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When your Gallery goes out of Business


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#1 Mark C.

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:38 PM

This can happen even when its all good.The place made money year around and was very profitable. Sometimes thats not enough.
After 37 years of carrying my work one of my 5 outlets closed up and went out of business. This was one of my best sales spots as it was a gift shop inside a small restaurant.The shear volume of people mad for steady sales. They did incredible business especially in the tourist season. The town is a classic scenic seaport town which is very small. I was one of the 1st artists when they opened in the 70's. At that tome it was called the Eatery/Gallery as the gallery was all local artists. The place went thru 5 owners as the food business eats you up I have always said.The gallery slowly turned into a costal gift shop with junk and my pottery-which sold like wildfire.
These folks signed a really bad lease and after 10 years they had had it.
I started there at a 70/30 split-I got 70%
I ended with a 50/50% deal which I was not happy with as this was a consignment deal-we cut this deal from a 60/40 about 18 months ago.60/40 was the rate for about 20 years
Now I should add that they sold close to 20K a year gross in pottery alone so I went with the new terms but was not to happy about it.
When they got burned and decided not to renew the bad lease I had very little notice (4 days) and after 37 years there went up and packed up my display which also was mine and left during the last evening meal served .
You may think this is a unhappy story but its not. As the pots came back for the holidays most are already gone to other outlets and as its my busy show season they are dispersing every weekend.
The other good note is I'm slowing down and this just forced me to get that much more time off the wheel. All of which is the master plan of making less over time so this is a good thing. The last was the 50/50% which I was not happy with as my other outlets are less and I will not look to replace this venue.
So for me its about 30 trips a year I do not have to drive with wares (they never had good backstock area). That trip took about 1 1/2 hours and now after 37 years that trip is done.
The hardest part is trying to not think what they need this week as its ingrained in me now to think about what this place needed and when.
Hopefully some can learn from this story-I have.

Heres my rack as I packed it up about two weeks ago
Mark
Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#2 Cass

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:59 PM

a hard story, especially after such a run...like they say though, when one door is closed, many more are opened...maybe you'll find an even better selling venue with that work.....

#3 SShirley

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 08:42 AM

Mark,
I'm sorry to hear your gallery closed, but glad that it worked out in other ways.

I want to ask you about your display furniture. Did you build it? Does it break down? I really like the design of it.

Sylvia

#4 Chris Campbell

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:28 AM

Sorry to hear about the closing!
I understand your distress at the 50/50 split. Unfortunately it is extremely difficult for a 60/40 operation to stay in business nowadays.

Chris Campbell
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#5 Mark C.

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:33 AM

Mark,
I'm sorry to hear your gallery closed, but glad that it worked out in other ways.

I want to ask you about your display furniture. Did you build it? Does it break down? I really like the design of it.

Sylvia


I have shown photos of these racks before here-They where made for me by a few talented woodworkers. They are my design and are about the seventh generation design for me-I own 4 of them now. They are silver maple rack (frame) that folds flat like a big W the shelves are birch or maple plywood with a silver maple strong back glued on front edge.
The top and bottom shelve are pegged as well as the mug rack to keep them from spreading open. They go up fast and come down fast-fold flat. The only drawback is the do weigh a bit. They are six feet long and 32 inches front to back. The beauty of them is that every shelve shows off pots as a front shelve with the tired design. You can see into bowls or whatever as you stand in front of them.The middle shelves are interchangeable.
Hop this helps. Because of the tiered nature of the frame which is hinged also they are a complex wood project.
Mark

PS I have had so many requests on this rack -I'll shoot some close up photos today as I just refinished one and its out.
I'll make a detailed post on this in the next day or to-Work load is full so maybe tonight.
Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#6 TJR

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:18 PM

This can happen even when its all good.The place made money year around and was very profitable. Sometimes thats not enough.
After 37 years of carrying my work one of my 5 outlets closed up and went out of business. This was one of my best sales spots as it was a gift shop inside a small restaurant.The shear volume of people mad for steady sales. They did incredible business especially in the tourist season. The town is a classic scenic seaport town which is very small. I was one of the 1st artists when they opened in the 70's. At that tome it was called the Eatery/Gallery as the gallery was all local artists. The place went thru 5 owners as the food business eats you up I have always said.The gallery slowly turned into a costal gift shop with junk and my pottery-which sold like wildfire.
These folks signed a really bad lease and after 10 years they had had it.
I started there at a 70/30 split-I got 70%
I ended with a 50/50% deal which I was not happy with as this was a consignment deal-we cut this deal from a 60/40 about 18 months ago.60/40 was the rate for about 20 years
Now I should add that they sold close to 20K a year gross in pottery alone so I went with the new terms but was not to happy about it.
When they got burned and decided not to renew the bad lease I had very little notice (4 days) and after 37 years there went up and packed up my display which also was mine and left during the last evening meal served .
You may think this is a unhappy story but its not. As the pots came back for the holidays most are already gone to other outlets and as its my busy show season they are dispersing every weekend.
The other good note is I'm slowing down and this just forced me to get that much more time off the wheel. All of which is the master plan of making less over time so this is a good thing. The last was the 50/50% which I was not happy with as my other outlets are less and I will not look to replace this venue.
So for me its about 30 trips a year I do not have to drive with wares (they never had good backstock area). That trip took about 1 1/2 hours and now after 37 years that trip is done.
The hardest part is trying to not think what they need this week as its ingrained in me now to think about what this place needed and when.
Hopefully some can learn from this story-I have.
Mark;
I am sorry for your loss of a great market. I would also like to build that great looking shelf unit. It would be great if you could work up some plans.
Thanks, TJR
Heres my rack as I packed it up about two weeks ago
Mark






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