bracelet by jibbyandjuna
Selling wholesale to galleries, boutiques, and gift stores is beneficial if, and only if, that outlet increases the demand for, and value of , your work. If it is merely an opportunity to cut your price, don’t do it! A good wholesale outlet will promote your work as part of its branding and image. The gallery’s buyer and sales staff will become familiar with your whole body of work, your studio process, the materials you use, and your individual story. They will take pride in carrying your work; they will act as a your representative to their clientele. As their sales create greater demand for your work, the price that you charge can be increased.
Any time the demand for your work exceeds the supply (what you can make in a year), you can raise your prices.
fine art print by Gretchen Mist
It is very important to understand this! The single most common mistake that artisans make is lowering price in order to sell more volume. It is almost always better to sell less, at a greater price, than to sell more with a smaller profit margin. So you must make sure that your wholesale opportunities are beneficial to you in order to justify the discount you give them.
If you want to sell wholesale, scout out markets that would add prestige to your work. Look for outlets that have an established reputation, that ask for exclusive representation of your work within a specified territory, and that have a median price of what they carry that matches the average retail price of your work. You don’t want to be the cheapest thing they sell, nor the most expensive. Look for outlets that take pride in selling artisan work or art. Make sure that their marketing makes a distinction between manufactured goods and handmade work if they carry both.
felted elephants mobile by Sewn Natural
Future posts will cover what galleries and exclusive boutiques are most likely to buy, how to make sure that you have that, and how to successfully pitch your work to wholesale buyers. Please let me know if there are other topics that you would like me to cover. I have sold my own work wholesale for over 30 years, owned, managed, and worked as a consultant for, American Craft and Fine Art galleries. I’m happy to help you get started and succeed in selling to galleries.
by Lee Wolfe/ OneClayBead