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In April 2019 I made a big decision to rebrand from "For Arts Sake," to the "Jet James Art Gallery."I was encouraged to make this transition after speaking to Sohail Inayatullah, a business mentor travelling through Yeppoon. The idea was reinforced by supportive customers who believed I should stand out on my own. Despite the encouragement I received, I knew there were many who doubted that a commercial Art Gallery could succeed in a regional area of Queensland. In such a small coastal town such as Yeppoon, even I questioned if it would work. But I was determined to prove them and myself wrong.
In my quest to find a retail space suitable for my needs I stumbled across a beachside retail space at 12 Anzac Parade in Yeppoon. The spot was perfect and it was a place I could see nature and the ocean everyday, but I was apprehensive. This particular space was seemingly doomed with many businesses leasing the space and closing within 6 months.
The paint was peeling, there was dry wall missing, the outside looked uninviting and lawn was overgrown and full of weeds. There was mammoth task ahead of me to make the shop into an aesthetically appealing gallery and retail space. But when I stood in the empty shop and felt the energy and colour of the ocean, I knew that the little shop was an amazing opportunity that I should jump on. I signed my name on the dotted line and I knew there was no going back - only forwards.
After months of hard work I managed to turn the Art Gallery into what it is today. I'm forever thankful for the help I had from close friends, Bret at Cruise-o-matic Signs Yeppoon and the loyal artists who stayed with me in this move. 9 months later and business has been very exciting and I am learning something new every day. Running a commercial gallery is no easy feat but I'm glad I decided to follow my gut and thankful for the huge support of loyal customers, grey nomads and tourist alike. I'm looking forward to seeing what the New Year will bring and how the gallery will grow.