Artwork - wholesale vs. retail

{My booth (and Malayna) at the Waldorf Holiday Fair.}

I've recently acquired two new wholesale accounts with area shops. I've had wholesale accounts in the past, when I first started out with milkshake in 2006, but these two shops are it for me right now. I've thought about doing wholesale shows, like the Buyer's Market of American Craft - it's in nearby Philadelphia, so I wouldn't have to worry about shipping all my work somewhere. But to have a booth in the show costs a couple thousand dollars! That's a huge expense, and add to that all the exhibit materials I'd have to get together…it just doesn't seem do-able at this time.

When you wholesale your work, a shop owner places an order for a large quantity of your goods at a discounted price. The artist has a minimum amount that the shop owner has to meet - it can be in dollar amount or amount of goods. For example, I may set a minimum at $200 or 20 desk clocks. I prefer to set a dollar amount minimum.

Up until now I've concentrated on doing retail shows, which I really enjoy, but they are exhausting. There's all the making before the shows, then the packing, loading the truck, unpacking at the show (not to mention carrying all the boxes, walls, etc. into the show space), then having to be happy and friendly after all that work (sometimes I just want to go home and take a nap!). Shows are on the weekends, so that takes time away from my family. Most of the shows I do are during the holiday season, and I always feel torn between my work and my family. Plus, I don't really know which items are going to sell, so I pretty much have to make a bunch of everything.

I've had my work on Wholesalecrafts.com in the past, too, but it didn't really amount to much. Granted, I didn't push it enough. That site is almost $500 a year, so if I worked it the right way, it would be worth it, money-wise. Does anyone have experience with wholesalecrafts.com? I'd love to hear your feedback!

The good thing about wholesaling is that I can be home and making for most of the time instead of getting ready for shows and wondering which pieces to make that will sell. With wholesale, I only make what the shop owner orders. However, there's no replacing the feedback I get when I do retail shows! I'm putting my work out in front of the public, and I get to see and hear what people think about it.

Does anyone have any tips for getting more wholesale accounts? Any shops you've seen that you can picture my work in?


New clock designs!

Be on the lookout here for more new clock designs! First up: two new hummingbird clocks, one yellow and one blue. Which do you like better? Is there another color you'd like to see on the background?


Mama cardinals & a quick survey

I've been busy working on new images for clocks, art blocks, notecards and more. If the following image were a print, which would you prefer? I would greatly appreciate it if you could take this quick, anonymous survey. You can also leave a note as to why you chose the one you did.

Click here to take the survey!

Thank you!