Fifteen years ago, I was a young man full of intrigue and adventure. I had a yearning to travel the world and see new things. After completing my Bachelors degree in Commerce, I decided to follow my dream and embark on an adventure very few people get to experience - trekking off to one of Canada's last frontiers - The Canadian North.
Venturing off to the far North is not an easy task for any individual. One must go there with a purpose. Mine was to become a professional pilot. To this day, I am not exactly sure what came first, having the aspirations to fly professionally, or my craving to explore the North. Either or - both desires have allowed me to experience the thrill of a lifetime! I was elated and romanticized by the lifestyle of a bush pilot. The choice became a synonymous and ubiquitous one at that as my path was crystal clear.
Complimentary to my business and piloting skill sets, I exhibited a spirit for entrepreneurialism. Moreover, I was very creative and had a strong passion for the arts. In my soul – I am an artist. I compose music, I love to create, and am keenly aware of beautiful things all around me. Vice versa - as a child, I loved Monopoly, and was always fascinated with business. Combining these two elements ignited one of the greatest concepts to ever hit the Inuit art industry - "inuitsculptures.com"
- A place where passionate minded people can appreciate, acquire and admire beautiful pieces of Inuit art throughout the entire world without any geographical limitations.
By introducing Inuit art to an an online arena, inuitsculptures.com has been at the very forefront of bringing this rare and exquisite art medium to the 21st century. Before us, there has never been a venue like this before. This simple concept has done amazingly well and since its creation in 2006. Going forward, we continue to experience tremendous growth year over year. We have evolved from a small Ebay store to what is now arguably the largest Inuit art gallery in the world.
With the online gallery now in full stride, we are able to provide Inuit art on a consistent basis for the entire world to enjoy.
How it All Started
After completing my pilot license, I was able to find work with this Northern outfit based out of Kuujjuaq, QC called Air Inuit. From there, I branched out to another company, Air Labrador, and found myself on the Twin Otter. Moving to the North and experiencing it the way I did was so much more than I could have imagined. The adventure of going in and out of these small communities, landing on short strips through senseless winds, impenetrable fog, and howling blizzards gave me the pilotage skills that will last forever.
The experience of becoming a bush pilot, allowed me to live in the Canadian North for 5-6 years. Experiencing a new culture like the Inuit was an eye-opening experience.
What was so fascinating about them was how they did not worry about unequivocal things (like pot holes, taxes, politics etc...). They let time pass, and enjoyed the simple things.
Because of my time up there, I now have a deep connection with the Inuit.
I do not pity them, sympathies for them or take them lightly in terms of patronizing them. I treat them as equals, as my business associates, as my friends. And in the end, we are able to hammer out deals where everyone is a winner.
From my times in the North, I have learnt a great deal about this intriguingly ambiguous society. I have learnt that the Inuit are incredible hunters. Proficient fisherman. They are brave individuals filled with a spirit inside that resembles humility and humbleness. They are a respectful society and govern themselves on simple laws based on common sense. They are a highly resourceful society and know how to fix things well (if something breaks up north, like a pipe, only you can fix it. There is no plumber to call on). They are ingenuousness, and a have strong sense for community.
One day as I was loading the Twin Otter, and I came across some boxes that said "Inuit art - Museum of Toronto". Right there and then, a lightbulb went off in my head and a concept was born - to provide Inuit art online. I called my wife (Natalia) that evening and told her of this simple idea. She Loved it!
So with the little savings that I had, I decided to buy a few carvings from the locals in Sanikiluak. Among them was the famous Jimmy Iqaluq who I met for the first time. I randomly knocked on his door, and a humble wise and somewhat shy man came to the door. He did not know any english. We were able to communicate in sign language. It was here that I discovered for the first time, his world famous loons. My eyes popped out of my head. I could not believe how refined and exquisite they were.
I acquired one and to this day I continue to have it. It was Jimmy's precious loons that gave the needed niche for our gallery. They were greatly admired by collectors and were an instant hit in our gallery. The many sales of his loons gave our gallery the boost it needed to grow and expand. Today, our logo is his loon. This will never change.
Coupled with my wife's (Natalia) uncanny computer skills, and my artistic ability, we were able to create an amazing website for the world to enjoy. We wanted something that would be fast, simple to use, easy to search with and find things and most of all, something that would be focused on buying Inuit art with no nonsense. Many of our clients say how much they appreciate the online gallery. We have hundreds of clients who visit our New Arrivals section on a daily basis just to see what new pieces we received.
Today, we serve over five thousand clients in over 32 countries around the world. my wife (Natalia) and I have turned what was once a modest collection of Inuit art, into a mainstream, global enterprise. We now have three beautiful children and hopefully one day, they will continue our legacy.