Meet Joe Cool
Everyone knows him as Joe Cool.
It was a name that stuck, after Joe McFeeters moved to Coolum Beach to open his Cool-Art Gallery as a bright-eyed 22-year-old.
He recently celebrated the gallery’s 10th birthday.
“It was pretty daunting to start off as a 22-year-old, to walk into a $25,000 a year lease and say I have to make this work,” he said.
“The gallery business is a hard game to be in.
“People think it’s prestigious to have a gallery, but a lot of work goes into them.”
The qualified picture framer said he decided on the name of his business after he and his brother shared a couple of beers and watched the film Cool Runnings together in Toowoomba in 1998.
And while you could be forgiven for thinking a Jamaican bobsled team had little to do with a Coolum art gallery, Joe said the name had become more relevant over time.
Just like the team that carried their sled over the line at the Olympics, Joe said the gallery had presented him with significant challenges over the years.
“Small business is just like that, you’ve got to see it through to the end,” he said.
“You have to give it your all or not be in it.”
Joe initially visited Coolum on holiday in 1996, and said he spotted the enormous potential for growth in the town.
“Like most people who move here, I saw a lot of business opportunities to be had in Coolum – even back then when it was sleepy hollow.”
He considered opening a gallery in Byron Bay or Brisbane, but his gut instinct told him that Coolum would be the right move.
“I think I’ve always known the business would do well, it was my ambition to make that happen,” he said.
“The biggest rewards are customer satisfaction and having a good rapport with all my clients.”
And as for his secrets to success?
“In any small business you’re always going to have teething problems getting it started, but the most important thing is to keep a smile on your face.”