Pie plates! I've been working on a large order for a store in Seattle. They wanted pie plates and I was happy to oblige. Perfect for the holidays! We worked on some custom colors, too. Which is a nice change of pace.
For the most part, I rely on retail orders for my business. Mostly through etsy. Sometimes through shows.
This year has seen an increase in my wholesale work and has me thinking about expanding that part of my business. It is a whole other aspect that I haven't really dealt with a ton. I do have wholesale accounts and I do offer wholesale pricing. And I've been fortunate to have some good relationships with a handful of shops. But it isn't something I have pursued. 2015 will see that change.
Pricing for wholesale is depressing to me. It is generally at least 50% less than retail pricing. And still just as much work. The reward is a larger order and (in theory) more streamlined production. I recognize that I haven't priced my work correctly for this market- my retail price is a little too low to allow for a profit at wholesale pricing. And thus, I haven't actively tried to obtain new accounts.
(I place gallery work into the wholesale catagory- the pricing is similar, but is often consignment. I have no gallery accounts at this time.)
Working artists generally do a combination of both wholesale and retail. Some doing mostly wholesale, some doing mostly retail... but dipping into both worlds. It can be a tough balance. Especially when those really large orders come in and you have to set aside small retail orders to focus on fulfilling the large, overwhelming order.
Its seems that being a working artist involves an organic business plan and model. Things change, perspectives change, goals change. And as I head into 2015- I hope to be able to change my business. How, I am not real sure yet. And the first thing I need to do is revise my business plan.
How often have you changed your business plan? Do you have one? Is it actually written out? I'd love to hear some insights in balancing wholesale/retail or on picking sides and sticking to just one aspect. I'm always amazed that there are endless variations on how to run a business and how others have managed it. We often pick and chose what works best for us. And I love that, but I also think it allows us to stay in our comfort zone. And I'm all for getting out of your comfort zone. So my comfort zone is retail and what I have always done. Time to get out of that comfort zone!
Now, who wants pie?