Is it 10 more days of shopping?/ Consignment talk

This is me in my imaginary world of what Christmas should be like. Me all dressed in the 40's garb going shopping in New York City and enjoying all the wonderful holiday windows. In actuality I've been driving around the Charlotte trying to piece together holiday sales and comparative shopping to stretch out budget this year.

Yesterday I packed up more pots to send out last minute to some of my consignment galleries. I just sent work to a new gallery in Upstate NY called Imagine That. I'm so excited to have work outside of the South East!

While on this subject of last minute pots to go out I thought I'd start my "view" on the whole gallery talk the Ron Philbeck has written about in the last few weeks. So..here I go!

Consignment and Me!

So, I'm sure some of you think its crazy that here it is December 15th and I'm sending pots out for sale. Your thinking , "Well, she's missed prime selling time for the season"! And, maybe your right but I have to think that there are those folks like me that do last minute shopping or older people like my parents who still have the mind set that in this day and age we start the Christmas rush way to early. People like my folks don't need to worry about that "got to have Santa item", which always gets gone the day after Thanksgiving. My parents generation I think still likes to buy special things for one another and they don't really care for those items placed on a list. So..I'm hoping these folks will venture out to galleries and specialty stores for those one of a kind items right before Christmas or perhaps after Christmas when they are just relaxing and looking around.

So, I'm sort of off the topic at hand...Consignment verses Galleries.

I do think consignment has become pretty popular for retailers since the economy has been weak and for someone like me, it works well. A crafts person like myself that does not keep her inventory the same, can't always keep up with deadlines and at the last minute just wants to clean off my shelves and get that work out there...this is awesome. Trying to keep up with galleries owners how need things right away when your a working Mom is just to stressful for me. Galleries owners can say they understand the fact that I'm a Mom but really when they need stuff, they want it in two weeks and I can not always do this for them.

I love that fact that my consignment shops will take inventory whenever I have it and will allow me to get items if I ever need them in a pinch. The 60-40 cuts I think works out about the same as 50-50 for me. When I have to ship stuff I just ask the consinger to add those few dollars onto my price so I can get back what I spent in shipping. I can make whatever I want and "test it" here and there and I don't have work sitting in a gallery gathering dust that has been bought and for some reason does not sell at the shop.

So..I guess for the time being, as long as the consigner and I have a good working relationship, I think its a good fit for a sort of part-time but serious potter like myself.

I will have to add that I have been burned with consignment shops braking my items or getting things back chipped so these days I do have a letter for new consignment shops that says if something get damaged, they need to pay me for it. I feel that if my work is at a consignment location, I still own the work and should be able to do what I want with it for the most part. They are helping me by selling my work but I am also helping them make money, so a good relationship is important.

Well....that is my first installment for this discussion. I'm off to run to another store. Time to put on my Mommy cape!


-Rob, Simple Circle Studios said...

Thanks for postings like this! It is very helpful for potters like myself who are trying to find ways to get their work out there. I have done a few small, local craft fairs, but that is about it thus far. How do you go about finding galleries or shops to put your work in?

Jen Mecca said...

Hi Rob,
I find galleries all sorts of ways. I look on line, word of mouth and when I do shows, they usually find me so I think that is a good way to start off. Make friends with other potters and that always helps with information about good galleries!
Good luck! Jen

Linda Starr said...

I love the poster how idyllic. congrats on the new gallery and if folks are anything like my husband last minute shopping is always the norm plus there are always birthdays, wedding gifts and then valentines day after that. Perhaps consignment isn't that bad and for me it would make more room on my shelves so I could make more work. thanks for the tips about adding to the price for shipping and breakage, very sage advice.

Tracey Broome said...

I was in the NC Crafts Gallery yesterday and today dropping off stuff and the store was very busy both times. She was selling my stuff while I was still there both days, that was so fun. So, I think sending things to galleries now is a good idea.This is the first gallery I have sold to and like you said they found me at a local arts show I was doing. I am trying to be very flexible, will let her take stuff to try out if she wants to, just to see if I am a good fit for the store. I have some things on consignment and she buys some things wholesale, just depends on the price.So far, my things are doing well there, so I hope to establish a good and long lasting relationship there. I like doing some consignment, because neither of us lose. If she bought a pricey item and it didn't ever sell I would feel terrible.So this way, if it sells, great if not we just swap it out for something that may sell better. I also like that she will buy the less expensive stuff out right, keeps a little cash flow for me. Happy Christmas!