As a member of Generation X, I believe we have some responsibility to guide and assist the next generation of women. So when 19 year old Paloma Cole (pictured) contacted me to ask for my help with getting the word out about her first online store, I didn’t hesitate to schedule an interview with this inspirational young woman.
Second year art photography student, Paloma Cole has found an inexpensive way to combine her passion for promoting the work of emerging artists and designers with her desire to run her own business. Yradier (pronounced: irre-dear) sells artwork and one off jewellery pieces by emerging artists and designers direct to the public.
“I had an exhibition last year with a friend of mine and it was a really great experience. But it’s also something that is really quite time consuming and it can be quite expensive and a lot of amazing artists just don’t have the time or the money to exhibit their work,” said yradier founder, Paloma Cole.
With no money to invest in the project, Paloma set up an online store at Big Cartel, a website that provides cheap web hosting and web tools for online stores. “But I definitely want to develop my own stand alone store on the Internet within the next year. But the amount of money that it costs is just a bit unreasonable at this point in time (for a full time student),” she said.
Most of the items listed for sale on yradier are produced by young and emerging artists and designers in Australia. Ten artists and jellewry designers, including Paloma herself, have contributed pieces to the online store. Paloma has also included products like the Knock Knock range from America which will appeal to her target audience. Although yradier’s target audience appears to be young people, some of the pieces featured on the site have cross-generational appeal. And it is hoped the online store will attract some interest from the art community as well.
Paloma says “The focus is to try to find new artists and designers in Australia. But there are a few artists from overseas who have contributed products to the online store.”
As the owner of yradier, Paloma is always looking for products created by new artists and designers to add to the website. And she doesn’t have to look further than her fellow students at the Queensland College of Arts (QCA) at Griffith University.
“A recent graduate of jewellery making at QCA has created some one off jewellery pieces which should be going up on the site in the next few weeks. There are so many amazing artists at QCA that want to get there art work out there but don’t know how, or don’t have the time or the money,” she said.
“But I’m always seeking out new artists on the Internet as well. I read a lot of blogs and I spend a lot of time on the Internet contacting people and explaining to them what the site is about.”
Paloma says she has received a very positive response from the artists and designers she has contacted online. “And that’s mostly because of the aims of the store, to promote new artists and designers from this part of the world. People get very excited about that and want to be part of it.”
As an artist, Paloma says “I am quite into empty spaces (in the home) at the moment, which I think tells more about people than actually photographing the people themselves.”
She told me that after she graduates, Paloma would like to run yradier at a profit and exhibit her art photography once or twice a year. “That would be really fantastic!”
But for the moment at least, Paloma Cole is content to continue her studies at Griffith University whilst holding down two jobs and running an online store. Oh, to be 19 again and have that kind of energy and focus!
I would like to thank Paloma Cole for speaking with Australian Women Online.