Entrepreneurship Is The New "I'm A DJ"
Chrissy Crawford | Art Advisor + Entrepreneur

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Why Should You Care

With more and more affordable options opening for young people starting an art collection, more and more affordable options for art buying are becoming available. Meet ArtStar, an online art gallery that offers art lovers the chance to collect museum quality, limited edition fine art prints by some of the best contemporary artists working today for a low cost, with the help of your own online advisor.

Chrissy Crawford, ArtStar founder, did some soul searching in her 20s. After college, Crawford headed out west to teach skiing and wait tables, waiting to find her “thing.” Harnessing an interest in art stoked while working at a museum in Aspen, Crawford moved to The Big Apple to pursue a masters in Contemporary Art. After finding the high price of a collecting an unfortunate barrier to entry for young people, ArtStar was born.

In her 20to30 interview, Crawford tells antics from her 20s and how every decision she made, good or bad, led her to found her own successful e-commerce business.


Chrissy Crawford is a New York-based art advisor who runs two scuessful online art galleries, ArtStar and Little Collector.

After earning her master’s degree in International Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, Crawford opened her art advisory business in New York City in 2006.

With the onset of the recession, many of Chrissy’s clients were faced with shrinking art budgets. She created a platform that would enable collectors to discover, collect, and live with the best contemporary art without having to hire a private art advisor, travel to art fairs or spend their entire art budget on one work. Thus, ArtStar was born.

ArtStar.com is an online art gallery that offers limited edition fine art prints by leading contemporary artists.

Chrissy also founded Little Collector, which works with leading artists to create contemporary art for kids. Their mission is to engage children with contemporary art from a young age.

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I feel like with the recession so many people started their own companies when they got laid off that being an entrepreneur is like the new “I’m a DJ.” Everyone has a startup. Everyone I’m talking to is working on their own project.

It’ll be interesting to see who makes it fly, if vc money dries up, what works; what doesn’t work, and if we’re in a bubble right now.

I guess my advice for entrepreneurs when you start… Start; just go cheap. Be really cheap. Have a cheap website; get it out there, because you don’t know how people are gonna use it, and your concept is gonna evolve so quickly that things are gonna constantly change.

I’ve relaunched Artstar three times now. The first time I built it, it was very expensive, very complicated. We did performance art for free, we sold originals, we did prints… I didn’t know what we did. And we have since relaunched it again in December of 2013… So basic. I can do everything myself; we do one thing – we sell prints, that’s it, and we’ve seen a huge growth in how people really understand the site, and they know what we do, they understand our mission, they’re very interactive with it.

So, I think start with something very basic that you can do yourself and then just study your analytics and your users and how they interact with it and really make sure you have that good product-market fit, and go from there. But don’t invest a lot of money in the beginning.

Made By

Cinematography: Danielle Calodney

Edited By: Mert Erdman

Interviewed By: Laura Lehmann

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