Small Business Owner Pivots During COVID-19: Art Gallery Owner and Artist Goes Virtual
Former LPGA Golf Professional Turned Art Gallery Owner and Artist, Christie Smith, pivoted her gallery to offer virtual viewings that have turned into a rise in sales.
HALF MOON BAY, CA (May 2020) – While Coronavirus has caused irreparable damage to many small businesses, there is a glimmer of hope coming out of Half Moon Bay. Small business owner, Christie Smith is a story of art and inspiration. Even though her gallery is closed to physical visitors, she has been utilizing a small but engaged Instagram community and video calls to continue to sell her art. She has actually spent more time packing and sending orders than she did when the gallery was previously open. At a young age, Christie Smith was drawn to athletics. After attending, Methodist College for Golf and being a part of three National Championships she enjoyed a 25-year career as an LPGA Golf Professional.
Then about seven years ago she discovered the power of art. She
followed her passions and became an artist and gallery owner. “My artwork is an inner expression of who I am that connects me to others through my artwork. I feel the need to create, to create for the sole purpose of connection… to myself and to others. I want to use my artistic talents to give back to others who are in need.” more
How Small Art Businesses Can Pivot During COVID-19
May 6, 2020
While Coronavirus has caused irreparable damage to many small businesses, there is a glimmer of hope coming out of Half Moon Bay. Small business owner, Christie Smith, the owner of Unleashed Art Gallery, is a story of art and inspiration. Even though her gallery is closed to physical visitors, she has been utilizing a small but engaged online community and video calls to continue to sell her art. She has actually spent more time packing and sending orders than she did when the gallery was previously open. A lot can be learned from her story.
Activating Small, Engaged Online Community
When it comes to shifting from in-person to online communities, numbers do not always matter. While you may think that you need a large following to transition sales online that is simply not true. Having less but more engaged followers is actually more advantageous when it comes to turning followers into clients.
Just because someone can’t travel to physically see your artwork in person, it does not mean they won’t buy it. Christie Smith, pivoted her gallery to offer virtual viewings of her artwork via FaceTime and has actually seen a rise in sales more
Christie Smith is Showing Artists That They Can Follow Their Passion to Financial Success
May 21, 2020
After spending 25 years as an LPGA golf professional, Christie Smith transitioned into the world of art about seven years ago. Not only is she recognized as an inspiring and talented artist, but she is also the owner of the Unleashed Art Gallery in Half Moon Bay in Northern California. Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, she has been thriving in 2020. By offering virtual showings of her gallery and artwork she has been able to continue her business operations.
Right now she is donating 20% of all sales to her Half Moon Bay community through her Church which is helping to provide emergency meals and other services. She also donated 15 pieces of her work to emergency room nurses that are serving those on the front lines. Through her art, she is fostering human connection and bringing joy to those during these dark times.
“My artwork is an inner expression of who I am that connects me to others through my artwork. I feel the need to create, to create for the sole purpose of connection… to myself and to others. I want to use my artistic talents to give back to others who are in need.” more
Running an Art Gallery Business from Home: Inspiration from Christie Smith
By. Amanda Cosenza
May 30, 2020
Even though these are not the brightest of times, there is still some light in the world, and success stories are still emerging. Former LPGA golf professional turned art gallery owner and artist, Christie Smith is using her newfound love of creating art to foster human connection and inspire inner expression. Seven years ago, after spending a 25 plus year career as an LPGA Golf Professional, Christie was drawn to create art. Shortly after starting with photography and other mediums, she became the owner of an art gallery and found her passion for resin art.
“My artwork is an inner expression of who I am that connects me to others through my artwork. I feel the need to create, to create for the sole purpose of connection… to myself and to others. I want to use my artistic talents to give back to others who are in need,” says Christie. more
Art Interview: Christie Smith – Inspiration That Resinates, Or Wedged Into A New Niche
June 12, 2020
Gallery owner and artist Christie Smith uses her newfound love of creating art to foster human connection and inspire inner expression. The only art gallery in Half Moon Bay, California, Unleashed Art Gallery offers a chance for visitors to see her work in person. Since she is unable to have visitors in the store she has started virtual viewings with an engaged online community. She also recently donated several pieces of her work to frontline healthcare workers.
What sort of training have you received and how important do you think it is to seek training, in terms of learning first principles and refining techniques?
I am a retired LPGA golf professional. I have been an artist for seven years. My previous career demanded a high level of discipline and continued learning. I’ve always had an intensely focused approach. I pay attention to what works, and I adjust quickly to improve my execution. This has instilled in me the ability to learn art in a non-traditional way. I consider myself to be self-taught. I’ve spent many hours researching techniques and materials, experimenting with different products for the best results. Every piece I create teaches me about the potential to enhance and improve my techniques. My motto is “experience and adjust”. I control the things I can with the prepping process and my material choices. I am not a visual artist; I am more of an emotional artist. I choose colours based on my emotions. When I start an artwork, the resin magically chooses its direction and flow.This is the most exciting aspect as each painting becomes a unique one-of-a-kind expression of art.
What is your principal medium, and why did you choose it?
Resin has become my principal medium. Using resin has pushed me through my process of evolution the most. I love the challenge of it being a time-sensitive material that doesn’t allow hesitation as in traditional painting. So what I do has an element of movement, freedom and pressure. I am also drawn to the depth of colour and dimension of the artwork, based on the various types of pigments that I use. And I love the versatility of resin as it can also be used in 3D artwork. read more
Art for the Greater Good
By. Art Daily.com
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
The Latin phrase “Ars Gratia Artis” does not apply to Christie Smith, an artist located in Half Moon Bay, California.
In her early life, Smith focused on sports and athletics, even securing a scholarship in basketball and softball in northern Alabama. After an injury left her unable to play her chosen sports, she found golf. She excelled quickly at the sport and transferred to Methodist University, graduating with a BS in Business Administration and Professional Golf Management.
After spending 23 years as an LPGA golf professional, Christie left the field and transitioned to art full-time 7 years ago. She now owns her own studio in Half Moon Bay called Unleashed Art Gallery. Christie transitioned into the world of art about seven years ago.
Not only does Christie create her own work in her gallery, but she uses her past experience as a golf instructor to teach others art as well. Christie didn’t become an artist just for the sake of becoming an artist. Instead she wanted to connect with people on a deeper level.
“I want my art to touch a place in their soul and inspire them to create, dream, imagine the life they want to experience,” Christie says. She also says her artwork is an inner expression of who she is and she connects to others through her art. read more
Local artist unveils new installation at Ritz
By Carol Hunter
May 16, 2019
Walk into Unleashed Gallery on Main Street and you will find yourself surrounded by dramatic art pieces of vivid, glossy hues swirling as if in motion.
The gallery’s owner is Christie Smith, a professional golf instructor-turned-artist who has found a new passion in abstract art. Last week, the Redwood City artist unveiled a new installation of her work at Navio, the refined restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay.
Joel Costa, director of sales and marketing at the luxury resort, said that this is the first art installation of its kind at the restaurant. read more
A Portrait of a Pro Golfer turned Artist
"Her powerful swing and form translated into a 280 yard drive. To put that in perspective, Tiger Woods can drive the ball on average 285 yards."