Dec 8, 2022 - Business

Austin's CoCollect loans museum-quality art

Austin-based CoCollect loans museum-quality art to its members. Photo courtesy of Tom Jean Webb via Ivester Contemporary

A new Austin firm loans museum-quality art to customers trying to quickly decorate home and office spaces with unique pieces.

Why it matters: The firm's emergence is a ripple effect of the tide of young professionals now coming to shore in Austin with newfound money and real estate.

What they're saying: CoCollect founder Keli Hogsett told Axios it's time-consuming to acquire fine art, leading many homeowners to hastily purchase prints from big box stores or Etsy to fill walls in a new space.

  • There's a place for prints, Hogsett said, but "it's not necessarily supporting the art system."
  • "Our mission is to get more people living with and learning about fine art," Hogsett added.

Flashback: CoCollect began beta testing its product — via word of mouth — roughly a year ago.

Details: Now, the company is available to the public, and their initial customers are renewing their CoCollect service and buying some pieces to keep.

  • Each piece in CoCollect's collection is valued between $2,000 and as high as $160,000.
  • Customers can choose from 3 to 7 pieces, with annual membership levels at $3,000, $6,000 or $11,000.
  • The company texts interesting facts every other week to help members learn about the pieces and artists in their collection.

Of note: Most of CoCollect's collection is made up of contemporary art, and Hogsett said many of the pieces have a tie to Austin or Texas.

What's next: CoCollect has focused most of its efforts on Austin customers but they're starting to add members in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.

  • Hogsett plans to do an official launch in those cities as they acquire more customers.

The bottom line: "Building a fine art collection is really hard and takes a long time, and it should," Hogsett said. "You're learning a lot, you're trying to find just the right piece that suits your style and your space and is something you connect with."


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