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Raelynne

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  1. Like
    Raelynne got a reaction from Roberta12 in Startup Cost   
    I second this... I worked random part time jobs for the first two years of selling my pieces, as I wasn't making enough money to justify quitting everything else to do it full time. The first year of doing pottery full time was rough...I am lucky my husband works as well otherwise I don't know if my business would have made it through that year. By the second year of working at it full time I was making enough to support myself, so it can happen in a short period of time...but do be careful and have a plan for the first couple years and the slow times. I don't know about others but cashflow can be tricky for me...alot of budgeting/planning ahead is necessary for me to make it through January/February/March when sales are the lowest and again in September/October.
  2. Like
    Raelynne reacted to alabama in Marbled Clay Pieces...pricing Question   
    What's the old saying about crafts?...."If you want to make a small fortune with arts and crafts, start with a large fortune"!!!
     
    Sometimes pricing a piece of pottery is harder than making it. The first time I sold a vessel solely depended on the price of gasoline. I went to an event to show a potter some pit fired pottery I had recently made, and noticed my fuel gauge was on empty. I already knew there was 3 dollars in my pocket, so the plan was to park facing downhill and coast to the gas station at the bottom of the hill in case I couldn't get the car started when I left. My friend and I were examining the pottery when this lady and her Mom asked my friend how much was her pottery! The friend said, well today I'm a demonstrator so my pottery isn't for sale, but maybe his are!! Then the lady asked me how much this bowl she was holding, and all I could think about was the gas needle on empty, so to play it hopefully safe, I said $15.00? She was able to provide the correct change, and I was able to get enough fuel for 3 or 4 days. I'd say it was a win/win situation.
     
    Marketing is the hardest part so read up on the posts about marketing and pricing, etc. I have in the past asked a gallery/gift shop owner to help me price things and that worked out very well.
     
    Make a list of what you want to make, and either sketch it or find an example to look at while you're throwing it. Those will serve as your blueprints. Saturday I was explaining to a student, if you don't know what you're making, you won't know when you're finished, and you tend to mess with it until it flops. Days you sit down knowing what you plan to make are usually more successful!!!
     
    Good luck!
    Alabama
  3. Like
    Raelynne got a reaction from Zach in Startup Cost   
    Hi Zach... I am a newbie here, and still new in the pottery world (this is my third year selling my pieces full time) I am in the process of setting up a new studio for myself and just put in my order for new equipment, here's what my costs were...(estimates, I don't have numbers in front of me) Skutt kiln (w/shelves and posts) $4,200, ventilation for kiln $600, wheel $1,200, slab roller $800. Someone else might be able to give you a better idea on glazing costs, but I just mixed up a rubbermaid bin of each of my four glazes and they cost around $100 each and will last me a couple months. If you aren't planning on making too much you could always just buy small containers of premixed glazes that would work just fine and they aren't very expensive...you could get a couple different colours for under $100. Basic tools aren't very expensive either, an intial $50 would get you the basics that you would need easily. You will want a couple tables and shelves for prepping your clay, and drying your pieces. Depending on whether you can find those used somewhere or have to buy new the price will vary obviously.
     
    Now keep in mind you can buy used and get everything much cheaper...I bought my first small kiln used for $500 and my wheel for $250 and that worked fine for what I needed it to then. If you are only looking for the bare minimum you could get away with doing it pretty cheaply. I just thought since the costs were fresh in my mind still I'd share so you have an idea of the costs if you were thinking about buying new! I'm sure some of the more experienced members might be able to offer you better advice!
  4. Like
    Raelynne got a reaction from TLDinNC in Graybeards 1St Sale   
    Hi Graybeard! I am new to the forum but have read many of your posts, and just wanted to chime in to say not to be so hard on yourself. The first couple years in doing sales was trial and error for me figuring out which sales were worth going to. I went to quite a few that I look back on and think "Why on earth wouldn't I have checked that sale out more before hauling all of my stuff there!" So it very well may have been the sale, and nothing to do with your pieces at all! My first sale I sold all but one small box of pieces I had brought, then the next two I sold zero...then one more good one, then another zero. Still the odd sale that is a complete flop. Whenever I have a bad sale there are always so many kind potters that have been in the buisness for years and years that come around and remind me not to get discouraged...that it happens to everyone, pretty solid advice.
     
    Never be embarrassed for putting yourself out there and trying something
  5. Like
    Raelynne got a reaction from Mark (Marko) Madrazo in Marbled Clay Pieces...pricing Question   
    Hi Diesel! I am in Saskatchewan... I have heard from some that my prices are too low and am considering changing things up.This is my fifth year doing shows and I have always been apprehensive of charging too much. Seeing how high my expenses were last year has made me think twice about my prices for this year though. I do a few of the Signatures Shows at Christmas time, then mostly local sales in Regina. I do have pieces at the Galleria Inglewood in Calgary, I haven't looked at length at the other prices of pieces there, maybe I am even more off base on pricing for there. I may take you up on that offer, thank you...I appreciate it.
     
     
    I am always leery of scaring customers away by raising the prices when they are selling well...I worry that someone would see the higher than usual price on a pot, not be impressed that it was raised, then remember that next time they see my booth and not even stop to look. Maybe I am overthinking it, you all have more experience than I do....I may have to try it and see what happens. I do know my prices are on the lower side anyways and could stand to come up a bit.
     
     
    Thank you! I do need to keep better track of those sorts of things, I have experimented with prices before but always just have an idea of what works best but don't keep hard numbers. I will make a note to do that.
  6. Like
    Raelynne reacted to Callie Beller Diesel in Marbled Clay Pieces...pricing Question   
    Definitely keep track of your prices, especially if you're selling outside your local area. Some galleries will get right bent about you undercutting them. (Check your contract with Galleria, for instance.)
     
    With your comment about being worried about scaring people off with high prices, I think you're looking at your work like people are buying it from a big box store. You make a luxury item, you're not in competiton with Corelle. If your shoppers are fans of yours, they will buy your work because they like your style. If they're fans of pottery, they're aware of the going rates, and won't flinch if your work is in line with it. If they're complaining about price, they were never going to buy. It's just not their thing in the first place. Don't resist a rate hike if it's warranted. Living indoors in a Canadian winter isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. You have bills. From your pictures, you also have some skills to pay them with.
     
    Heck, use an imminent price hike as an offer to your mailing list clients an opportunity to buy at the lower price while they still can! They will be excited to do so.
     
    You have an ability that not everyone possesses. We pay the big bucks to the trades to repair our homes, fix our plumbing or our cars because they know how and we don't. Think of making pots as a trade of sorts. It was, at one point. No one else will do what you do quite the way you do it. It's ok to get paid for that.
     
     
    Mea hasn't blown her own horn on this, but she has a most excellent blog post about exactly how she goes about pricing her work. Follow the link in her signature.
  7. Like
    Raelynne got a reaction from Min in Graybeards 1St Sale   
    Hi Graybeard! I am new to the forum but have read many of your posts, and just wanted to chime in to say not to be so hard on yourself. The first couple years in doing sales was trial and error for me figuring out which sales were worth going to. I went to quite a few that I look back on and think "Why on earth wouldn't I have checked that sale out more before hauling all of my stuff there!" So it very well may have been the sale, and nothing to do with your pieces at all! My first sale I sold all but one small box of pieces I had brought, then the next two I sold zero...then one more good one, then another zero. Still the odd sale that is a complete flop. Whenever I have a bad sale there are always so many kind potters that have been in the buisness for years and years that come around and remind me not to get discouraged...that it happens to everyone, pretty solid advice.
     
    Never be embarrassed for putting yourself out there and trying something
  8. Like
    Raelynne got a reaction from cbarnes in Admire The Teachers   
    I started teaching classes a few years ago, and had no idea what I was getting into! As a mostly self-taught potter myself I never realized how much I just did things, without thinking about them...or even knowing I was doing them, until I started teaching. My throwing has improved a lot since i started, from having to trouble shoot beginner problems, to having to be so aware of every movement I make at the wheel so I can explain what I'm doing to my students effectively...it's crazy. I think it's a great learning opportunity for any potter to teach someone how to throw, even just the basics. It has made me appreciate teachers so much more, I am just in awe of people who do it for a living. Hats off to anyone that does, you all are the best!
     
    I very much second (third, fourth!) the idea of throwing with your eyes closed/blindfolded. My grandma taught me to throw and that was standard, any time I was having troubles "Close your eyes and feel the clay! Staring at it isn't going to fix anything!"
  9. Like
    Raelynne reacted to GEP in Another Pricing Topic   
    When I sell my work wholesale to galleries, I price it so they can charge the same retail price as me. I know some of them charge more than that anyways, because they can, due to the customer base and reputation they have built for themselves. But it is their choice, I am not expecting them to do that. 
     
    When I meet a customer who first found my work in a gallery, I would never ever tell that customer to NOT buy from the gallery because they can get it cheaper from me. That is unethical. I would expect a respectable gallery would drop me if they found out I was doing that. A gallery that does a good job selling your work is a valuable business partner. Those relationships should be treated with respect. 
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