As we are getting into craft fair season, I am hearing from clients and friends that two areas of the art market are doing well in the present economy. The reports are consistent that the very high end and the under twenty five dollar price points are selling. Mid price crafts are suffering. What does this mean for you?
My advise to any artist, craftsperson or retail gallery is always, in any economy, to make sure your line has a variety of price points. Of course this is easier to do in certain medium than in others. In jewelry for example, you may want to produce more of the pieces that you can price in that gift range-work that can be cast in quantity or easily and quickly assembled. With the hand forged, more labor intensive pieces, you may want to use more precious metals (gold, platinum) and gemstones. If you sell midrange paintings, this is a good time to expand into some moderate priced prints, small matted or simply framed card sized prints and also to do a few originals on a larger scale. Any work you can print, cast, or otherwise produce inexpensively is a good idea. Put the originals of these less expensive pieces aside. (Don’t exhibit them at the same shows as your prints.) Then have some other work that you only show the originals of at this time.) Do be sure to scan these for future printing.)
Whether it’s wearable art or home furnishings, try to focus on the two extremes -this is not the time to try to sell mid priced work.
Keep in mind also that with the big box stores closing and manufacturers losing those accounts, this may be a great time to move into having a segment of your line outsourced for licensed production. Printers, casters etc are hungry for work so they are likely to be more flexible with minimums and also willing to give you a price break.
How can you repurpose some of your work to sell well in todays’ economic climate? Are you ready to reach out to a new target customer? It might feel a bit uncomfortable at first if you aren’t used to commanding high prices, but now is the time to see who your collectors are. Not only will it keep your business thriving but you also might just enjoy seeing the fruits of your labor and products of your passion bring in the big bucks. It’s a boost to the ego as well as the wallet. Who will purchase an original piece that is priced significantly above your normal range? Is it time to do some custom work? Id’ love to hear what you are doing to get into a different price point and and a new audience.