Welcome to our ongoing Q&A feature, where we introduce a member of the Artfinder team to our community. This time, we speak with Anna, our Support & Operations Manager.
Q: Could you start by introducing yourself to our community?
My name is Anna and I am a Polish/Ukrainian living in London. Having studied Mediterranean and Italian studies, I speak and understand a number of languages besides English. That’s why London is such an interesting city for me because I get to hear so many languages, get to connect with people from all over the world, explore diverse ideas and opinions; it’s fascinating and unique. I like learning from people and their stories, hence my appreciation for hidden stories behind people’s portraits. I am in love with British nature, countryside and seaside, and I absolutely adore artworks connecting us with known and unknown lands and seas. I like abstract art aesthetics as well because it’s like life itself - we get a chance to create our own interpretation of it. Since joining Artfinder I’ve been learning about new (to me) art techniques, such as printmaking and digital art.
Q: How long have you worked with Artfinder and what is your role in the company?
As I love travelling myself, before Artfinder, I worked as a travel agent for the Italian market for the biggest business travel agency in the world, being an intermediary - similar to Artfinder - but between travellers and hospitality companies. I’ve been with Artfinder for just over two years now, and it’s been such a great journey so far and I am excited about what is yet to come.
When I first joined the Customer Support team in July 2019 (it was my dream job) we were two people only working hard day by day to help our community of artists and customers. Since the beginning of the pandemic I got a chance to grow the team from one person only (myself) in April last year to six people currently, and we got the pleasure of working side by side with our Community Leader David during his first 9 months in the company while he was part of the Support team too.
Q: What have been your highlights of working with Artfinder so far?
We’ve got a great team of very passionate and hard-working people. We are all united in our vision and our mission, and we all work tirelessly to fulfil it. Being part of Artfinder is motivational and encouraging because everyone is appreciated simply for who they are and the values they bring to the team. Supporting artists and customers and creating processes that help us with order processing and fulfilment is very satisfying because we can act on the feedback we receive, introduce changes to make the community happier, and help more customers cherish art.
Q: Do you come from a creative background? Do you engage in creative activities yourself?
Yes, I was raised in a creative family where everyone was always encouraged to pursue their talents, try new things and learn new skills. Both my father and my younger brother paint and draw, my parental house is widely decorated with paintings and hand-crafted items. At university I studied History of art, in particular Mediterranean and Italian art, and my relationship with art is constant learning and exploring. In my free time, I do love engaging in creative activities: during the first lockdown I tried painting, during the second lockdown - pottery, I definitely love creating various scrapbooks and handmade presents for family and friends!
Q: What does working for a B Corp mean to you?
As a certified B Corp business, we’ve made it our mission to become a sustainable art marketplace that not only supports our community, but our people and planet too. It makes me very proud to be part of a B Corp, a company with values I share and a clear mission to help artists around the world to make a living through their art, which I am dedicated to. I can’t underline enough that Arfinder is ethical and does care about the impact it has on this world and society. Among examples of what Artfinder does great is taking a lot of care of its employees and their mental well-being, planting trees to support our planet, offering their employees a number of days per year to volunteer, this all is rather rare!
Q: What do you like doing in your spare time?
I love to travel and explore new places, although due to Covid it wasn’t really possible, but I tried to explore local areas whenever possible because I believe there’s always something new to discover, you just need to keep your eyes and heart open. Among other things I love to do in my free time, gardening is a definite one (there’s so much to learn there! And I think I am becoming like my mom who has a massive passion for plants). As my photo on the top of the page suggests, I love spending time with my dog, a friendly and super-loving golden retriever. We go hiking a lot together. Cooking and baking as well as reading calms my always wondering with different ideas soul. Visiting museums and exhibitions (here in London there’s a great deal of them!) feeds my curiosity bug.
Q: How have you been coping with the recent Covid situation and do you have any words of advice for anyone who is not coping well with it?
Pre-pandemic I always had a dynamic lifestyle, so at the beginning of the lockdown I wasn’t coping great with the need of staying indoors. But soon enough we all had to learn to live our lives indoors, so I kept myself busy, focusing on learning new things and self-development, staying in touch with family and friends online, doing a lot of yoga and practicing the mindfulness of simple day to day activities. I discovered hiking for myself and how nice it is to connect with nature! But Covid is not over and neither is its impact on our mental well-being, so my advice would be to always be kind to yourself and appreciate that you do your best every day, be grateful for what you have and for who you are, you are enough, we are enough!
Q: If you could take only three items with you to a desert island, what would they be?
It’s tricky because I’m not too much a person of “things”, I am more of a person of feelings and emotions. Maybe a scrapbook of my memories or a photo album capturing the most precious moments? A guide to foraging berries and mushrooms would be useful. Surely, I’d bring a good book which will be a pleasure to read again and again.
Q: Finally, do you have any message for our community?
Leading the Support & Operations team is truly a privilege because my team gets to help artists daily in making a living through their art, and help customers find their favorite artwork which will bring them joy for many years to come. We truly put our community at the heart of what we do, every delivered order is a win for us, every resolved issue is our way of celebrating your art. We try to help you as much as you help us make the world a better place.