Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Taking Stock...

As I sit here...procrastinating from cleaning my studio, I'm reflecting on this past Artist Market season. This is the first year I haven't attended every market and this is the first year I started wholesaling. I loved having the ebb and flow of markets and store orders. I would think how well it worked out that one week I would have the market and the next I would fulfill an order and then realize that it worked out like that cause I scheduled it like that! 
•It's really nice to not have a weather dependent income and to have some Saturdays off! 
•It's also nice to be able to transition to something new but maintain the stability (and joy!) of the market. 
•Doing fewer markets made all of them good markets! Instead of ups and downs they were all really great and I'm so thankful for that.
You can read about how I made the switch HERE.
New 3 Piece Turquoise collar necklace and new Sterling Hoops
I started the year with my work in Trinket (where it has been since Rachel opened in '09) and the Stowe Craft Gallery where I had my work last holiday season.

When it came to finding new shops, I figured my best bet was to focus on Vermont. The Shoe Horn had been trying to get my work for a few years and they were happily on board to represent me in Montpelier. Then I got into Common Deer in Shelburne and then the Stoweflake Spa reached out and ordered. I contacted one of my favorite galleries, Gallery in the Woods in Brattleboro and they ordered too. This was a great start and it gave me the confidence and credibility to seek out shops in New England.

I did a lot of research. For every artsy/hip/funky/bohemian town I would look for a cool boutique and a shop that carried handmade goods. I would send both emails and catalogs and hope that one would write me back and this often worked! One of my favorite shops I've found is Ode. In July, instead of doing a market on a Saturday, I did a trunk show on a Friday at Ode and then they became an account.

Wherever we travelled, I set up appointments, some of those shops will be carrying my work next year. I managed to get my wraps into an Oxygen bar and my earrings into a beautiful shop, Maya in Santa Fe. 

I also had my share of rejections but there's no time to get upset about those. I would just cast a wider net, write more shops and move forward...plenty of shops in the sea!

I've had 3 Etsy wholesale orders since getting juried in last May. Each one has been super exciting, especially not having to make the effort to find the shop - they find me! And they just order! And it's gotten Colorado -T.Karn Imports, Washington D.C. -Wake Up Little Suzie, and Maine -Nest on the map! 

Montana from Trinket recommended my work to Magpie in NYC and Earth and Wears was carrying my chakra wraps and she just picked up my earrings. 

So now I'm in 13 shops! And most are ordering for the holidays and I'm just a tad... slightly... FREAKED OUT!!! Luckily I have my two interns, Molly and Fiona to help out. So thankful for them, I don't know what I would do without them. I can take a break from looking for new shops now and focus on the ones I'm in, I'll resume the search next year. Meanwhile more random Etsy Wholesale orders could come through so that's exciting/terrifying.

This year I'm taking it easy on shows, just the Women's Festival of Crafts and the Holiday Artist Market. I usually do 4 but I have to make room for shop orders. 

So that's where I'm at. Feeling super proud at getting to this point. Feeling like I've taken a huge leap forward in my business. Excited to send my little babies out into the world to fend for themselves, they are in great care in these gorgeous shops and galleries. 

I guess it's time to clean my studio...

No comments: