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Member Since 15 Feb 2013
Offline Last Active Today, 06:18 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: The Versatile Studio

30 October 2014 - 08:25 AM

Beautiful work Marcia. Like your flexible working studio too.


In Topic: What % Of The Sale Price Do You Receive?

28 October 2014 - 09:46 PM

My consignments run from 20% - 40%. The 20% requires I work the sales counter 5 hours a month otherwise it's 30%. A couple of 30% places, one that's 40% and another that asked me to give her the price I needed and she would mark it up however much she thought she could get for it, this place is an exclusive Pet Only gift shop and she gets my Pug and dog art and nobody else but I sell these. Weirdly enough the 40% place is the most prestigious but I sell the least there. The 30% places I do quite well at.

One of the things I do do is try and give each venue slightly different stuff. What I mean is: 1 shop sells just my country bracelets, another my beaded necklaces, or my boxes, or my paintings, etc. This has been working for me and the galleries and shops seem to like it as well. This also helps to negate the percentage differences, someone isn't going into one place and seeing a box for $25 and another place where the same box is $50. I figured out what I think I need to make a profit added a bit of Cush, rounded, added the % and tweaked the price to decide on a price. (Yes oldlady I am increasing my prices on a few of the smaller items so there will be more Cush for me!) Oh and they all have to agree to let me do local festivals and sell my stuff online as well.

I have talked with one place that only does wholesale and wants whatever bought to be sold ONLY through them. I told them I could work with that. I need to get a few unique samples made up and see if any of them are of interest.

I also agree local is best. I have one place I am pulling my stuff out of because it is just too hard to monitor and special trips to do so cost too much in gas and time.

Do I know what I am doing? Heck no, I'm winging it but I've yet to find anartists idiot guide to make a living. I do know I have to be flexible and multi pronged in my approach. LOL I'll let you know if I ever truly feel like I have it all figured out.


In Topic: Craft Shows... Tips For Success

27 October 2014 - 10:28 PM

I have done festivals a couple of different ways. At first I did them with my husband, an easy choice there right? So always had someone to help man the booth during bathroom breaks and a bonus was I made him handle the money while I chatted and bagged this worked well for us. Then the times they did change and I changed my medium and have started over with pottery by myself.

The first pottery festival for me was a group booth with a few potters from the group studio last year. My teacher invites a couple potters each time to join him. It worked well for me as I did not have enough stock to fill a booth by myself, let me stick my toe in the water to see if what I do would sell, and a big one here... it meant I did not have to buy a tent to test this theory out. It went okay I sold some, learned some about displaying my work, talked to people, etc.

After this festival I shared a booth with another women she had jewelry and paintings at another festival. She did not spend much time in the booth, and I sold her stuff as well as mine. This was okay except for she did not have prices on some items and I had to go ask her how much something was to sell it. I sold well at this show and was content that I had learned some additional things.

The third festival I planned to do by myself. I had sold enough at the previous 2 to be able to afford a white easy up tent set up. I wasn't nervous about the display as I knew what I wanted to do, I was nervous about doing the sales all by myself, money, cc, wrapping, bagging, and chatting. I'm not exactly known for being graceful and it does take some technique to do all that smoothly. A friends husband volunteered to help out. He spent most of the show and was helpful. In exchange I displayed and sold a few of her items. I did pretty good sales wise, she did not. I felt bad her husband gave up several days for basically nothing.

After that I decided it was time to put on my big girl pants and sign up for and do some festivals by myself. I have and it's been successful for me. I have come to realize I am a bit of a control freak and actually look forward to the shows with no one to interfere with how I want things done. I learned this lesson by once again doing the studio group booth. It was a success sales wise for myself and a couple others, one person only sold 1 piece and I felt bad. The money handling just didn't work out the table was at the opposite end of a double booth from my stuff and I had so many customers lined up that after a couple hours I just stopped walking down to the opposite end and started collecting and running my own sales. I kept track of what sold and let them know but for me running back and forth just didn't work. Would I do a group studio booth again? Probably, but the sales table needs to be more centrally located or something and the money collection really needs to be more organized. It was really stressful for me and have found even though doing a festival by myself is a lot of work it's actually less stressful. No group decisions, no worry about stepping on someone's toes, no feeling guilty if I sell and they don't, etc etc etc.

I have learned that during set up I meet and greet my neighbors and offer to help them set up their tent if they help set up mine. Makes that part easier on both of us. It also opens the door to have someone watch my booth for a few minutes if I need to use the bathroom and I do the same for them. I try not to leave my booth at all and bring my own food, small light snack type items that I can easily put aside if someone comes in the booth. I wear my money bag on me so don't have to worry about someone to watch the money and my cell phone is my credit card machine so I am very mobile and can walk into the booth and help people easily. I have a small table set up towards the back of the booth prepped with bags, paper, stapler, bag tags, etc. When someone comes up with a sale I write up the receipt, wrap, bag and chat then tell them their total and run the sale. Money is handled and I hand them their bag with any change due. So far this is working but I should state in all honesty I only do small local fairs and this whole system could collapse under a large show like Ann Arbor or Art, Beats and Eats. But then I like my small local shows and really can't be away from home overnight anyway so it's probably not ever going to be an issue.

I guess I would say in summation that starting out it was helpful to share a booth once or twice to get to feeling comfortable and earn the money to buy my own set up. Then I think having a booth to myself is better i can control every aspect of my "shop" and I think that is very important. I have a look I want to convey and having half the tent doing something else doesn't do it for me. I have gotten used to running sales cash and credit cards all by myself, I simplified this by including sales tax in my prices and rounding my prices to the nearest dollar. I also set up an item catalog on my phone so just tap each item they buy and it all automatically adds itself up YAY. The biggest challenge for me has been the confidence to know I can do it alone.


In Topic: Using Pam On A Mold And Having And Issue With Fine Cracks

27 October 2014 - 06:40 PM

Thank you everyone. I will try some of the other methods mentioned. I knew there had to be a better way of doing it than using the nasty Pam spray.

Oldlady - thank you for mentioning tossing the bad bowl in reclaim... Good catch .. I picked out the pieces and tossed it in the garbage instead.


In Topic: Tinkering With Commercial Glazes

25 October 2014 - 10:05 PM

I would definitely chuck the peanut m&ms and get Reese's pieces instead.
Sorry couldn't resist. I hope some of the others that are smart in this area answer as I too would like to know these things