Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Selling to a Gallery or Shop

I don't know about you but sometimes this jewelry making stuff can be addictive! No matter what medium you are in there are always supplies, tools, and fun stuff that you must have. Soon you are thinking to yourself, ahhhh I have got to start selling this stuff.

Besides Etsy, Ebay or your own website many people sell to Gallerys and Boutique shops. The problem is how to do it.

For me one of the best ways was to WEAR your creations. If I was on vacation and wandered into a cute gallery the staff would sometimes comment on my jewelry. I would let them know that I make my living by selling my jewelry and if they are interested I could make an appointment to speak to the owner. 
One of my first pieces I sold to a Gallery

This happened enough times that I started to travel with a couple pieces and all my information. 
So here is what you need to do:

1) Package your pieces nicely, not in plastic bags but wrapped in nice tissue paper and a organza bag.

2) Know your price point. Many times a Gallery will take 40 to 50% of the final price so know how much you need to make a profit. What is the bottom line you need to make and price it from there.

3) If the Gallery is going to buy outright and wants to know your wholesale price, make sure you figure that out. Many artists will make a minimum amount, such as $250-$500 for wholesale. 

4) Make an inventory list, one for yourself and one for the Gallery. Some Galleries have their own inventory lists so make sure they match up.  

5) Make sure you have a business card!

Good Luck and get out there!


stacilouise said...

Great advice. I am such a wuss when it comes to this. Its the next step for me, gotta bite the bullet and just do it;) Thanks for sharing!

Lesley said...

Oh this is the big hurdle for me -I'm a wuss too but I have my first appointment lined up...nervous doesn't begin to cover it so thanks for sharing.

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Great advice. I get a lot of compliments on my jewelry when I wear it, but never take it further than "thank you". Sometimes I add in that I made it. Your reply suggestion is a much better response!

Barbara said...

I think that is a great idea, having a little traveling case with just a few pieces. I hand out a lot of business cards after compliments on pieces but rarely do I hear back....

Julie Holmes said...

Great post Libby! I've been "trying" to find a gallery that will show my work as the cloisonne is piling up and I'm having more and more trouble justifying my "hobby". I emailed three...two ignored me completely, the third said she'd place me in her "file". Maybe I better get off my booty and go in person?

Libby Leuchtman said...

Yep Julie you have to make the face to face connection when ever possible.

If there is a gallery that you are interested in go into the gallery and ask to make an appointment with the buyer. Just in case have a couple pieces with you AND make sure you wear a piece.

The key is to look around and make sure that your style matches the galleries style. If you have crisp clean lines and the gallery is more found object than it might not be a fit.

If you are in a shop and get comments on your jewelry then that is the time to seal the deal!

Patty said...

Great tips, Libby. :-) Your first gallery piece is fantastic!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I wish I were that organized. Someday I hope that I will be doing this for a living and will be able to branch out. For now..... well.... I always seem to give my stuff away to family and get a little extra income selling beads :o)

Kelli said...

Great advice!! Many galleries will take your pieces on consignment, which is where I started. At the larger shows I have been approached by shops wanting to buy wholesale. And you're right about the "face to face". I rarely get responses when I e-mail or call.

mairedodd said...

excellent advice libby - you are encouraging and knowledgeable... love the first piece... and what a great idea of making sure to wear something... i often feel like the plumber with the leaky sink!

msmorris said...

I am like many I am reading here about...a "wuss." I have started a home business but pushing it any further is nerve racking for me and not sure how to proceed. I get the "nice jewelry" comment too and politely say I made it but don't push.
Have loved finding this site and all your advice!

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