One of the most popular questions I’ve heard from co-workers, peers, friends, and even coming from my own mouth is, “how can I stand out in my industry?” It’s a tough query, and it’s challenging figuring out the right answer. There’s a fine line between becoming another mundane résumé in the stack and coming off as obnoxious while trying to stand out. Artist Chelsea Neman’s approach? Find a gap and run with it. Neman works in a career field where a slight lack of creativity and originality can be the difference between failure and success. So we couldn’t think of a better person to get advice from on standing out and making space for yourself.
Companies often take the road of exclusivity—a method used to make a product look more desirable and unique. Neman did the opposite. She noticed a hole in the art industry that wasn’t being filled. Emerging artists were having a hard time selling their work and establishing their careers. And budding art collectors were having a tough time collecting work and breaking into the business with smaller budgets. From this, Tappan Collective was born.
“Everybody should be able to have quality artwork at any price point. So being able to make it approachable, make it friendly, make it educational—that’s what we’re excited about doing for the [art] space,” she said. Building this space for artists and collectors to coexist comfortably was a much needed idea that she brought to fruition.
“On one end we’re changing the lives of the artists and making it possible for them to pursue their career, while also delivering a unique quality item to a collector or to somebody who wants to collect and didn’t feel like they could. So it’s a win-win.” Neman’s company is flourishing. Her 64K followers on Instagram can’t get enough of the beautifully curated rooms and behind-the-scene studio shots featuring the remarkable artwork Tappan Collective sells. The success following her ideas proves that it’s worth taking a chance on any little crack you can chip away at in your industry.
When we asked what she’d tell herself on graduation day, she responded with a simple and meaningful sentiment that is helpful and applicable to all of us who are trying to find where we fit. “Stay true to yourself. Just continue. Things work out, you never know which way or why things unfold the way they do. But if you stay true to yourself it will be for the best.”
Tune into the rest of our conversation by listening to our most recent Office Hours podcast below!
What’s your advice for standing out and finding your niche? Sound off in the comments!