search  current discussion  categories  business - galleries 

livin on gallery time-(long)

updated tue 1 aug 00


Dale A. Neese on mon 31 jul 00

For many years I was eager to have my pots in consignment shops. I do fairs
too. But since the first of the year I stopped doing consignment. Being a
one person operation, I was beginning to feel like I was working for the
shops. Many of the shops want 50% of your price, which I didn't like from
the start. A contract had to be signed with so much mumbo jumbo agreeing to
have the work properly inventoried with the shops code. Delivered only
between certain hours. I began to get phone calls in the middle of the day
from shops asking me "just run down a few more of these pots but in blue
instead of red, but the next time you make these, put a little thingamabob
on the side". Grrrr.... It was 20 miles to town. Trying to find parking was
a joke. I almost started looking to clock in somewhere. By the time I got
back to the studio, I wasn't in the mood. Keeping track of what shop had how
many pots.
Now I feel better having my own time to produce for fairs. I always have
decent sales. What I am working toward in the future is having shop owners
make an appointment to come to me, select the pots they want, give them a
good wholesale decent price, and get PAID for them then. No more of this
waiting for a check. I had a gallery shop close on several of us. Doors
locked, out of business sign on the door. No way to contact the owners. They
had some of my most expensive ware. Phones disconnected. It was a mess.
Finally got a call to come and get them.
If they want my work they bring their own boxes pack pots in. I don't want
to see the pots again. No trading in or bringing back, they are history to
me. I don't do special orders unless they want a 100 or more. I don't do
custom orders, " I need these plates in 3 weeks"...sorry. Tried working
under a deadline and just regretted it. I felt that so much time had been
taken away from what I wanted to make. At shows I get asked to make special
orders, if they are serious about purchasing some dinnerware they will make
an appointment to come to the studio to get it right and put them on the
calendar. Last order shipped called to say that it wasn't what they exactly
Shipping, CYA now. Shipping has gotten so expensive not to mention the time
and packing material it takes to get it there. I let Mail Boxes Etc. do it
all. Just drop the pots off. Ship COD or charge it to the customers credit
Since talking with the shop owners, some of them have been agreeable to the
way I do business. It really doesn't hurt to ask them. They get what they
want and I get what I need. Time IS important and it's on my side now.
My Clay time.
Dale Tex