After announcing the Volition Capital investment in Arteza, there was a lot of interest in the story behind the Company and Brand.
Arteza Co-Founders Mike Koshatko and Jurgis Plikaitis sat down with Emon Reiser from the South Florida Business Journal to discuss what’s next for Arteza in the latest Ventures Roundup.
The full article can be found here [NOTE: a subscription to South Florida Business Journal is needed to read the full article].
When thinking up the idea for arts and crafts e-commerce company Arteza, co-founders Mike Koshatko and Jurgis Plikaitis started with pencils.
“We were searching for different niches,” Koshatko said. “We came across the arts and crafts category, and one of the first products we saw was pencils. And, for some reason, we got caught up with it.”
In their research, they realized arts and crafts is a sector that hadn’t seen much innovation in a long time. They call it an “emotional” category, with buyers who are purchasing items for their hobbies and passions.
But what was on the market when they started in 2015 were products with questionable quality being sold at very expensive prices, Koshatko said.
Without much artist experience, they began to tap local artists for ideas on how to improve the sale of art supplies as research for their platform.
They decided to manufacture the products themselves and officially launched in 2016.
Arteza remained self-funded until Boston-based Volition Capital boosted the company’s growth with a $24 million capital injection last month. Here’s what’s next for the North Miami Beach-based company:
Why did you decide to accept outside funding after being bootstrapped?
We were self-funded and had no [funding] rounds because the company was always profitable. But, eventually, there was just not enough of self-funding to continue the same growth. With Volition, we saw a very big potential with a growth pattern.
How fast are you growing?
Currently, we have 200 employees. We’re moving into a new office, as we expect to probably double our employee count by this time next year.
Why is South Florida the best place to grow your company?
Miami is an art-inspired city. We get a lot of inspiration from being here. Miami has a lot of talented people you can hire and [who can] help with the product.