Michele Sobel Income Report

Company

Michele Sobel Fine Art LLC

Industry

Leather Goods, Luxury Goods, Handmade and Artisanal, Designer Brands, Fine Art

Revenue Models

Freelancer, Physical Products, Service Business

Michele Sobel Earns Up to $2,500 Per Piece Hand Painting Luxury Accessories Full-Time

From Canvas to Luxury

Michele Sobel’s bond with painting has been unwavering since her childhood. It’s been a “good friend” and an “unconditional love”. What started as a childhood hobby gradually transformed into her full-time profession. But it wasn’t until later in life that she embraced her artistry professionally, tapping into the luxury market by hand-painting items like Louis Vuitton bags.

Her pivot into luxury item customization began serendipitously when an art client proposed the idea, offering designer bags for her artistic touch. Sobel, who also harbored a passion for journalism, spent years juggling her role as a news producer with creating art.

Evolving Career and Income Streams

A motherhood-driven desire for more led Sobel to further develop her side hustle. Over time, her business revenue has shown impressive growth, with documentation revealing that gross sales doubled from 2022 to 2023.

  • Private Commissions: Depending on the project complexity, prices range from $350 to $2,500.
  • Social Media and Web Sales: Instagram and personal website are primary sales channels.

Despite having once viewed selling art purely as a passion project rather than a career-change catalyst, it has become precisely that — Michele now runs Michele Sobel Fine Art as an LLC since 2023.

The Pivot from Etsy Hobbyist to Entrepreneur

Sobel juggled freelancing with motherhood before finally giving way to her blooming venture amidst the pandemic. Initially selling wall art turned into personalized gifts and eventually evolved into hand-painting designer goods — think beautiful watercolor prints on blankets or custom portraits on luxury handbags.

“I want my clients to really feel like they’re part of the process,” says Sobel about working on customized pieces such as:

  • Dog portraits on bags.
  • Bespoke sneaker designs.
  • Vintage bag revivals with personalized artwork.

The Joy of Personalization and Creativity

Sobel thrives on creating one-of-a-kind pieces that empower clients through wearable art — whether it’s capturing memories from travels or immortalizing beloved pets. Her meticulous work often involves hours of dedication for each piece but brings unmatched satisfaction upon completion.

A Day in the Life of an Artist-Entrepreneur

Balancing between intense painting sessions and planning upcoming events is no easy feat. Yet for Michele, it’s all driven by love for what she does — sometimes working well into the night once family commitments have quieted down.

Clients at events witness their chosen designs come to life right before their eyes, thanks to collaborations with renowned brands like Michael Kors or Bloomingdale’s where she showcases her live painting skills.

Inspiration Turned Advice: Follow Your Passionate Path Forward

Michele encourages aspiring creators not only to trust their talent but also stay open-minded about where their passions might lead them saying: “Once you see the path forward, just follow it with determination”. She believes your dream job is out there waiting – why can’t it be yours?

How it Works: Hand-Painting Luxury Items as a Business

Step 1: Cultivate Your Passion

Embrace your lifelong hobby or interest. In this case, Michele started with painting, which has always been her steadfast companion.

Step 2: Turn Passion Into Side Hustle

  • Keep practicing your craft alongside your main job, just as Michele continued painting while working in news production.
  • Sell some of your works to test the waters; for instance, Michele sold prints on Etsy.

Step 3: Explore Unique Opportunities

Catch that wave when it comes! A client’s request turned Michele’s attention to luxury items, setting her on a distinct path by painting designer bags.

Step 4: Establish Your Brand & Business Structure

  1. Create an engaging brand name that reflects your artistry – ‘Michele Sobel Fine Art’ did just the trick for our artist here.
  2. Navigate legal and administrative tasks to register your business officially as an LLC or other appropriate entity.

Step 5: Diversify and Set Prices

Determine pricing based on the complexity of work; prices can range substantially depending on the project’s scale and personalization level required.

Step 6: Market Yourself & Build a Clientele

  • Leverage social platforms like Instagram and an elegant website to showcase work and attract custom commissions.
  • Create experiences by partnering with high-end stores or brands for live event painting sessions.

Daily Operations:

The Art of Time Management:

Balancing life while dedicating hours to paint meticulously detailed commissions is key; sometimes this means working into quiet nights after children are asleep.

Nourish Creativity:

Incorporate client input for bespoke creations; personalize artwork using elements unique to each customer’s experience or preference like birthstones or special memories.

Craft Perfection:

Spend time prepping materials before launching into the artistic process. Seal completed works with protective finishes that ensure durability without compromising aesthetics. A piece can take two weeks from start to finish including prep and drying times!

Fulfilling Orders:

Maintain focus by tackling one commission at a time, ensuring each client gets your full creative attention resulting in a piece they’ll cherish forever!

Pros

  • Financial Growth: Michele Sobel’s transition from Etsy to private commissions illustrates the potential for significant income increases when moving from small-scale productions to bespoke luxury items.
  • Lifestyle Flexibility: Pursuing a passion in art allowed Sobel the flexibility to manage her time around personal commitments, highlighting work-life balance benefits.
  • Fulfilling Work: Engaging in work that is also a lifelong passion provides a profound sense of satisfaction and joy, as evidenced by Sobel’s journey into full-time artistry.
  • Scalability: The business model showcases scalability, transitioning from hobbyist art sales to forming an LLC and establishing collaborations with luxury brands and stores.
  • Creative Autonomy: Personalizing products for clients affords artists creative freedom and the chance to innovate, pushing boundaries within their craft as seen in Sobel’s unique hand-painted designs on luxury goods.

Cons

  • Financial Investment: Starting a business painting luxury items can require a substantial upfront investment in high-quality materials and marketing efforts to reach an affluent customer base.
  • Market Niche Limitations: By focusing on a niche like hand-painted luxury goods, one may encounter a smaller target market, which could limit potential income until the brand is well-established.
  • Time-Intensive Labor: The meticulous process of hand-painting personalized art means each piece can take hours or days to complete, limiting the number of commissions one can accept and complete in any given period.
  • Economic Fluctuations: Luxury item businesses may be particularly susceptible to economic downturns when consumers typically reduce discretionary spending on non-essential high-end products.
  • Fierce Competition: Standing out in the art world often requires a distinctive style or unique offering, as competition is steep and clients always search for something that truly resonates with them on a personal level.

Income-Generating Platforms Used by Michele Sobel

Etsy: Initially, Sobel sold art prints, original work, and wearable art on Etsy. She translated her watercolor paintings into print designs for products such as blankets, tote bags, and scarves.

Instagram: Currently, this platform seraves as a major sales channel for Sobel’s business. Through Instagram, she promotes and sells her hand-painted luxury items directly to clients.

Michele Sobel’s Website: An online hub for clients to request private commissions. This website allows customers to explore her services and acts as a point of sale for personalized hand-painted goods.

The Shift in Business Focus

  • Sobel transitioned from selling general art on Etsy to focusing on personalizing luxury items.
  • The pivot has led to an increase in profitability with commissions ranging from $350 to $2,500.

Beyond Online Sales: Event Partnerships

Sobel collaborates with high-profile brands at events where she paints live. Notable partnerships have included Michael Kors and Bloomingdale’s. These events allow her to engage directly with customers while showcasing her craft.

Understanding the Revenue Model

Industry Insight

The person in question has turned their passion for art into a lucrative full-time business. Operating within the creative arts industry, they’ve specialized in offering bespoke luxury items that are hand-painted, such as designer bags and accessories. Their clientele seeks personalized and exclusive products that are not mass-produced.

Revenue Streams

  • Private Commissions: Catering to individual requests for custom artwork on luxury items.
  • E-commerce Sales: Selling prints, original works, and wearable art through online platforms like Etsy.
  • Creative Events: Collaborating with brands for live painting sessions where items are personalized on-site.

Estimating Initial Investment

Key Factors to Consider

To start a similar venture, one needs to consider various costs involved in setting up a creative business. This includes:

    • Material Costs:
      • Premium paints and tools suitable for luxury goods.
      • Preliminary stock of high-quality blanks or potential partnerships with luxury item suppliers.
    • Digital Presence:
      • Fees associated with website development and e-commerce setup to showcase and sell artwork online.

Essential Tools and Services for an Artistic Entrepreneur

Digital Presence and Sales Platforms

  • Website creation platforms (e.g., WordPress, Squarespace)
  • Social media accounts (particularly Instagram)
  • Online marketplace accounts (e.g., Etsy)
  • E-commerce functionalities (shopping carts, payment processors)

Art Creation Supplies

  • High-quality sketchpads and canvases
  • Premium paints and brushes
  • Digital tablets for design work (implied for draft designs/prep work)
  • Varnishes and sealants for product finishing

Luxury Item Customization Essentials

For Hand-Painting on Designer Goods:

    • – Leather-prepping materials
    • – Flexible water-resistant finishers
    • – Customizable luxury items (handbags, sneakers)

For Personalizations:

    – Reference materials related to client’s requests
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Revenue Type

Online Business, Side Hustle

Platforms

Etsy, Instagram, Own Website

Committment

Full Time

Last Updated

03/30/2024