By Elizabeth Gracen:
With the holidays upon us and a myriad of gift-giving options to choose from, Flapper Press is proud to highlight a handful of eclectic offerings with a focus on small businesses with truly unique ideas for very special gifts this year.
When we saw these colorful T-shirts and sweatshirts (and ordered a couple!), it made total sense to reach out to the creators of ArtistsUntold to talk about their ultra-cool designs and their impassioned mission.
Please meet ArtistsUntold!
EG: We are so happy to share the beautiful, creative, positive merchandise of ArtistsUntold. Please tell our readers all about your company and the unique products on your site.
AU: ArtistsUntold is an online retail platform that provides up-and-coming Black and underrepresented artists with the opportunity to promote and monetize their artwork through apparel sales and museum-quality print sales. Creating art is expensive enough, so we provide our platform at no cost—leaving the artist with an income stream that allows them to buy that new paint brush set, 64-inch canvas, or camera lens. ArtistsUntold is here to promote cultural appreciation and to spread love.
EG: Your approach to selling merchandise is unique. Tell us about the various artists that you feature and why you’ve chosen to partner with them.
AU: We partner with artists through a mix of both personal outreach and inbound requests, although our rate of new partners has slowed in recent months. Our artists are predominantly Black, with other intersectionalities, including LGBTQ+, Native American, and Latinx communities. We appreciate artists who tell a story, have a unique look, and are aligned with our brand and mission. Our goal is to have something for everyone; we want to be as inclusive as possible. Each collection provides a unique perspective, each piece tells a different story, and each purchase directly supports the artists.
EG: You partner with the One Tree Planted organization and donate one tree for every item that is sold on your site. How did this partnership come about, and why have you partnered with them?
AU: Our founder was first introduced to One Tree Planted when his girlfriend planted 100 trees for his birthday. Since then, he did his research on a number of different companies and settled on One Tree Planted because of how they involve the community in their planting initiatives. They are the ultimate partners—responsive, transparent, and helpful.
EG: As a small business helping artists make a living in this crazy world, what do you find is the most challenging aspect of your business?
AU: As with most businesses, the most challenging aspect is getting people to make an initial purchase. We have great customer retention, so we need to continue providing excellent customer service and ensuring our products are high quality, sustainable, and empowering.
EG: What are your hopes for the future of your company?
AU: To continue to provide our partner artists with monthly income that can help provide the financial freedom they need to pursue their dreams. To help them pay their credit card bills, their rent, and art supplies.
After COVID, we would love to have different pop-up art shows and shops in different cities with local artists. To partner with local coffee shops and other small businesses would be another dream as well!
EG: I hope that you and your artists have an incredibly successful holiday season. I personally love my pink Basquiat sweatshirt. I just ordered one in another color for my daughter’s Christmas present! Please tell our readers where they can find your merchandise and where to follow you.
AU: Thank you so much for the love and support. Every opportunity we have to share our story is a special one, so thank you for providing such a great platform.
You can find us at: