Kate E Hoffman created Spacey Studios, one of the first fine art-selling startups curating directly from Instagram. Kate looks to attract two demographics largely neglected by the traditional fine art world – 75% of Spacey collectors are millennials, and 85% of them are women. We spoke to Kate about her approach to Spacey and also asked about her career tips.
Where did you do your first internship?
My first internship was working at a television production company called Original Media, where we produced shows like The Rachel Zoe Project. I ended up working with the CEO, Charlie Corwin, again, 6 years later, this time as an executive at a different production company called Endemol Shine. Charlie is an avid art collector, and we developed an art show before I left to start my art company Spacey Studios.
Did you have any mentors you learned a lot from?
Absolutely! Since starting Spacey, one of my investors, Carine Magescas, has been an incredible mentor. She is a tech investor, an artist, collector, brilliant, and kind. I love looking to her as an example of how I want to lead my company.
Did you experience a lot of competitiveness in your career path?
The only thing that makes me feel competitive are my own goals, so no, I really haven’t. I believe this comes from showing people how you expect to be treated… I have been lucky enough to develop some of my closest friendships and found incredible mentors through my work.
Did you always want to work in the art world and why?
I have always been mesmerized by the art world, I like the idea that art can tell a story—I started Spacey because I didn’t see the power of storytelling brought to life in the art world. People are made to feel intimidated by art, making them afraid to talk and share art — it’s so stifling! So I found myself seeking other storytelling media in the first part of my career: I interned at editorial companies like InStyle Mag, I worked for new media brands like Refinery29, I produced television… but I was always hoping to come back to art. My mom worked as a museum docent when I was younger, and it was such a gift to have her share charismatic stories about art with us. It taught me that art has the power to connect people and create conversation like no other product or platform.
Do you feel the art world is undergoing lots of changes these days?
Yes and no. Yes, because this generation of emerging artists and collectors have moved outside of the traditional art-world market, connecting directly through social media platforms, rejecting the complex systems that have placed barriers between artists and collectors for centuries. And no, because the traditional art institutions haven’t evolved with this generation of buyers and sellers— and this is where Spacey comes in.
Where do you see yourself in the coming 5 years?
I see myself surrounded by a world of emerging new collectors and artists through Spacey. I also can’t wait to see how the world will evolve and how we will evolve with it. Oh and I see myself having a more balanced lifestyle (fingers crossed)!
Best career advice you received?
Always consider how you’re bringing value to work. If I can bring value, then selling is simple, innovating is easy, networking is natural, because I’m offering something that is worthwhile to the world. My dad gave me this advice when I first started working, and it’s something I think about constantly.
Your words of wisdom for young women?
Find what drives you, and use that to lead each day with confidence and excitement. There are NO limitations on what you can do, and never let anyone, especially A MAN, make you feel otherwise.