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Thread: Becomng professional

  1. #1
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    Becomng professional

    So, this is my third year doing an annual holiday sale at the large studio where I take classes.

    it will also be my third sale this year.

    A long time time ago I did some art shows, but those were different - sales of a small number of pieces selected by the show, so I am basically just getting off the ground here.

    i had work at a local store for a while, which was ok, but she changed her consignment policy and it is too stilted toward her with not enough benefit to me, so I am done there. The spring sale was good, the fall sale was a waste of time, so I need to find a new fall sale, and I would like to find one early in the year (pre-valentines maybe)

    things i I have learned (I already knew a lot about booth presentation and taking food):
    Record everything you take to the show - style, color, size, price...so that you can take post sale inventory and know exactly what sold.
    take a pretty notebook so people can sign up for your mailing list
    get buisiness cards! (On my todo for this week. My graphic design kid made them, I need to print them)

    things I know I need to do:
    keep better records about time required to produce various items and material costs for pricing decisions. (What do you have to sell this for to pay yourself a reasonable wage? If it doesn’t sell at that price, stop making it or justify why not - hippos pay less than minimum wage but are often made while I am doing something else and they are fun.)

    look into square
    look look into becoming an actual buisiness (llc?)
    look into etsy
    make a website?

    i would love feedback from people ahead of me on this journey or people who are craft/art fair customers and also company (Zoe girl?)

  2. #2
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    Both my Mom and a good friend sold items they made and said they didn't even make minimum wage for the effort. My Mom did it anyways because she was retired and enjoyed it. My friend quit after about 10 years because she also worked f.t. and her time was more valuable. This was in the Midwest where people just did not want to pay much for things.

  3. #3
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    We use to do 35-42 art fairs a year and even then wholesale was 75% of our business. We did 4 major wholesale shows a year. Pottery does well at art shows while the rest of us were struggling in the economic crash our potter friends thrived. I may have shared some websites with you another time this came up. Ill add those later, for now http://www.artfairinsiders.com/forum is a good starting place. Read thru the forums. Ask at library if they have any artfair guides for the state.

    We incorporated....I'd stick with llc.
    Etsy is a heck of a lot of work. I did well on it but it is constantly changing you have to constantly be putting new items on to stay in front of people. You can't just upload 12 items and sit back and wait. Look over other potters pages and study them. Read through the forums (don't know if you can have access to those unless you are a seller).
    Website is good. Some people now find a facebook page for their business is what they update more often than their website. Weebly is easy.
    How are your photography skills?
    The business and marketing end of having a business are 80% of the work.
    Last edited by Float On; 11-13-17 at 2:42pm.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  4. #4
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    Wow float on! This will never be more than a side thing for me! I teach. My current solid goal is to work up to 6 shows a year and my “stretch” goal is to learn to do the online thing.

    i can handle the “business” (accounting, inventory, product analysis...) part. So far photography, tech support, and marketing design have been “free” as a reward for not eating my young. (As in I was running around at set up last night showing people my cool new business cards that my kid made)

    Can you you have a Facebook page that is just a business and not have a personal page at all?

    so, the sale is today and tomorrow. I am mostly set up, but I didn’t quite get finished because the “booths” are work spaces and the person who uses mine ignored the request to clean the booth before the sale. I spent almost an hour tucking their belongings away on their shelves and actually CLEANING before I could set up. (I don’t rent a studio space because I have a studio at home, this person isn’t doing the sale because ?) also I forgot my lamp and one of my backdrop cloths (we cover the shelves with backdrops and put out work on the work tables. It’s a nice set up - all the hardscape is there and each spot has an outlet.

    so, I will go early and finish my set up and also inventory my booth - I meant to write down what I took and compare to what is left after instead of trying to keep track of what goes during the sale, but got too overwhelmed in the packing up. I will also take some pics of my booth for my own reference.

    anyway, I am excited and I woke up at 4:45. Dh and I have a date tonight (he’s picking me up from the sale) so I will be dead tomorrow. My plan for that is coffee and sugar. (And hope the sale goes well!)

  5. #5
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    I can just speak to facebook, yes it can be just a business one. I have a friend who just is Joe Smith - author. He only posts about his books and writing.

    I was hoping to do at least one type of fair this year or even just get my mailing list going but it is a lot of work. So good luck on this, I think it could be a lot of fun as long as your expectations are pretty clear,

  6. #6
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    Can it be a business one that is just "pottery business name" and I don't have a "my real name" Facebook page?

    1st day of the sale went really well. Taking notes, heading back for day 2 soon.

  7. #7
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Chicken lady. I believe you can still do that ours was our business name, I can't remember if a business has to be linked to a personal page or not. It didn't when I set mine up.
    Glad your first day went well.
    We always took an inventory sheet. That way at the end of the year we knew we needed to make time in our year calendar to make what we'd sold the previous year and have an idea what sold better at what shows. Based on previous years we might take 12 boxes of sculptures and only 2 boxes of blown work or vice versa.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Can it be a business one that is just "pottery business name" and I don't have a "my real name" Facebook page?

    1st day of the sale went really well. Taking notes, heading back for day 2 soon.
    Yes i beleive so, or just not put your real name. I have one old email address that does nothave my name included for privacy too

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