Liezel and Kitty

's story

Liezel and Kitty of Subject Matter Art co-curate an international collective for discerning clients who want to decorate their homes with art they love. They are on a mission to break through the unregulated art market, make it available to all and fairer for artists. Digital Boost helped them take their SEO to a new level, extending the reach of their improved website. Says Kitty: “Digital Boost has saved us a huge amount of time shortcutting to what we need to know to grow.”

Every home is different and what you choose to put on your walls can give an intimate insight into your life and personality. 

But if you choose to decorate your home with original art, the buying process can be intimidating. The art market is mysterious and unregulated. According to Liezel and Kitty of Subject Matter Art, it’s the only industry where you can be made to feel like an idiot just for asking the price! 

Founded in 2011 by Liezel with her husband Jon, the business is on a mission to democratise art, making it fair and available to everyone. She met Kitty in 2014 when they were both new mums living in the same apartment block in London. Truly the power of an accidental connection.

The two now co-curate an international and highly personal art collective featuring hand-picked artists. Both believe in the power of honest and transparent communication, whether it is with their artists, their clients, or each other. 

Turning traditional male-dominated representation on its head, 70% of the artists supported are female. Clients are predominantly female too, and Kitty advises them to shop with their heart, their head, and their eyes, not purely for investment. Make an emotional connection and then imagine where the piece would sit in their homes. “Our dream clients”, she says, “are people who simply love art. We are bringing together artists and clients who wouldn’t otherwise connect.”

During the pandemic, business has been unpredictable, especially as they are working with artists and clients from all over the world. Early on, they set up Lockdown Commissions which were popular with artists and clients alike as people turned to furnishing their homes while at home during the first lockdowns. But there were slower times too, which made Liezel and Kitty decide to invest in making the website more intuitive and self-sustaining. They needed to drive SEO, to push their reach and expand their customer base, which is why they came to Digital Boost. 

Digital Boost, who provide FREE unlimited mentorships via partners, plus workshops and extensive digital training, were advertised in Somerset House’s weekly newsletter, where Subject Matter Art have their workspace. Liezel and Kitty had found a voice on Instagram, standing up for fair play for artists, but art is an irregular and highly considered purchase. So, they focused on attracting more people to the website, to browse and return when the time is right to buy. They needed insights they could use, having learned from experience that as a small business you couldn’t afford to make too many mistakes. 

They connected with a mentor from Apple, clearly an art-lover, who gave them an invaluable lowdown on SEO strategy, with suggestions that were followed up by email. Another from Visa worked through very practical action points on the same topic. Between the two, they had a very clear direction, and a solid starting point. Kitty and Liezel then hired a specialist freelancer to make it work. Thanks to the Digital Boost mentors, they had shortcut a whole host of confusing online blogs, had confidence in their approach, and understood how to read success or failure in their SEO strategy. 

Their immediate focus is to get SEO working to attract more website views, newsletter signups and Instagram followers. They already have plans to return to Digital Boost, to further improve their SEO expertise and then tackle the user journey, planning to connect with a UX expert. 

Kitty reflects: “Art is a consideration purchase, so we need to reach more people to sell more artists’ work. Digital Boost is helping us to do that, and they have saved us a huge amount of time shortcutting to what we need to know.”

“I have already recommended Digital Boost to a business group I mentor. My advice would be to be clear on exactly what you need to know and check that the mentor you connect with can help with that.”

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