If getting your work into boutiques and galleries is on your agenda, don’t wait another week. This weekend begins the wholesale show season and the likelihood of a gallery or shop owner taking your work on consignment is far greater now than it will be all summer. When retailers return from a wholesale show, they have generally spent their budget for the next few months and are anticipating the delivery of all the crafts they’ve placed orders for and they’re concerned about having space to display it all once it arrives. So, make time this week to connect with your target shops.
There are some great tips on approaching galleries in the “13 Tips” at right so do download them. Good etiquette for approaching owners/buyers is key. If you walk in with a box of our wares, you’ll likely blow your chance of them even taking time to view them. Since you aren’t early enough to mail a brochure, line sheet or info package, second best iscalling and asking the buyer if you may make an appointment during his slowest time or before or after hours to bring your work by for them to look through. A weekday morning is the best time to call. After introducing yourself, let the buyer know that you understand they are busy and customers are their first priority.
When you do go in for your appointment, arrive prepared with a printed inventory of your work with the retail prices. Ideally, number each piece so that you and the the shop owner both have a reference for what items they have. This will help them know how to pay you when pieces sell. If they don’t want to take all the pieces you have brought, edit the list.
While you’re at the shop, stay alert to the flow of customers and be sure you respect that the mission of the gallery is to sell craft. If your work was already on display, you wouldn’t be happy if the shop personnel ignored customers while working with another artist. You’d want them to be selling your work. Keep that in mind while you are there.
We’ll talk more in a future post about details of consignment and wholesale but the immediate goal is to get your work in front of the customer .
Do you have questions about getting your work into galleries? Please post them in the comments below. Happy wholesaling.