COVID-19 did a number on the economy, and continues to do so – especially when it comes to travel brands. It’s not just the airlines suffering through a halt in holidays, its brands like Australian luggage makers July.

If you’re not across, July make epic hard case luggage. I have one and can attest, they’re great. But obviously with everyone stuck in their respective states, and definitely not heading overseas, people aren’t really buying suitcases in droves. Instead of sitting in an anxiety spiral, founders Athan Didaskalou and Richard Li thought about how to pivot their business for a bit.

They realised that while the Aussie arts industry was suffering. Gallery shows were cancelled. Weddings and events were off. This meant photographers and artists were some of the hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.

But while this was going down, Athan and Richard noticed home reno was booming.

“We wanted to connect the two; helping the artists we’ve worked with in the past to a new audience looking to upgrade their homes while in isolation.”

As anyone who isn’t making major bank knows, art isn’t cheap. And while the actual art itself shouldn’t be – ripping off artists is no bueno, guys – the production part could be less exxy. Which is exactly what July went to work on.

Aleksandar Jason, Masai Mara, Kenya, Africa, 2018, from $295

They’ve been using their production facilities to print, frame and ship gallery-grade art for 15-40% cheaper than the market. They’re working directly with local artists to get their works framed and sold via July. Prices start at $295, which is pretty dece in the art space.

One of the first artists they’ve worked with is Jackson Loria, who had all his jobs cancelled when the pandemic hit Australia. He says the biggest win from partnering with July is the fact that they take care of the difficult side of selling art – printing and framing. “It’s better priced than I could ever do it, and I hope to sell more because of it,” he said.

Jacskon Loria, Mueller Hut, Sealy Range, New Zealand, from $295

The first round of July’s Travel Editions is live now, featuring work by Sam Wong, Jess Brohier, Jackson Loria, Tess Kelly and Aleksandar Jason. You can check it out here at July.com/editions.