No feathers were ruffled!! I just was in awe that you have such good shows. And jealous. I know that it takes a long time of making great pottery to build up the kind of business you have, and since I am 52 already, I don't have that many years left!!
I like the idea of putting flyers in local mailboxes. My shop is near a rafting center, and people leave their cars there all day. I have tried putting my business card on their windshields. I don't know if it helped, but that is the kind of thing I will try, also.
I respect your work and your generosity in sharing all of the time. From what I have learned from what you have written in my time here, you work very hard at this. You deserve all of your success.
I talked to my buddy Steve where I fire my work. He was also in this studio crawl this weekend. He uses a roll of unprinted newprint for wrapping and a Safeway bag. The co-operative gallery where 11 potters sell their work [which he is involved with,as a member] use newsprint and boxes of different sizes. But at Christmas and during their sales, no one has time to do all that fancy stuff. You get your purchase in a bag after it is wrapped in unprinted newsprint. At their studio sales, people are lined up around the block like at a movie premiere. They have have been doing it a long time, and I have never seen a wooden box or a souvenire tile. People are there for the pots, not the packaging.
I am glad this works for these potters, but I think that I will use every advantage I can get!! And I want to know where these people lined up for the pots are!? We have lots of good potters where I live, and none of them have anyone lined up to buy anything. They really, really push hard to make sales and make a living at this. I know they would be green with envy having people lined up around the block to buy their stuff. Where is this??? I'm going to spread the word!
Honestly, if you are successful with a plastic grocery bag, and you obviously are, that is great. I think I will need more branding, as I am newer to this. I don't have a reputation, I don't have repeat customers. I do have some marketing savvy and am getting better and better at making pottery. But I am definitely going to need to push the marketing.
Yes, there is a huge market on etsy for personalized pottery. They do seem to be the biggest sellers. Having said that, there are a number of top sellers on the etsy mud team who make very nice personalized work. A few of them are so busy, they keep raising their prices and extending their production times (I think it's 5 weeks for them now) to try to slow down their orders, to no avail. Lesson for me: never underestimate the power of narcissism!
Another big seller on etsy is personalized wedding doodads, such as ring dishes and the such, with names and dates. Forme, I would like to have a wedding registry, and make dinnerware and canisters, etc. for new couples, not all the knick knacks. I think there would be great satisfaction in helping a young couple start their lives together with handmade pottery. That's one of my goals when I get better at all of this.
In our area the Farmers Market is just for farmers-they do not let Crafts in . As for what do I think if they did- great-come one come all-I started out with just a little experience-looking back I sold all my early stuff which was junk by my todays standards but who cares -I gained experience in the market place- the public bought it as the price was right -now days most of my art shows are highly juried events that only pick what they think is good and thats another subject all together. Mark
As John B. would say, BINGO! You probably thought what you now know was junk was fit for the Louvre back then. Also, very revealingly, is that you say the "price was right". So, basically, you were selling junk cheap. That must have made potters there who had worked for years perfecting their art and trying to get a decent price for their pots feel real good. But, of course, had this forum existed back then and you, as a beginner, had posted your ugly pots here and asked about marketing them you would have gotten the same fawning praise that the kid with the ugly tree vase got here and Teardrop and Trina would have thought the sky was falling if anyone offered even the mildest of criticism.
Just because he was selling newbie pottery doesn't mean it was junk. And why would an experienced potter be angry? The quality was obviously different, people can see that. And really - who are you to judge if someone walked away with a handcrafted pot, made with love and sweat by a newer potter, and was happy? Should only the wealthy be able to afford handcrafted goods? Should less wealthy people not be able to buy pottery? I am ot poor, but there is o way an $80 vas is in my budget.
There are many people who love pottery who are not looking for a piece of art, and couldn't afford that price anyway. I think the newbies fill that need quite well.
Disclaimer: I am a newbie who owns a shop and I sell all levels of my potter, including my own.
I asked this question previously of the folks who are repeatedly critical/judgemental towards noobies selling their wares but didn't receive a reply.
You are the organizer of a Craft Fair/Art Show/Farmer's market. There is a local potter who only has a year or so of experience who wants to take a space in the market and attempt to sell their wares for the first time.
Would it be better for "pottery" to allow this person a space and give "pottery" some exposure...or would it be better for pottery as a whole to tell them they aren't good enough and have no potters whatsoever represented at this market?
To be, or not to be?
And a deeper question dealing with "criticism"....if you are so inclined to comment...
If you saw someone selling at a show who is an obvious noob, would you confront them and tell them they need far more experience before they should ever even think about selling their work...like you do here...or is this just an Internet "hide behind the keyboard" kinda thing goin on that you wouldn't have the nerve to say to someone's face?
not trying too be "negative".....just truly want to know where the folks stand who have been critical towards noobs talking about selling their wares.
have a great day everyone...
I didn't think this is going to be a popular viewpoint, but I have a shop with all handcrafted goods, and I have gorgeous refined pottery, and also sell mine. Mine is newbie pottery, it isn't as light or refined as the experienced potters, so I don't ask the same price for it.
Why do I sell it? Because pottery is very expensive and I think those who don't have $80 for a vase might be happy with a $30 vase. I think we need to offer handcrafted goods to people of all income levels if we are to get people to start buying locally for everything. And I do clearly explain to buyers that I am newer, so my pottery is not the same quality as the good stuff. People can see the difference, they aren't stupid. But many people are thrilled to be able to afford a special piece for a lower price, and some even say they like the imperfections. So while I do have doubts over whether I should even be putting my stuff in my shop, it sells as well as the more expensive pottery, and how does anyone lose? My shop stays in business, experienced poters sell their wares, and people walk out happy, buying something made by hand, and not in China.
Thanks for the encouragement!! I don't have any problem with other opinions ... not everyone needs to buy into the idea or even think it's good. That is also why the page is not run by a committee!
I love this idea!! I just opened a small shop in upstate NY, and I carry all handcrafted and American made goods!! It is an idea whose time has come, I think. The response has been wonderful!! People love to by something made by a local talent. I even sell some of my simpler pottery; I am a newbie, still, so I have sold some plates, bowls, leaf plates, etc., simple and useful. I am always looking for new marketing opportunities, and I use Facebook and my own website and blog for showcasing items we carry.
Great job!!! I will take some pics of my simple items being used and forward them! Nancy