I’ve long believed in being intentional – supporting small businesses, buying from artists, eating local food. Putting my money where my values are. Sure, I buy from Amazon from time to time, when I need something only a big box can provide. But mostly I try to be thoughtful when I exchange money for goods, as I assume people do when they buy from me.
But, art supplies.
I order from the big guys, like most people do. Where else are you gonna get that kind of stuff? It’s not like there’s a small biz option. The closest I’ve come is an occasional small store that buys from the same big companies I do. And in the years since I’ve been in art school, the big guys have only gotten bigger and fewer, forming mergers that weld their market power into an untouchable giant.
Untouchable, perhaps, until now.
Breanna Goudeau is an artist from North Minneapolis who works in ink, watercolor, and acrylic. Together with her friends Armoni Jackson, Nakaia Kristof, and Lauden Bullock, she founded Black Sheep Art Supply, a company dedicated to making and selling quality art supplies. Their website launched today, and together they are ready to make their mark – using the boldest pigments possible.
In pursuit of Black-owned paint brands, I realized that there either were none in existence, or they operated on a very small scale. I had already become interested in mixing my own paint as a sort of side hobby, so once I came to this realization I decided that I would start my own brand of paints. I collaborated with some of my friends to start Black Sheep.
With our company, creativity means finding what makes us unique from big art brands (Blick, Trekell, Michael’s, etc.). What can we offer artists that other brands do not? How can we support artists and encourage non-artists who want to shop with us?
Our biggest challenge will be competing next to already established and well-known brand names. We are new and small, and if we are not careful, we will end up fading into the background. However, we plan on overcoming these challenges by establishing relationships with our customers and supporting artists and non-artists by sharing their work, offering samples of new items, and sharing resources that help to support artists in their craft.
We are working toward gaining a physical storefront and expanding our products into acrylic paint, oil paint, brushes, sketchbooks, and stretched canvas. We also hope to offer tutorial classes both in person and through video.”– Breanna Goudeau
Congratulations on your launch, Breanna! I wish you and the rest of the Black Sheep founders amazing success.