Dionna Collins, the founder and CEO of the Atlanta startup ComfiArt uses her company to help create alternative ways to make income in the art community.
“To me art is life … everything you see around you is art. From architecture to your car, to visual paintings, to videos, to photography, to the creation of human beings,” explained Collins. “Most people don’t think that literal about art and some people think that creators and artists don’t need to be paid for their art.”
Read on to learn more about Collins.
How did you get to where you are today?
Honestly, I’ve always been a creative person. My love for art started when I was 7 years old and my mom started putting me in art classes. As a matter of fact, I grew up in Boston. My family lived around the corner from North Eastern University close to Berkelee College [of Music], [the Boston] Pops Symphony, and [the] Boston Museum of Fine Arts so I was surrounded by art and culture growing up.
Now, as a single mother, my daughter motivates me. She is the driving force for me to be my best and I do everything for her. I want my legacy to be passed down to her and for her to see a successful Black role model that she can look up to, knowing that she can do and be multiple things in her life and not have to conform to who or what society says she has to be.
Tell us more about ComfiArt.
ComfiArt was started as a pillow company. I have a background in graphic design and art, so all the products online were created by me. We ensure that people are able to afford beautiful artwork in the small pieces we offer online. Our goal is to make sure that if you aren’t able to afford a $5,000 and upward original piece, you can afford original artwork with ComfiArt.
As part of ComfiArt, I really want to focus on a community of artists and not have consumers have an excuse to say they can’t afford art. Our focus is on both the artist and the consumer. … ComfiArt helps artists find alternative ways to make income. Our goal is to make sure we all thrive as a community and move forward in excellence. We value opportunities to work with brands and companies such as XoNecole, WeWork and Whole Foods.
Based upon your experience, what advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs?
Be open. Building a business is an ever-changing ecosystem so always be open to growing, adapting, and to the market changes.
Just start. Once you start, you’ll find out where to go. But you must start. Along the way you learn what to do and what not to do, it’s all trial and error.
The right people. Having a mentor and being around like-minded people is good so that you can learn and bounce ideas around.
You can find Collins at dionnacollins.com and learn more about ComfiArt at comfiart.com.