In WERK1 they are the “colourful bird” among the start-ups, in real life Alexander Eloe and Oliver Breiter and their team bring colour into the everyday life of many people who want to change the way they work, organize team events and the like: With so-called “paint parties”. The ArtMasters are probably the only startup in WERK1 that knows painting and creative techniques very well. And that although the founders themselves have no artistic background at all. What is the motivation for founding a start-up and what is ArtMasters’ recipe for success? We asked co-founder Alex these and other questions over a cup of coffee in the WERK1 Café.
Creative experiences for everyone
The idea is quickly explained: The ArtMasters Oliver and Alex, with the help of their team of talented and trained artists, throw varied creative parties in unusual locations. Their mission is on the one hand to create creative experiences and on the other hand to bring different characters together in a relaxed atmosphere. Under professional guidance, the participants can draw a motif of their choice or create their own version. There are no limits to the artistic freedom within the ArtMasters event – previous knowledge is also not necessary.
From management consultant to founder of ArtMasters
But how do you even come up with the idea of setting up your own start-up from a management consultancy and then still have a creative background? The two former management consultants picked up the first impulse during a joint business trip to the USA. “The Americans are already a bit… crazy,” laughs Alex, who wasn’t so sure at the beginning whether this kind of leisure activity would be popular in Germany at all. However, what was created “on a whim” and as a “possible alternative to management consulting” was put into practice within a crisp three months. The two entrepreneurs are now working full-time with a permanent team at their startup: around 70 artists and around 10 team members, who support the managing directors in all aspects of event planning, technology, marketing and co.
Quality & satisfaction are the keys to success
In the selection of the artists, the ArtMasters take it very seriously. Because talent alone is not enough. Alex and Oliver attach great importance to exciting personalities with suitable social skills – they have to be patient, with a talent for entertainment and at the same time helpful teachers. So the ArtMasters crew takes the time to check out new applicants beyond their abilities with brush and canvas. So they come up with a colorful potpourri of professional painters with their own gallery, eager art students and talented hobby artists – who provide a lot of variety at events.
What the ArtMasters can do, others still can’t do for a long time: In addition to the classic post-production motifs, the demanding founders are constantly expanding their range with original offers. Recently, craft-savvy participants have also been able to book “photo transfer” events, for example: Here the own favourite photo is transferred in manual work to objects such as a wood block. In addition the participants can let off steam with coal and pastel colors on different canvas sizes. Exactly by this alternation and the selection of qualitatively high-quality utensils, like large canvas, good colors etc., the ArtMasters want to differentiate themselves clearly from the competition on the market.
ArtMasters feel at home in WERK1
Marketing is enormously important for long-term growth: And it is not only in this respect that start-ups need to bundle knowledge from the various areas. And that is exactly what the ArtMasters at WERK1 like as a location, Alex tells us. “We like to use WERK1’s Academy offerings – that’s a big advantage.” The ArtMasters also greatly appreciate the flexible coworker network. The opportunity to exchange ideas if one area lacks understanding. “This is very practical, for example, if you need support with programming.” They would just have to have more space – because the creative startup is all set for growth.
Full speed into the future
The confident founders have precise ideas about the future: They want to make their product and brand known beyond the borders of Germany. They have already taken the first step: after Hungary, Austria and Switzerland should now also be infected with ArtMaster art fever.
But the Munich location also brings with it problems for them as a start-up: “It’s already difficult to find suitable people in Munich. The big corporations absorb a lot.” And then there’s the topic of finance. To date, ArtMasters has been financed by a private investor and its own resources. Whether this will change in the near future with the help of another investor will be seen. But what is certain: The team wants to continue its expansion course at full speed.