This is one way to direct market your ceramics to the public. It’s a sure fire way at Christmas. I stumbled on this years ago. Many years ago I decided to not travel to shows at x-mas and sell my pottery direct to my local audience. This was in 1979. I went to our local shopping center(town of under 20,ooo) and looked around. There is a Safeway grocery store anda Large Chain drug store and some assorted local businesses (about 8-10) inthis small shopping center. All of these stores have a huge weather overhang for our rainy mild climate. I approached the drug store manager and cut a deal to sell my pottery outside his store for a flat fee the two weeks before x-mas.This was the start of a 33 year of selling pottery at x-mas in this shopping center-Since that early time I went thru 5 managers and 4 name changes on that drug store chain as it sold to others along the way-I did 8 years in front of Safeway and now for the past 5 years I am in front of our Local pet store-theonly local shop that’s been thereas long as me. This is a flat fee deal with the shopping center managing real estate firm. The rent is 200$ and I can do as many days as I want in December.I set my own hours. The local store likes me and I do not have to deal with corporate district managers who change their tune every year. The pet store is a solid well-attended business.
This center has had its ups and downs and usually there area few empty stores all thru this 33-year run. This is a way to sell your work and catch the x-mas buying frenzy. It works well-I have learned to tune my hours over the years to what sells the most for the least time. I am open 12-6pm Monday-thru Thursday-11-6pmFri-Sat-11-6 Sundays. Now in order for this to work well I designed a lockable closeable booth. One that includes heat and has power and my sales help can sit in. This idea can work in an indoor environment as well if you live where winter is snow and cold. This can be tweaked to whatever you can come up with and it’s a bit outside the box but works well. It’s the time of year that functional stuff flies off the shelve. I do carry my own business liability insurance and that’s around 300$ but I use it all year as well. I have now been there so long I’m an institution and the locals know where to find me. I do put up florescent color signs ( youcannot not look at them) thru town all on private property that say PotterySale outside such and such store. Get permission for the signs well in advance-I grease the wheels with a few mugs. This situation can be in your area-scout it out this year and get it going next season-Its really a good marketing idea that works well. Its local and I’m local and every year it’s better than the last.
Here’s the setup-the pots on rack on left get stuffed into the display every night for lock up and the lights fit inside as well as the small table on right side as well as a few back stock boxes.