Help me please

Help me please

Post by Fl » Sun, 25 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Hi all.  I'm a newbie with problems, 2 of which actually pertain to
this group.

   1.  I'm currently making a jewelry assortment which is just about
ready to present to retailers (scary!).  The pieces I make are
Polymer, and metal leafed.  I leaf after I bake, because I'm prefer a
solid metal finish, not the crackly kind.  I'm extremely happy with
the outcome, except for that one little evil bug...sealing.  I've
tried acrylic spray, Future, polyurethane, satin sealer (made by the
guys who make the gold leaf), but no matter what, you can still
scratch the leaf off with very little trouble.  Is there anything that
will make a truly, truly protective finish?  I'm considering 2-part
epoxy, but I'm afraid I'll just end up with a major mess.  Any ideas?
   2.  The other question is: If I ever come up with a solution to the
above problem, how many samples does one show when one is showing
one's work to the Retail One?  I've got so many ideas, it's making me
dizzy, and I feel I need to rope myself in a bit.  True or False?

Thanks all,


Help me please

Post by Balestrer » Mon, 26 Feb 1996 04:00:00

>    2.  The other question is: If I ever come up with a solution to the
> above problem, how many samples does one show when one is showing
> one's work to the Retail One?  I've got so many ideas, it's making me
> dizzy, and I feel I need to rope myself in a bit.  True or False?

I keep hoping somebody else will answer this question ... I'm not a pro
but I can tell you what I do. In Tucson, places either want Southwest or
they definitely don't want Southwest, so that helps me decide what to
show them (scope them out ahead of time). However, even when I think I
know which things they'll be interested in, I take a tray of other stuff
and say "this is to show you the other kinds of things I do".

You probably want to offer a variety of styles. You probably also want to
offer choices within one line or style. And you probably don't want to
show so many different styles that it doesn't look like you have a
personal style of your own. I may be wrong about these ideas, they're just
gut feelings ... somebody with more experience or knowledge of marketing
theory, please contradict me.

Good luck with problem #1 (can't help you there)!

Sue B


Help me please

Post by Sherry Bail » Wed, 28 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Well, I don't use tons of leaf, but I put mine on before baking so it can fuse
(if that's possible) with the clay, then seal after with Fimo glaze. (If you
apply the leaf when the piece is shaped but unbaked, you shouldn't have
cracking -- that happens when the leaf is stretched when working AFTER
applying.) I haven't tried scratching off the leaf and don't know if my
technique works better than the things you have tried or not. but in the past
I have done leafing on wood and other materials, and I think the "***
cement" type of glue you use with leaf may be part of the trouble. Have you
had things you made long enough now so that you are sure that stuff doesn't
interact with the clay?

As for the marketing question, I used to run a gift shop where we took things
on consignment. I would talk to people with any number of samples as well as
people who had none -- only the actual pieces to consign. I don't know that it
matters. If you are trying to wholesale, I think the most important thing is
being ready to fulfill orders prompltly -- so either have some stock or be
ready to crank stuff out on order FAST! (Give the store owners realistic and
honest predictions as to delivery dates.)

Opinions only, of course!



Help me please

Post by SHANEANG » Sat, 02 Mar 1996 04:00:00

Here are some tricks I learned when presenting to stores or 'cold calling'
as it were.

1. First of all, realize that you WILL be turned down many many times
before someone says yes. So go out there thinking that you have to get
through all the people who say no so you can find the person who says yes.
Kind of like sorting through all the junk before you find the treasure.
Rejection is no reflection on you.

2. If possible check out all the stores in an area you plan on selling...
like you are a customer before you choose the one you intend to sell. Pick
the store you like best and go there first. Only one store per area is a
good idea. Retailers like to be the only one in their area who carries
your things sometimes they demand it before they will agree to take your
things. Usually they have specific boundrys where you can/can't sell.
Don't cross them! It's in your best interest too.

3. I never walk into a store to sell with a large case full of my stuff. I
take only what I can carry in my hands. Like a small box. After looking
around in the store ask for an owner/buyer. Tell them you are an artist
and show them the very best thing you have first. The item everybody goes
nuts over. I tell them that I have chosen their store above all others,
that they are the best store for my things and that I can only sell to one
store in their area because my angels are each hand crafted not a bulk
item. Tell them you make it and you will know almost instantly if they are
interested or not. If they are interested ask them if they would like to
see more, you have more in the car. So you leave them with the item while
you go to get more. They will talk about it while you are gone. If they
are not interested (many will not be) then you don't have to pack up a lot
of stuff before you leave.

4. I always approach stores on a Monday or Tuesday morning very soon after
they open.

5. You need to be very specific on prices. You must have a wholesale price
and stick to it always. If it is a consignment shop find out what they
take usually 30 to 50%. If you subtract their 30% from the retail price
you must get your wholesale price so mark it up accordingly, it is
decieving. $10.00 + 30%=$13.00    BUT!   $13.00 - 30%= $9.10. Have a price
list and keep your prices the same for all stores. I never raise my prices
more than once a year. In the art world you can always raise your prices
but NEVER lower them. Then the people who bought at the higher price will
see this and it will no longer be a collectable. If the price always goes
up then past customers feel like they have a mini investment of sorts and
feel compelled to buy more because the price always goes up.

6. Everything you show must be VERY clean, neat, untangled, crisp, new
looking, straight, unbroken etc.. including the paperwork.

7. I made display boards from pieces of s***wood I sanded and painted. I
offer these free to the stores. It looks professional and means my work is
never lumped in with someone elses or thrown in with another display. The
more plain and simple the display the better.

Whew! There is a lot more to this than I realized! I hope I didn't bore
everyone but this has worked very well for me. Good luck!