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Chris Campbell

Member Since 07 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:46 PM

#120816 Wholesale Marketing Materials

Posted by Chris Campbell on 17 January 2017 - 10:39 PM

It would be worthwhile to pay someone ... in cash or pottery ... to Google the list to narrow it down to Galleries who sell handmade pottery.

This effort would give you quality over quantity as most gift shops and Galleries buy at shows like the huge Atlanta wholesale gift show that is heavy on factory imports and great for profit margins. You only have to see the site to spot the same exact work in every shop.

Another venue you might want to look into is wholesalecrafts.com where buyers are actively looking for work year round. I was on this site for ten years when I did wholesale and they tried to keep the goods hand made ... but, I have no idea what it is like now so cannot vouch for it 100%. Others might have more current info.

#120611 Underglaze

Posted by Chris Campbell on 15 January 2017 - 12:01 PM

My guess is that the underglaze is being applied too thickly and not soaking into the clay but resting on top of it.
Thin out the underglazes to a cream consistency ... it is amazing how quickly they thicken up in the jar.
It is natural that the glaze would pop off since the underglaze is not holding on to anything.
If they want a darker color after bisque firing, they can always add another coat then bisque again.

#120574 Is Cone 4-10 Clay Fired To Cone 4 Underfired?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 14 January 2017 - 06:43 PM

So Nerd, I was hanging in and ignoring the brownies talk and all ... then you mentioned cooking a PRIME RIB roast to well done!!!
That is just an expensive, over fired error.

#120459 Wholesale-Know Your Limits

Posted by Chris Campbell on 12 January 2017 - 11:03 AM

You don't have to turn down any orders, just give out realistic delivery dates. My approach was to have every other Monday as a "delivery date." I had max dollar amount that I felt I could produce in two weeks. As I received orders, they were assigned a delivery date. When delivery dates became full, they were no longer available. Buyers are fine with you telling them their delivery will be in 3 months, or even 6 months. If that is your demand level, buyers understand.

I agree. You don't need to turn down orders ... you do pessimistic math and provide realistic delivery dates.

#120428 Wholesale-Know Your Limits

Posted by Chris Campbell on 11 January 2017 - 10:27 PM

Sadly Marks tale is a very common one ... and one I suspect has been repeating itself since the first potters took orders from a tribal elder. I know at least four who are not potting anymore because they took all kinds of orders without serious planning and basically started to hate what they were doing.

Simple math and eternal hope collide with reality every time.
doctors, dentists, haircuts, errands, power failures, bad loads, cracks, new glaze/clay ingredients, bill paying, computer time, marketing, managing, telephone calls, emails, sore body, annoying injuries, simple recreation needs.

Under promise. Over deliver.

#120382 Wholesale Marketing Materials

Posted by Chris Campbell on 10 January 2017 - 10:24 PM

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

Yes, sounds like something a grandma would say, but there it is.

I know you have business experience, so please forgive me if this sounds way too basic but ...

Do you have a cohesive line of work that covers multiple price points?
Do you have good, sales focused images of these pieces?
Do you have your pricing, your minimums, your guarantees, your refund or replacement policies?
Do you have product info tags?
Do you have any idea how many you can make in a given time frame?
What is your turn around time for orders?
Have you researched to narrow down your Gallery focus to those who sell your type of pottery?
Has your work been tested so you can say it is food safe?
Have you decided what the best route is for you to do your marketing and find sales? In person? Online? Group sites? Solo site?
Will you be competing against your Galleries online or at Craft Fairs in their area?

I am not writing this to discourage you but to give you a plan of attack.
Make sure you are ready before you start.

#120268 To Wholesale Or Not?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 09 January 2017 - 12:52 PM



Contact these two people and ask them if your new client pays on time, or is in arrears.

If they are in arrears a good followup question would be, "Would you continue offering them net 30?" Sometimes a good customer hits a rough patch.
The only observation I'd make about this is if a customer is in arrears to a supplier because they're overextended, extending them credit is risky. It doesn't mean you can't sell to them, it means you shouldn't extend credit at this time. Offer them the option of reapplying at a later date for net 30. (Say in 3-6 months).
It's a cover your ass scenario, and you have to be comfortable with extending credit. If my time is the most valuable thing I have to offer, spending said time chasing someone's delinquent payment is not the best use of it.


I agree 100% ... do not make their problem yours.

That does not sound "nice" but you need to stay solvent ... take care of your business not theirs.

#119944 Wholesale Minimums

Posted by Chris Campbell on 05 January 2017 - 09:17 PM

Stephen ... consider investing in some help before you leap into it.

The Arts Business Institute offers weekend workshops that will answer all of your questions and many you didn't think of yet!
They have a "Boot Camp" coming up in Philly on Feb 18-19th. I have attended two of these and they are loaded with solid info for any artists considering wholesale. They will save you years of mistakes.

P.s. ... I don't work for them or have anything to gain by recommending them. I just know they care about artists being successful. Their website is also full of great articles and info.

#119775 To Wholesale Or Not?

Posted by Chris Campbell on 03 January 2017 - 08:02 PM

Thanks for the recommend bciskepottery ... I was just about to post it!

I did 100% wholesale for many years and enjoyed it a lot.
I figured out my costs and knew what $$$ I needed to get. I loved never having to do shows and 'one of' sales.
But one size does not fit all.

The basis of ANY success in wholesale lies in making a good piece, setting a fair price, delivering it on time ... and making sure you get paid on time.
Thus the Net 30 deal .... the first order to any customer is pre-paid. No options. With a re-order you can offer them the option of Net 30 which simply means you are giving them 30 days to pay. If they do not pay on time, they go back to pre payment before you ship.
Another note is to beware of "nice" people and the natural desire to want to help ...

#119188 Pre Heat Greenware To Dry Out Days Before Firing

Posted by Chris Campbell on 26 December 2016 - 09:51 AM

Just how off the chart wrong am I??
In all my years in pottery (30) I've candled a load under ten times. I load when things are dry and fire. No problems.
It's the way I was taught ... is there anyone else who does this?

#119107 Selling Pottery 101

Posted by Chris Campbell on 24 December 2016 - 05:50 PM

Nerd, it is NOT a way to test YOUR market.

Is it a safe way to put your work out there? Yes.
Will it tell you anything useful about your work being saleable? No.

I have never had a healthy market for my work in my area. Just means you gotta find your way out of State.
With that $120 you could pay to ship your work to any Gallery you could find. There are many excellent Galleries of American Craft. Start with the Googling. Find a few Galleries that sell good quality pottery and check out their guidelines for submitting work.
Take good images and submit your work.
I have a few articles on this on my website ... http://ccpottery.com...rk_to_gall.html

You don't stint on the quality of the work you put into making them, so show them off in a nice bright light!

#119038 Selling Pottery 101

Posted by Chris Campbell on 23 December 2016 - 09:50 PM

First questions concern your audience in the store.
Was there anything else in the store in your price range?
What is the price point of the average sale?
How much does he sell in your price range?
Next concerns you ...
What happens if a piece is broken, lost or stolen?

#119014 Clay College

Posted by Chris Campbell on 23 December 2016 - 11:23 AM

The internet only engages sight ... you deprive yourself of all the other senses.
How clay feels when it is ready for the next step, how it feels when it is really dry, when it feels just right to put on slips.
Smell ... yes, how a properly firing kiln smells. Notice how long it takes, how to load and unload it.
Social ... learn from all the other potters experiences.
Taste ... people always seem to bring food to workshops! : - )

#118974 Clay College

Posted by Chris Campbell on 22 December 2016 - 07:13 PM

I spoke recently with a director of a craft center who is having trouble filling workshops ... people say they can learn just as well, for free on YouTube or yes... right here.
For the record, NO you can't.

#118892 How Does This Master Get These Colors.

Posted by Chris Campbell on 21 December 2016 - 09:02 PM

I have to agree with Mark on the vastness of pottery ... 25 years ago I decided to focus on colored clay and the amount I don't know is growing faster than what I do know. Every time I turn a corner another world opens up .. and, that is just with the process of making objects with stained colored clay .,. I still have not touched chemical additions, firing options or formulating my own clay body ... just now experimenting with throwing. Never a dull moment.