The day club

The day club.  It’s taken off.  In the nine or ten years its been running, I’ve had people from all over NZ, in fact, all over the world come and enjoy it.  It’s not a cult, but it has a slightly revolutionary flavour.  What I love is that it took off with virtually no marketing effort from me.  It became a word of mouth phononomen almost over night.  The first few groups I had through, told their friends, who told their friends.  Suddenly I was making such a contribution to the schools their kids were going to it was on the news, which totally got the ball rolling.  I had bookings months in advance.  Exciting times.  Its worked out to be about 20 groups a year come through – with about 4 people each and about 90 % of people buy something.  The thing I love about it, is it ticks all the boxes of the things I love.  I get to meet each person without feeling like I have to rush off to the next.  They are all interesting and fun.  They are all coming with the intention of buying something.  I get many commissions.  The schools get huge benefit from it.  The first year of doing it, I made about $25,000 for schools in Auckland.  That is a good fundraising effort!  The next year it was more like $35,000 and its just continued to raise each year.  After a couple of years the Day Club then had an exhibition.  A law firm approached me and asked me if I’d be happy to donate the same 20% to schools if they put on an exhibition, and invited their client base, plus a couple of schools from the area.   It was a huge success.  The first year was a sell out show and has continued to be ever since.  We have five artists participating in the exhibition, and my gallery on Waiheke has expanded now to have work from several artists.  It has become a calendar event in Auckland.  The Herald has done many articles.  Metro has been there.   Cambell live did a piece on it.  The other thing I like is that it has contributed to Waiheke being seen to be part an integral part of the NZ art scene.  Its always been an ‘arty’ place, but people now come here in particular for the art.  There is the sculpture on the gulf, the winter art festival, the open studios and the community gallery.  All very high standard.  All very worth visiting.  Its just lovely to have folks come to the gallery who have come to the island specificcally to see the art.  It makes me feel good about what I have helped to be part of.  I love my island. I love me life.

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