So you want to go pro #8: I Are A Salesman

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Blog entry by odie posted 01-11-2008 06:47 PM 1158 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Pinky Up You Artists Part 8 of So you want to go pro series Part 9: The Arts and Crafts Show »

Wow, I can’t believe we’ve covered this much ground already. I think I have said about everything I wanted to about wholesale. If any of you lugs have questions about my wholesale experiences ask or forever hold your piece. I will be heading toward the retail side of our business now. The first time I thought of doing retail sales I was very intimidated by the whole process. When you get used to it, it’s a piece of cake.

When I speak of retail, I mean the customer (end user of our hard work), and I are eye to eye. I am responsible for the manufacturing, warehousing, and selling of a product to a person that wants to purchase it. I will be responsible for the place of the sale, the way the sale is transacted (cash, check, or credit card), the display by which the customer picked his purchase, and his safety while he is there. It really sounds worse than it is.

We are not salesmen. We, on the other hand, are designers, creators, and builders of something unique that is to be used by someone. When I am face to face with a customer, I am not selling, I’m educating. This is the beauty of an arts and crafts show. Most of the “artists” here are not salesmen, but people that have a unique knowledge about what they are selling. Most of the people that visit these shows realize this and cherish their encounter with the “artist”.

So, in the later installments, I think we can break up this arts and crafts show topic into useable bites. So meantime I will leave you with photographs of our booth. I want you to take a close look at it. You will notice that there are two artists sharing this booth. It is very unusual and creates whole new challenges.

Both of these photographs were taken in Kings Beach at Lake Tahoe last summer.

More booth photos can be seen at take a look at “booth”

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

7 comments so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3311 days

#1 posted 01-11-2008 07:08 PM

Love the quilts, my wife is into making those…...........thats another story.

The bowls, at least from a distance look nice too…....I am a fan/collector.

I did one craft show once, my two girls were little back then and they made a small fortune. That said… was a disaster for this guy. Christmas tree fell over, one of the beach chairs I made snapped shut on a very wide lady, like a mouse trap. Took ten men and a boy to get her out and when she did get out she was flung like being stuck in a catapult….......she came up swinging and snorting and rutting like a bull.

Lucky I didnt get sued

20 years later…........and a little wiser

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3578 days

#2 posted 01-11-2008 07:24 PM

another great blog.
Your display is very appealing!
My Mom and my Aunt are what I’d call Master Quilters.. I, on the other hand, tried it once (about 5 stitches) and hated it!
I really appreciate the work that is put into one of these pieces.
And ditto re: woodworking!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3818 days

#3 posted 01-11-2008 08:08 PM

Another great one Odie. Nice booth. By having two artists present, you can cover more area to keep small pieces from disapperaing.

At the Lee-valley booth at the woodshow They has a sign on the table that stated something like this.

“Some people think that these items are free. Please keep you eyes on the lookout for us, when were busy with someone else.”

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 3265 days

#4 posted 01-11-2008 08:43 PM

I recieved an email recently from a gallery that shares my work in regards to a piece that was a scale study for a piece that was commisioned a couple years ago. It’s hard to keep from getting excited when someone expresses intrest in your work. But the the email ended with a question that has always caught me off guard, “what’s my wholesale price” I don’t know why I have trouble with that word. To me “wholesale” implies that I have 200 of these, and if you buy in bulk, then they should be cheaper, economy of scale and all. Hmmm, just thinkin out loud here. I do appreciate the market that the galleries make available, but it’s just that word.

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3406 days

#5 posted 01-11-2008 08:54 PM

I can make things, but I’m not a salesman!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 3272 days

#6 posted 01-11-2008 09:59 PM

My wife would kill for that green and red quilt (I wouldn’t mind having it either).
Would love to see some detail photos of those boxes beneath the segmented
bowls if you have the inclination. They look very interesting in the photo.

-- Still learning everything

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3732 days

#7 posted 01-12-2008 01:59 AM

I’m beginning to understand the value of having someone do the sales. If I track the time and expense of getting a piece sold it far exceeds the manufacturing cost. Just finding a market is a miracle. If someone comes and finds me they get “wholesale” prices. If I have to go find them the price doubles and I’m usually losing money.

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