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Wendy Rosen

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Everything posted by Wendy Rosen

  1. Wendy Rosen

    Success - what is it?

    When the fear is gone? I haven't got there yet.
  2. If you think you can't wholesale... is it your work, or your price structure? All to often ceramic artists underprice their works when selling locally. These artists have learned how to make work that sells at the right price, a price that provides them with a livable wage and a secure stable of galleries and shops. Here's a list of those artists who have learned how to succeed at selling to shops and galleries. Please add more names to the list. Amy Meya ceramicartistamymeya.blogspot.com/Amy's colorful sculpture and production work gives galleries both ends of the price point spectrum. Cathy Broski www.broskiclay.comCathy and Amy Meya have found their success by making sculptural work in all sizes andprice points. They save on expenses by traveling together to Philly each year. Suki Diamond Ceramics sukidiamond.comSuki Diamond covers every need for any gallery. From tableware to home accessories, garden sculpture and wall pieces her majolica collections are favorites among many galleries. Jeff Margolin jeffmargolin.com The clay sculptures of Jeff Margolin convey a strong artistic message which is a product of astonishing and sensual aesthetics, and includes fascinating philosophical statements. Jeffs work is large and bold, his signature forms are coveted by top galleries around the country. Marge Margulies margemarguliespottery.comYou can call Marge's pottery functional if you like, but it's equally sculptural in the right setting. Marge balances her retail events and wholesale accounts carefully keeping her business growing. Charan Sachar creativewithclay.blogspot.comcreativewithclay.com Charan just returned from his first Buyers Market of American Craft with more orders than he could have imagined. Enjoy his latest blog entry about booth design, packing and shipping to the show. Anne T. Gary www.annegary.comAnn's thrown, pinched, pulled and curved vases are available at top galleries and fineshops throughout the USA and Canada. Vaughan E. Nelson onebluemarble.com Vaughan Nelson has his hands full with a public studio in the heart of Spanish Village in San Diego. His wholesale accounts keep his income evenly spread out in the off season. Newman Ceramic Works newmanceramicworks.com Alan and Brenda Newman have been full time studio potters since 1978. They are known for organic formed functional porcelain and their matt microcrystalline glazing technique. Arts Business Institute | Blog "FREE weekly business tips for artists! Sign up today! www.artsbusinessinstitute.org/category/blog
  3. I wonder... How many ceramic artists live in Western North Carolina?

  4. Wendy Rosen

    Success at Wholesale

    Robin, I think what you're trying to say is that you can "sell it" before you make it? That's probably the biggest advantage to having a wholesale part of your studio. When you retail you have to have more inventory, and physically move it several times before you actually sell the piece. When you wholesale you are filling an order... not guessing what the customer wants next!
  5. It's been a tough few years but galleries and shops are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel... and it's not an oncoming train. Last year the Philly show (Buyers Market) was back to the 2006 sales level. Business is picking up and the White House wants to know what it will take to make you start a business... this is my weekend homework for the White House Biz Council. Please get your friends to join in... I need answers quickly! -Wendy Rosen
  6. Wendy Rosen

    Presenter Hayne Bayless

    My heart stopped when I saw these! Wendy
  7. Part of our problem as a "business sector" is that we are more likely to self-identify in many different ways for government business. I had a potter call me a few years ago. He had received a call from the "Dept of Labor" and statistician asked him if he was the last of his kind! --that's cause you all identify as performers! Ugh! I'm trying to get federal funding and open credit for studios and you are defeating me! (and yourselves) No wonder the DOL/GOV thinks manufacturing and Made in the USA is dead! For the sake of being counted (I know many of you don't care) we could really see what OUR contribution really looks like if we got together on this issue. YOU are the pioneers of urban revitalization and rural economic development. YOU are where new jobs and new businesses are born. You call yourself a ceramic artist... they call you "micro-manufacturer". Every job in the making sector, is equal to 2 1/2 in other service sectors. We need you! It's really important for us to find the exact right codes for SIC and NAICS In a quick search I found potteries under "home furnishings, Giftware, a few, only a few are classified as pottery products. If you want to compare your business classification to other similar studios here's the link Manta Look up by comparable company or just search on pottery, china or ceramic art... it's all a mess!
  8. It would be great to start a list of how potters "Make it" Most of the potters I know have more than one source of income... often it's a retail showroom/gallery with their friends work. Today with all the gps phones and web portals to promote "events" you can have a studio on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere... and still draw a well-heeled crowd. Statistically, wholesaling artists make 50,000 income from their studio works. Retailing artists make less than half of that... and their expenses are much higher. The twice yearly open studio event is still an important piece of the income pie for most potters and ceramic artists. Add a few private events for small groups to that, a couple of better retail fairs and a few dozen galleries that order 3-4x a year... and you've got a path to more than a meager lifestyle. The better your marketing efforts, the better your results. The time it takes to sell an object is directly proportional to the price of the piece... a $20 piece sells 5x faster than a $100 piece... but the production effort may bring better margins for the higher priced work. Look at the Alumni list of the Arts Business Institute... you'll find a great list of professional ceramic artists there. If you can't find a local mentor that is several steps ahead of you... give me a shout!
  9. Wendy Rosen

    To Sign Or Not To Sign

    I really avoid buying anything that isn't signed or marked. I would feel like I'm cheated out of part of that "added value" that provides me with as much incentive to purchase as the object itself. There's something about the "romantic myth" of buying a piece of a person's lifestyle, culture and love... that's all denied without some reference to a human being... sorry the fingerprint just isn't the same. I want to know 30 years from now, after dementia has set in... I'll need a reminder about that moment I fell in love with that piece. Now, if you don't have a whole bunch of handmade or ceramic items, you might remember, not my case. At every show the art glass says "aren't I beautiful?" ...but the pottery and ceramic art says... "take me home!" Wendy Rosen
  10. Wendy Rosen

    How do you handle a show disaster...

    The truth about shows is... that most contracts clearly state that you should have insurance for this type of disaster. We had a new glass artist who had sold 60k in work (still on display) walk away from his booth during move-out... a pole fell and he lost nearly everything he had sold (but hadn't shipped). It was horrible. We did what we could, passed the hat, offered him space for the following year... My definition of "disaster" is a little different... 3 feet of snow closing down the entire northeast corridor and all the midwest and eastern airports for three days... "snowmagedden" now that was a disaster! I remember one blizzard about ten years ago... we had no food. I sent our advertising sales manager out to throw snowballs up at the 2nd floor windows above the chinatown restaurants... the baker sold us the whole store for $800. A little pizza shop made pizzas in two small ovens... non stop all day. The chinese restauranteurs did open their businesses and cook for us... we picked it all up and served it as best as we could without any catering staff at the Pennsylvania convention center.... I remember the Mayor calling me to see if I was okay. I told him... we're not okay, we're starving! Buyers can't write on empty stomachs... don't call again until you tell me you're bringing food! Wendy Rosen
  11. Wendy Rosen

    The business of art pottery

    "In the "Art" market the sun doesn't shine on the same dog forever" "Not saying it can't be done ... obviously people are doing it every day with preparation and hard work you could be next." Chris, I know very few ceramic artists who have made a living in just one narrow slice of the marketplace. The art success guru and marketing wizard Dale Chihuly does it all... from paper note cards, kiddie art supplies, to production and sculpture in EVERY price point. He does everything but teach (for money) and sell equipment. Learn from the masters... study the marketing strategies of Dali, Picasso, Christo, and even William Morris (the one from the 1800's). The stories are incredible! (I plan to blog about it when I get time this winter...) Wendy Rosen Arts Business Institute, Founder
  12. Wendy Rosen

    The business of art pottery

    I completely agree with Tim. The "Art or fine Craft marketplace" is less than 5% of the US population, 2% or even less for non-functional sculptural work. The wonderful thing about the current marketplace, is that even in an economic slump, you can find your "niche"... there are wonderful resources so you can find collectors by their specific interest. One big mistake is to think that all the customers for "good" work are wealthy... not true! The biggest problem for most artists is that they try to earn a living within a 20 mile radius of their studio... or travel to mediocre shows where costs are high and returns are low. Selling nationwide is the best way to find those great collectors... they have identified the dealers who know their tastes. The best buyers are most often the most educated not the most well-heeled. This is one of my favorite topics to chat about! The Arts Business Institute blog offers studio solutions 3x every week. Happy hunting! Wendy Rosen Facebook AmericanCraft.com American Made Alliance
  13. Wendy Rosen

    The business of art pottery

    How is the market for art pottery? Compared to more traditional stuff. Amy Meya and Cathy Brosky answer this questions last month in the Arts Business Institute blog. The artists are profiled and discuss how they sell to galleries and save on expenses doing wholesale shows. Their work is good "art pottery" sculptural, not functional and sells well with production and limited edition galleries. While some of their pieces go into the thousands... they both rely on a "sweet spot" price point in the wholesale $150-300 range (that's a guestimate). Amy and Cathy both do great wall tile installations, and Cathy has wonderful sculpture... some table top or pedestal, the one she did (as a team effort) for NCECA was over 10ft tall. They both come from Kansas City, are great friends and travel buddies... it saves them a bunch on expenses. Both artists are alumni of the Arts Business Institute (Scottsdale/Phoenix in Oct) (Philly in Feb). They are "real" ceramic artists... not living off a trust fund pretending to be in business. They are both serious artists, making a decent living with their work! Best Wishes... email me if you have any individual questions! Artist Profile: Amy Meya Artist Profile: Cathy Brosky
  14. If you're holding an event or workshop we have some great materials to share with your "attendees" or students. Always happy to provide Back issues of Niche magazine. American Style magazines Crafting An American Style (craft history) PBS documentary Wholesaling basic info. Handmade in America stickers Niche Award applications and info. Videos of panel discussions from the Buyers Market Artist interview videos. Anything we can do by Skype.... Just call... 800-43CRAFT and ask for Lisa.
  15. I loved this show! It was so great to see Sandra Mackenzie Schmidt reconnect with Jan Richardson after soo many years! Both of them make clay houses... but Jan is semi-retired and Sandra just keeps working hard exhibiting at every Buyers Market. It made me think about documenting all these incredible success stories from over the years... so many students are told that they really "can't" make a living unless they also teach... and while multiple sources of income are often the norm, it's great to see productive sculptural clay artists who just focus on supplying work to galleries and shops. It's not as hard as it may seem... just requires a little knowledge and disipline! Can't wait for my lecture today at Fla Craftsmen.
  16. When I mentor an artist about business, I always "get" as much as I give. I really expect the session to turn into a long term relationship of some kind... but few people actually keep in touch. For the past twenty years I've offered mentoring or consulting in several ways... on Facebook for free or one hour for the price of lunch (anywhere but McDonalds) I wish more artists who are well-established would do this for emerging artists... there are few who won't (if asked). Without mentoring, most artists who make the "leap" to wholesaling (instead of a gradual, well thought out plan) are doomed to fail. We're in the process of restructuring our own service fees... giving artists a show discount if they are graduates of an arts business institute workshop or perhaps involved in a mentor relationship with someone who can confirm that they are ready to wholesale. Failure is just too expensive... and the impact to the ego is difficult to overcome. Knowledge + Good Work = Confidence.
  17. This was the best NCECA yet... at least from my point of view. I was able to network with so many real full-time professional ceramic artists. It's always so great to hear how each person finds a path to earning a living... there are hundreds of different paths. At earlier NCECA conferences it seems that there was always a reluctance to discuss business, most attendees were full-time tenured educators or students. I think there were fewer students this year, and fewer tenured educators... and more professional studio artists with "professional business backgrounds". It was so good to re-connect with many of our retired BMAC exhibitors that now live in Florida, their stories about the old days are always fun to hear. This week has made me realize how important start-up stories are to new emerging artists... we'll do some video interviews at the BMAC for sure! My lecture at Fla Craftsmen today will be a little different... based on all this inspiration.

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