"It all started when a Girl from Amsterdam met a Boy from New York"
The year was 2012 and two strangers met in the Amsterdam airport and fell in love. Two years later, they were married and began a journey around the world, stopping in more than a dozen countries along the way. At each locale, Gracie visited and supported local artist communities, connected with the artists, and ultimately amassed an art collection so large that it wouldn’t even fit in the house!
In 2019, just months before the pandemic, Gracie, David, and their four-legged son, Xiao, moved from Sydney, Australia, to Southern California for David’s work, and Gracie began the planning to open the doors to the very first Grace Galleries, in Laguna Beach, CA. Then Covid hit.
Gracie was mostly through their space remodel in March 2020 when the pandemic struck. Unfazed, Gracie opened the gallery to sparse crowds and mostly empty streets. It wasn’t a glorious beginning!
Her theory for opening rather than closing? "These exquisite masterpieces need the attention they deserve, everyone needs the opportunity to experience art and have a place to go: a place where we feel welcomed instead of judged, where we are allowed to agree or disagree respectfully, and where we can feel comfort and relief while maintaining our moral, social, and artistic values."
Undaunted, Gracie poured her heart and soul into the business, selling paintings as she could. It helped that the gallery and collection were simply one of a kind, as there were works from around the world and many massive pieces of 7’x10’ and larger. In August of 2021, lightning struck. A collector from the Midwest was opening a museum and had no international artists under his wing. Gracie’s collection of 21 artists from 17 different countries struck a chord, and the collector purchased 231 paintings!
Upon waking up the next day, Gracie realized that she had two years left on her three-year lease, and no paintings to sell. The idea of an Art Collective was borne – and a different sort of collective, where the artists and their works are highlighted and everyone bands together as a team to make things tick.
In early 2022, after being voted as one of the top galleries in Laguna Beach and building a nationwide waiting list of artists vying for wall space, Gracie decided to build a one-of-a-kind business in the art industry:
Today, The Grace Galleries is the world’s only Art Collective franchise.
The Grace Galleries is committed to helping artists thrive and grow and to helping our franchise owners succeed. Check out our Become a Franchise tab to learn more about this one and only opportunity to create your own lifestyle!