Earlier this year I blogged about a piece of Melbourne artwork by Delicate Mayhem that RM and I commissioned for our wall and our wedding invitations.

I’m still on Delicate Mayhem‘s mailing list, so I was quite excited to discover that some works from this London artist are now stocked exclusively in Australia, right here in Melbourne. While you can’t buy our wonderful Melbourne picture, you can buy other works from Delicate Mayhem and other artists in a gallery space/shop in Prahran called Signed and Numbered.

This week’s HOT Chat is with Jacqui Vidal, the 28 year old owner of Signed and Numbered. Thanks Jacqui!

Jacqui, tell me a bit more about your background and how you came to start your business Signed and Numbered?

Everyone thinks I must have studied art history or be an artist myself but nothing could be further from the truth. Before I started Signed and Numbered I was an event manager and avid traveller. It was whilst I was in Paris that I stumbled across a little gallery that displayed photos in hard-backed sleeves that allowed customers to flick through the offerings. I fell in love with this hands on approach to art and when I settled down in my home town of Melbourne, I decided to open up a gallery that looked and felt a bit like a record store.

How you select the artworks you sell and where do you source them from?

We ask for exclusivity within Australia, so it was a matter of getting out there to art fairs, gallery openings, hopping online and picking up great publications like Wooden Toy and Semi-Permanent to source new artist to contact. We’re really happy with the line up, which includes the likes of Vexta, Twoone, Kareena Zerofos and Kelly Smith.

Where do you turn for art inspiration?

The laneways of Melbourne. The amount of great art that’s out there 24/7 for anyone and everyone to admire for free is a testament to Melbourne’s street art scene and the City of Melbourne for knowing enough about art to classify it as a public service rather than vandalism.

What has been the most challenging thing you’ve faced in starting up your own business? What advice would you give to a small business owner?

I think the saying ‘you’re your own worst enemy’ rings true for most of us. I’ve had many panic attacks and periods of self-doubt along the way but I’m glad I forged ahead and believed in myself. Confidence in self is the key to making thing happen!

What are your next plans for Signed and Numbered?

I’m currently developing a leasing proposition for local cafes and businesses. I’d love it if my local café had different artworks for me to look at every week.

Finally, where are your HOT places to visit or things to do in Melbourne?

The Astor Cinema (1 Chapel St, St Kilda +61 3 9510 1414) – the best choc tops in the world – especially the arctic banana one.

Fawkner Park (65 Toorak Rd, South Yarra) – the best off lead dog park in Melbourne.

A Shop Called Milton (153 Greville St, Prahran 3 9529 5649) and Urban Jungle (155 Greville Street, Prahran +61 3 9533 8844) – unique home wares and accessories.

Sunday Morning Rotary Market in Camberwell (Station Street, Camberwell) – the best bargain finds as long as you don’t mind an early wake up call.