a website & networking. It’s all about creating a space where they can come together and discuss the issues that relate to them and their craft, as well as providing a chance to network with each other and feel less isolated.
IC: If you’re so focussed on the artist side of things, what’s in it for customers?
E-M: We have so many lovely regulars who come to us for every gift they buy because they know that 100% of what they are paying goes directly into that artist’s pocket. Our customers love seeing the space change and grow… many have been collecting pieces by certain artists for several years now and that they enjoy being part of their creative process. They also enjoy popping in once a month to check out who is new and what they are offering, allowing them to keep those items in mind for gifts they might need. Everyone who shops here knows that when they purchase something they are helping to feed a local artist; it’s a lovely thing to be part of!