We had the good fortune of connecting with Reed Horth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Reed, what is the most important factor behind your success?
In a word, flexibility. When I was just starting in art sales in the mid-1990’s, email was nascent, and we relied solely on in-person gallery sales and phone follow-ups. As the foot-traffic slowed, in-person sales became less and less viable so I sought alternatives, over the objections of my bosses. I began email marketing and social media when few galleries were utilizing these techniques. We started online sales when it was scarcely a thing. We researched new home buyers and reached out through cold-calls, mail and email. By the time other galleries started online, we had several years of experience in out-of-the-box thinking under our belt. This allowed us to raise our price-point from $5-$20,000 to $20,000 to over $1Million. When Covid-19 hit, several galleries who were stuck in outdated models came to us for assistance in moving stagnant inventory. As our model is lean and flexible, we are happy to help. We found that buyers were staring at the same four walls in quarantine and had both time and investment funds which could be put to better use. So, we helped a lot of clients around the world (Hong Kong, Australia, Spain, Canada, Germany, etc.) obtain investment level art virtually, and often in other languages, using any technology available to us. We never stop moving, learning and adapting to changes on the ground. This flexibility has allowed us to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We started our business from a position of panic. Many people have an entrepreneurial mindset from the very beginning. I did not come from that kind of environment. I always worked for someone else. So, when I left my former gallery in 2008 after 12 years, I found myself without a safety net. I knew I no longer wanted others to determine my future. So, the choice was to sink or swim on my own. In these moments you get back to the basics and keep it simple. So, I did. Working out of a 740 square foot apartment, I contacted vendors and clients culled over the years and asked for their business. One painting here and one sculpture there became one collection of paintings and another collection of sculptures. One sale here led to curating group exhibitions and then major solo exhibitions, including Dali Miami in 2012 which was attended by over 20,000 people in 5 days. I did not take a day off for the first 2 years of our company. Everything was focused on success which did not come immediately. We developed our reputation as an easy going, fun and ethical place to purchase fine art, and in 2014 won the Diamond Award for Best Small Business from the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. In a few short years we developed ourselves from a price point of $5,000-$20,000 to $50,000 to over $1M. Panic meant we had to take a leap of faith and keep treading water until we rescued ourselves. Which, 13 years later, I can confirm we did.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Miami is a fantastic city for every aspect of culture, sports, partying and relaxation. Visitors should see Miami Beach, to be sure, but there is so much more to see than just the beach. A Cuban Coffee on Calle Ocho, a drive down Main Highway in the Grove, a glass of wine at the Biltmore in Coral Gables.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The person who has had one of the most fundamental impacts on my life has been my wife Kat. Prior to meeting her, I had a modicum of success. But, it was only after we got together that I discovered my “why”. I can honestly say that I am a better person than I was before I met her. I’m more successful, kinder, smarter, more driven and have more sense of purpose. While it may be trite to say, I know that I am not the man I am today without her profound influence.