Kasia Bock-Leja on sat 21 aug 04
Definitly have a wide variety of prices. Sometimes people you know come
just to support you personally, and it's nice if you have smaller items
for them to buy. A little food and drink will encourage people to
linger. Have fun!
Sue Beach on sat 21 aug 04
I am planning to have my first-ever studio show & sale this fall. I'd really
appreciate hearing from those of you who have done this. What are things I
should be prepared for? What do you wish you'd done differently? What worked
great? Pitfalls? Things I might forget/not think of?
My studio is in a building behind my home and I live in the country. I've sold
my work off-premises in a couple of venues, but currently don't have anything
out there. I've been collecting names for a mailing list (about 200 names at
this point) and plan to mail an announcement about 2-3 weeks before the show.
Not planning to put an ad in the paper at this point.
Any suggestions greatly appreciated. I'm a bit nervous about this....
in Muncie, IN
heading to the studio to trim yesterday's bowls
bea pix on sat 21 aug 04
if you cant afford an ad you might want to send a press release
(announcement of sale, short bio of you, short description of your
work and great photo of a piece) to the arts editor of your local
paper, and to a listings/events editor as well if there is one. also
try to list yourself in freebie newspapers if there are ones near you
and any online directories of things to do in your area.
>I am planning to have my first-ever studio show & sale this fall. I'd really
>appreciate hearing from those of you who have done this. What are things I
>should be prepared for? What do you wish you'd done differently? What worked
>great? Pitfalls? Things I might forget/not think of?
>My studio is in a building behind my home and I live in the country.
>my work off-premises in a couple of venues, but currently don't have anything
>out there. I've been collecting names for a mailing list (about 200 names at
>this point) and plan to mail an announcement about 2-3 weeks before the show.
>Not planning to put an ad in the paper at this point.
>Any suggestions greatly appreciated. I'm a bit nervous about this....
>in Muncie, IN
>heading to the studio to trim yesterday's bowls
>Send postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
>You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
>settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
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Gary and Carla Goldberg on sat 21 aug 04
One idea that I have not tried, but sounds good is to have a "Kiln Opening,"
which means that at 2:00 PM (or whenever) you will open up the kiln for the
first time and everyone there can watch you pull stuff out of the kiln.
This lets them feel they are part of the fun.
For me the best part is opening up the kiln, so why not share some of that
excitement with customers. Just make sure you include time info on your
promotional materials and make sure the kiln will be cool enough by then.
> I am planning to have my first-ever studio show & sale this fall. >
Gary Navarre on sun 22 aug 04
Sue Beach asks:
I am planning to have my first-ever studio show & sale this fall. I'd
> appreciate hearing from those of you who have done this. What are things
> should be prepared for? What do you wish you'd done differently? What
> great? Pitfalls? Things I might forget/not think of?
> My studio is in a building behind my home and I live in the country. I've
> my work off-premises in a couple of venues, but currently don't have
> out there. I've been collecting names for a mailing list (about 200 names
> this point) and plan to mail an announcement about 2-3 weeks before the
> Not planning to put an ad in the paper at this point.
> Any suggestions greatly appreciated. I'm a bit nervous about this....
> Sue Beach
> in Muncie, IN
> heading to the studio to trim yesterday's bowls
I think it was in '88 we had a Christmas sale at the house. My wife at
the time made up a mailing list and sent out about the same number. We
also put a sign "Pottery Sale" out on the road by the drive. None of
the mailings came but I sold about a grand over two weekends with drive
in's off the road. Some were curiosity seekers just wanting to see my
wife's house and some bought. Many liked pottery and saw the sign. So
I've sold at street fairs, group gallery shows, one man shows in
prestigious businesses, store door to store door, even right out of the
box in the truck. Selling from the studio/house made the most money in
the shortest time. And that's what it's all about, isn't it, make a
little money to pay for this habit. I think I'll use the same tactic
after I get this new kiln built. If you can hold off till around
Christmas you could do quite good. Just a bit of decoration, not much
to eat and (it goes without saying) no wine. Good luck! Stay in there!
Candace Young/Norman Czuchra on sun 22 aug 04
This year will be our 24 holiday open house and studio sale. We serve hot
spiced cidar and an apple bundt cake. Depending on the "diet" conditions,
we'll go through 2 - 5 cakes. This allows people to slow down and
browse. I also offer marked seconds which I put outside on the edges of
the driveway. I am very fussy about what I consider first quality and
while I know that some people wait for this and like the price break, I've
found that over the years people like the work but can't afford more
expensive pieces will buy a second but graduate to first quality work when
they can afford to. It sends home a pot with someone who wouldn't have
considered buying one and I've found that they come back with friends. I
do make more functional pieces for this event so people have a lower priced
option and have learned that its fun to make a small series of mugs, bowls,
pitchers, and silly things for a change. I had some stupid pencil
sharpeners from 15 years ago that I never used and this year made a bunch
of goofy, fun pencil sharpeners. Used them for design play that will
translate to more serious pots and will have a fun conversation piece. I
try to make a "stump the engineer" pot every couple of years and this may
do it for 2004.
I advertise on public radio most years selecting a day sponsorship or a
challenge gift depending on my budget for the year. I offer a discount on
one first quality piece for previous customers who have supported us over
the years and a gift. We also take out a couple of ads in the paper and
post signs in coffee shops, etc. I recommend that you have help because
the hard part is not being able to chat with your visitors if you're
selling. Sometimes its the only time you can spend with the people who
support you and its nice to talk with them.
We're in a rural area and I will go to the closest Farmer's Market and set
up a small display a couple of times in the season to talk about pottery
and some of my designs and pass out flyers for the open house. It has paid
off. It doesn't have the cache of exhibiting at Art 'n' Apples, but it
helps support the habit.
Candace Young Mailto:email@example.com
Norm Czuchra Mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
107 S. Water Street
PO Box 394
Bayboro, NC 28515
Bonnie Staffel on sun 22 aug 04
by all means, send a press release to the newspapers around your area. This
is an EVENT and events do bring interested people. Sent it early enough so
that they can fit it into their news. I also doesn't hurt to even put in a
small ad in the paper to support it. You will reach a lot more prospective
customers than your small mailing list. How big is your kiln and will you
have a sufficient pots. Maybe you aren't thinking big enough. I have heard
of some potters who may have only three or four kiln openings a year and
they survive on that and the orders/commissions that naturally follow if
your work is acceptable to those who buy.
Potters Council member
Russel Fouts on sun 22 aug 04
>> I am planning to have my first-ever studio show & sale this fall. <<
- Sending out invitations 2 weeks in advance is better than 3 weeks.
- Put the munchies down at the end away from the door, so people have to go
past some pots to get to them. People will cluster by the food, at least
make them look at some pots first.
- Have a bar with wine and juice, get some charming friends to tend it for you.
- Have a dedicated wrapping area and get a friend to take the money and
wrap pots for you. Make sure that the pots are marked clearly so there is
no mistake about the price. And have them get the customer's name and
address (if they're new) and put which items (no prices) they bought by
everyone's name. This will be usefull later for your inventory but
especially customer relations (Oh, yes! I remember you bought a couple of
sake cups last time.)
- You need to be availble for your customers.
- Invest in some nice bags and nice wrapping paper. I had translucent
plastic bags with handles (looks like waxed paper) and wrapped pots in
squares of brown Kraft paper, which looked very nice showing through the
bag. Colored craft paper would be even better.
- Have candles and music
- Leave your workbench free of pots if possible and put some clay and
stamping tools on it for people to play with.
- I have a list, mostly for fairs, that I compiled with clayarters help
Good luck, have fun, make lots of new friends and some money as well.
Mes Potes & Mes Pots
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