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David Bownes.

1. What was your first major sale?

On the day the website launched, January 9, 2016, we sold about half a dozen posters within minutes of sending out the first newsletter. The perfect start!

2. Biggest threat to the market?

I genuinely don’t think the market for original, high-quality examples of British poster design is under any sort of threat.

My biggest challenge is educating potential customers on the difference between a modern reproduction and the ‘real thing’, as many people are surprised to learn that they can buy an authentic, vintage, lithographic poster by a major UK-based designer.

3. How do you use social media in your business?

I use Twitter a lot (@C20thPosters). As a rule, most of my Twitter feeds share information about poster history and notifications about upcoming events.

Direct selling is kept to a minimum as, in my experience, social media users are wary of ‘hard sell’. Moreover, I want to engage with all those interested in British design, whether they’re potential customers or not. And good social media content directly drives traffic to your website which may convert browsers to customers in the long run.

4. Auction houses: friend or foe?

Friend. Online auctions have revolutionised dealing. I can sit in my office and buy from auctions all over the world. Of course, one has to keep an eye on costs, and there have been times when I’ve been less than impressed by the ‘additional’ costs that some auction houses charge. But on the whole, a positive experience.

5. Real ale or espresso martini?

Neither – A nice Rioja or Malbec, thanks.


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