Julie Rekha is an artist, blogger, and founder of Art Xtedia and Art Xtedia Home, a creative place for publishing blogs and an eCommerce store for home decorative items and artworks. She grew up in Asia and has years of experience in the fashion industry as a model, show producer, and catwalk coach. Julie left that industry and became involved in working with children and it wasn't until years after that she had discovered her artistic talent.
What inspired you to start your business?
It started when she was searching for that perfect art for her home but was not resonating with anything out there. Julie started off experimenting an artwork off Pinterest and soon enough found herself creating 30 over pieces in the scheme of 24 months. The burning desire to help others discover their own creativity and talent. She has always been the sort of person that would bring her friends along to something that she had discovered and it was the same for when she started painting. She thought "If I can create this out of nowhere and feel this much relief, how can I help others like me do the same?"
Where is your business based?
Art Xtedia is based in Sydney, Australia from her home studio. One thing led to another and now her business is scaling from an online publishing, eCommerce and to creating art in people's homes (Paint My Life).
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
Building her foundation and structure, Julie started off painting for friends and family as you do when you start out with anything. Then she produced merchandise like designer greeting cards for events. She attended regular free workshops organized by her local town hall and groomed herself about copyrights and legalities. She also researched her target audience through traditional and social media.
Because of her natural charisma and popularity, it was easy for Julie to get people to admire her art. Her likeability and warm-heartedness are her biggest influencing power.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
As she gradually progressed, she discovered that she could combine her love for writing and painting in her popular online magazine Art Xtedia. It now reaches readers worldwide and receives around 6,000 views a day. The beauty of it is that since she doesn't do anything just for herself so she also has other artist's work showcased in her online gallery and help creative businesses publish their content. She believes she helps herself by helping others as well - it is a ripple effect.
What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
Getting her mindset around deserving money for her work. This is, unfortunately, the common thing among creative people who feel they need to give and not get back. Julie has managed to set herself up for success by speaking and practicing a different approach to the subject of money. It is a currency to live on earth nothing more nothing less and she is deserving of it. Her first reproduction sold for $300 and since then she has continued to value herself better in the market.
How do you stay focused?
Meditation and her daily affirmations that she has made a decision to bring change to the art industry. Julie is not particularly in it for the glamour, however, because it is her soul purpose to write and create she is naturally focused. Julie practices daily meditation and lives a healthy lifestyle. She often remembers her mission, vision, and values of her brand to keep her focused on the processes.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
Julie's online publication Art Xtedia is a great tool that makes her a leader in her industry. She is not only an artist, but she is also a pragmatic entrepreneur. She desires to bring change for the betterment of her people and her unique approach to influencing such a volatile and unpredictable market makes her different.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
Free product and services to build trust and influence buyers through traditional and social media marketing. She first built a strong network of people in her community and published their content and showcased their art. This, in return, resulted in a ripple effect. Soon, she was also blogging for other publications locally and internationally.
What's your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
Although sales are very important, be prepared to work yourself for free and reward yourself wisely. Do not expect it to be easy and cruisy. Be kind and collaborate with people and they will go the extra mile for you as you do for them. Learn, always read, and listen to what is out there never stop learning through mistakes and positive results. You will find yourself growing and expanding as a person first before it shows in your business. As you grow so will your business. You are your business as an entrepreneur.
What's your favorite app, blog, and book? Why?
Julie is a big believer in first working on herself and learning from the best. She reads almost every book written by self-development guru Dr. John DeMartini and one of her favorite books is the "Value Factor". She also listens a lot to Robert Kiyosaki on finance, Increases your financial I.Q. Her mentor and artistic idol is Salvador Dali, a great master of the arts and lives by his saying "a true artist inspires".
What's your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
She must have her Asana, the daily planner. It is easy to organize her days because it divides all expects of her business and also she cannot live without her plugins and Click Funnels when designing her site. Being an artist can be quite scattered in the creative right brain so finding a balanced ground with these business tools is a must for her. She utilizes a lot of free webinar tools.
Who is your business role model? Why?
Julie has an admiration, Richard Branson because he is free spirited like herself. She likes his creative business tactics and marketing strategy that are unique and out there. He makes a difference in society and gives back to the world. Branson also has a gift of the gap which makes him an influential leader in his industry.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
She plans on launching Paint My Life. It is an in house service bringing artists to the homes of the affluent and custom making art for their household or businesses. It includes family portraits, painting and a variety of different creative artworks that can then be used as an art investment also. Besides the PML project, she plans on growing and expanding Art Xtedia to building an app, helping the Aboriginal community in Australia and she has started a new movement called "Successful Artist" a term used to empower an artist. She is passionate about demolishing the struggling or starving artist nonsense.
How can our readers connect with you?
Go to www.artxtedia.com/connect and follow her on social media by simply typing art_xtedia on Facebook and art_xtedia_by_julie_rekha on Instagram.