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BEST WAY TO SELL UNIQUE FURNITURE?

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Forum topic by WAYNE posted 2123 days ago 28960 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WAYNE

9 posts in 2123 days


2123 days ago

Hey to all of ye!Im new to america so im not that intouch with with the way things work here.id like to know the best places to sell furniture and how i could advertise that i make custom made furniture!i like to make unique kind of stuff!any help would be much appreciated!thanks


16 replies so far

View christopheralan's profile

christopheralan

1105 posts in 2321 days


#1 posted 2122 days ago

Do you have a web site? If I could see what you do, I might be able to give some adivse. Where are you from? That could be a good selling point. What kind of stuff do you build? Gimme more info, please.

-- christopheralan http://www.projectwoodworks.com

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WAYNE

9 posts in 2123 days


#2 posted 2122 days ago

dont have a website yet but im working on it.im irish & just moved here three months ago to do work on an irish themed cottage in ct for my cousin.but when im not doing work on the house i like to build furniture for customers.didint think to take pictures of my work until i saw this site.i plan on spending a couple of weeks making hutches and then selling them somewhere thats why id appreciate some advise as to where to sell them?i like to make dressers,tables,beds,kitchens ect…there is a photo of the hutch i built last week on my profile if you wanna take a look.il try get more photos up this week.

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christopheralan

1105 posts in 2321 days


#3 posted 2122 days ago

Nice hutch. Very well done, and the pic is fine. Lemme do some research and see what I can figure out. Welcome to the US by the way. Feel free to look at my site for ideas, or to contact me directly.

-- christopheralan http://www.projectwoodworks.com

View Loren's profile

Loren

7253 posts in 2249 days


#4 posted 2122 days ago

One of the simpler ways to get custom work is by talking to
furniture stores and filling their immediate needs. You’ll make
less money than by dealing with customers, but it’s a way to get
some exchange of dollars for labor.

There are a lot of strategies for selling work on consignment
and to bargain shoppers. Of course you’ll want to start getting
commissions from people who can pay what a good craftsman
is worth—- but by and large those people are affluent so you’ll
have to work at penetrating that market through targeting
contractors, architects, and designers who serve the affluent.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View kolwdwrkr's profile

kolwdwrkr

2821 posts in 2191 days


#5 posted 2122 days ago

Chances are in todays market and economy the odds of making a living in custom furniture are slim. There’s way to much competition and to many imported products. Maybe if you stayed in Ireland you could have imported a ton of furniture here since that seems to be americas “thing”. (I’m just saying Americans tend to be buying imported crap ((I’m not saying what you would import would be crap)) for cheaper then to buy from their friends and neighbors to help their communities)
My thoughts for you would be to make custom cabinetry and try to design them towards furniture. In other words add columns, base moulding instead of kicks, onlays, etc. I’ve been trying to sell custom furniture since I started my shop 4 years ago and have sold several pieces on commission. They sold through designers. Had I not known the designers I wouldn’t have sold them. As you grow your woodworking business you will see more and more orders for furniture pieces.
Bottom line. Start off in custom cabinetry and millwork, gain the clientel, then market your furniture to those people. Don’t expect to jump in selling furniture. In my opinion it won’t happen. Best of luck to ya

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

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christopheralan

1105 posts in 2321 days


#6 posted 2122 days ago

Hey man, I found some stuff that might be helpful, if you play your cards right. Look at your messages…

-- christopheralan http://www.projectwoodworks.com

View kolwdwrkr's profile

kolwdwrkr

2821 posts in 2191 days


#7 posted 2122 days ago

The problem here is that if you intend on competing with established furniture makers you better have a product you can’t just buy anywhere. That’s what I’m saying. Most people don’t buy custom furniture. People aren’t throwing money around anymore and the people that are are going to business’s that have been established for years. My point is why would anyone rich or not buy a piece of custom furniture from you when they can get it from someone who has been published, seen in magazines, recognized, etc. Otherwise they would just go to furniture row and buy a piece for a price you couldn’t build it for. So what I’m saying is to get into another line of woodworking, and I don’t care if you’re making custom cabinetry and millwork or making dog houses. The point is to establish yourself as a woodworker, and market your pictures and products AS you grow your business. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. If you jump in to the market and can profitably sell your custom furniture especially in this market PLEASE e-mail me the how to. I really want to know.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View MikeCustomMade's profile

MikeCustomMade

5 posts in 1860 days


#8 posted 1860 days ago

try www.CustomMade.com.. we have many people on there that don’t even have websites, they are just on our site… with 750,000 visitors and 400 members, there are plenty of customers to go around…

-- Mike, Boston, www.CustomMade.com

View scott shangraw's profile

scott shangraw

513 posts in 2670 days


#9 posted 1860 days ago

I can attest to custom made .I have had some good orders from their page and usually get a inquiry once every couple weeks from it.Keep up the good work Mike !!!

-- Scott NM,http://www.shangrilawoodworks.com

View n4094c's profile

n4094c

1 post in 1853 days


#10 posted 1852 days ago

This suggestion may only work for those producing smaller items, but you might contact some of the galleries that sell handmade items. A good example is By Hand in Decatur GA. The types of things they sell are nice inlaid jewelry boxes ($100-$300), interesting handmade kitchen utensils, clocks, pens, etc.

Can I pose the opposite question: how would I find someone to build a dining table for me that is local to the Atlanta area? I did take a look at custommade.com.

Jim

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Hyperhutch

63 posts in 1850 days


#11 posted 1848 days ago

Well, I am in a similar situation to you, Wayne. Here’s what I have been learning.

I work at a woodworking supply store, and I hear a lot of interesting stories about the nature of our specific market, what works and what doesn’t. If you can find a woodworking specialty store, pick the brains of the employees. I bet you could get some good tips that are specific to your location.

Also, it’s who you know. I agree that you should immediately start making contact with high end builders, furniture stores, designers, architects, etc… Many may blow you off, but just one can make a huge difference. Case in point, a customer came into the store, and he does custom builtins. He’s been keeping quite busy, and more than half his work is coming from a single contact!

AND…..tenacity and perseverance. If other career choices are still options in your mind, you may not make the sacrifices necessary to make the business happen.

Also, don’t turn work down. Even if it’s something that you think is ‘beneath you’, or just not the kind of work you want to get into, that’s ok. It’s important to bring in money, and over time you will make the contacts you want and wedge yourself into the market you are aiming for.

A lot of this is opinion, but it’s based on what I hear from other people in the woodworking/home improvement industry.

Good Luck!!

Hutch

P.S. I too agree that you should try getting your name on the web.

P.P.S. I just noticed the age of the post…..

-- I hope the volume of shavings one creates is directly related to the probablility of one's success, cuz if so I've got it made!!

View patrick m's profile

patrick m

197 posts in 2414 days


#12 posted 1848 days ago

PERSONALLY Don’t listen to anything Negative!!! Step One… Go Irish Do your thing! If your in Connecticut your in a prime zone for high end woodworks and especially irish creative woodworks. Watch letting out your ideas !!!!
Keep your good designs close to you. Keep Them Unique! I have an older friend that got me into shows. Trade shows around nyc (there’s plenty of woodworkers here doing their thing and some making a nice chunk of change doing it. I’ll PM you some details since your Irish. I was just in Galway, and fly fished the west coast. Family from Mayo. Stayed at newport house. Great Salmon! So here’s the real answer DON’T Give Up!! Don’t listen to any one telling you, you can’t do it. Make it Very creative, I say forget about consignment and hit the shows, in connecticut alone there’s SO MANY. It’‘l make you spin. You can fit in at Art and Antique shows, trade shows, certain high priced fairs such as at the polo grounds. Write me for more info, since your close and irish…. We look out for our peeps. My best friend in the movie business was told ‘forget it’ the economy the competition the the the..
If you hard charge…....and have that skill set that most irish woodworkers have naturally. I say GO FOR IT!!!!!
Also your close enough to manhattan to drive in for armory shows too!!! It’s al about ENERGY LEVEL and DETERMINATION. Never Buckle and you’ll make it. I’ve seen it-first hand- know it first hand- and am Hard MOtivated to make it work. It’s the same as making a living as a living Artist. Which by the way is also possible.
Just ask Damien Hirst or a Julian Schnabel. Yea you gotta have some luck and talent. But extreme motivation can earn you your dreams. I have a stack of cards of ‘professioinal’ creative wooworkers from the shows. And yep worked their way to full time. Your young Go for it! Just break through with works never seen. Always look to take it to the next level. If you’re selling craft works there is a market there as well, just try to turn your craft into a fine art. Sorry but at 36 I’ve returned for my masters MFA. I’m sure I’ll get responses like ‘You Can’t Do That’ haha Too late. I’m never givin up already sacrificed much to chase dreams. If it’s in you it’s in you.
If ya don’t have 10 kids. It’s as simple as a decision.

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

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patrick m

197 posts in 2414 days


#13 posted 1848 days ago

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION, If your selling in new england, nyc, and surrounding shows.
It’s something to go for if your 100% motivated. Polo Grounds, This year I’ve watched stupid amounts of money
changing hands. Of course you gotta come up with entrance fee’s and some are juried to see if you’re work will be accepted …..Get into the large trade shows. Run the gauntlet. Establish a name. Work with other motivated
successful Artisans. Tap your Talent as deep as it goes. And never give up. KEEP POSITIVE, just know you’ll make it and it can happen. Celtic banding, might be a nice addition and thing of your work as sculpture.
P.S. Being new here you can use that as well, Use your roots as a selling point, Contact some of the Irish societies
around conn. and NY. They’d certainly look out for ya. Put together a tight portfolio. And pay no mind to any negative yanks. Some of us, just get stuck or are too bogged down with bills family etc. You look young enough to throw it all into the wind and see where you land. GOOD LUCK. O wait you already have that!
Most important ask your leprechaun for success! I’m tellin ya the hardest working folks I’ve personally met are Psycho giant handed popeye forearmed Irish. Tap into it!

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

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patrick m

197 posts in 2414 days


#14 posted 1848 days ago

HyperHutch – Agreed! Good point. Keep the faith! Chip chip chip away at it! Wow I just saw the age of this post too! Well I still think it’s a great topic. Feel free to message me on the subject if anyone wants to rant on this topic.
And share resources.

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

View daveintexas's profile

daveintexas

365 posts in 2477 days


#15 posted 1843 days ago

Hey christopheralan-\
\How is that ETSY web site working out for you?
Are you getting any orders? Do you ship stuff?

Thanks
Dave

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