YOUNG BLACK ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE

THE SPRING FORWARD ISSUE

BLACK BUSINESS

VS

COVID

YBE Q&A

We are Demayne and Tracee Ginyard and our company is Together™ ATL, we are a husband and wife team of fine artist, we specialize in portraiture, still life paintings and graphic design. Together™ ATL is also an art and lifestyle brand where we combined our creative skills to produce and market our artwork with clothing design and cool merchandise.

 

What is our industry and why did it appeal to us?

 

We are in the creative arts industry, we have a lifetime of experience as artist, we recently transitioned from culinary arts to fine art during the recent global pandemic. Demayne is a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta in 1996 and have been an active participant in the inner workings of the Atlanta art scene since the early 2000s. Tracee, is a native from Los Angeles and have been working in the art community for many years from being a professional cosmetologist and hairstylist to curating fine art exhibitions to culinary art pop ups. We were both attracted to each other due to our love for the arts and within months of dating we put on our first art show Together™ in 2010 known as license 2 Ill and it featured many prominent and up and coming visual artist like, Fabian Williams, Dubelyoo, CP the Artist, John Hairston of Charlotte NC, and Miya Bailey. Together we have quietly helped to move the art culture in Atlanta in various essential ways.

 

How have we managed the current state of America’s Economy?

 

We were knee deep in the culinary arts industry in Atlanta over the past 5 years and pre-pandemic, we operated as 95th St. Tacos an LA Style Taco Pop up Stand. We had a great run supporting the local art scene by catering and popping up at art shows, in fact we revolutionized pop up food at art shows, transitioning from wine and cheese to fun and portable eats, that made every event more exciting! The pandemic forced us out of business, because we were such a social brand, the hand to hand aspect of serving food had to be shut down for safety reasons due to CDC social distancing mandates. Tracee and I, did the next logical thing as entrepreneurs, we pivoted into fine art merchandising, hence Together™ ATL was born.

 

What system have we put in place to manage the impact of Covid?

 

We went fully e-commerce, we established our online store togetheratl.bigcartel.com in order to safely sell our artwork to a broader base. Tracee’s artwork really took off during the pandemic and her work adorns many creative spaces and homes across the country as well as in Africa.

 

How did we market our services and products?

 

We use Instagram as our primary source of marketing, facebook draws a very small amount of traffic. Since we have been staying still for the year, it has afforded us more time to be creative and to experiment with new marketing strategies to push our work. We have a few plans for art exhibitions in Atlanta and LA for the up and coming months depending on the status of the Covid 19 decline. We are looking forward to showcasing our pandemic art to the public in the very near future.

What is our biggest challenge?

 

Our biggest challenge is reaching the widest audience possible for our work to be seen and purchased. Instagram has algorithms that prevent the widest followers from engaging in our work. We have done fine, but sales could be better. Being full time artist is a tricky job not just during the pandemic but in general. But we are doing what we love and the future looks bright.

 

Who was our greatest teacher and what has been our greatest learning experience?

 

Our greatest teacher is life and its many many opportunities to re-invent and change directions. Who could have predicted that the pandemic would wipe our successful food business off the playing field? We saw the writing on the wall in March of 2020 and made a drastic shift into becoming full time art-treprenuers. It was scary to say the least because our household depended on the success of it and the profitability as well. We had to make sure that it was sustainable and that we could live. It has been a beautiful struggle, the pandemic provided a much needed rest and reset and a real life paradigm shift. We studied, we executed and we learned much along the way.

 

Expect new Together™ ATL art work from both Tracee and I, and a few very cool and innovative art exhibitions coming to a venue near you!