Mel Jacobson on mon 8 dec 97
just to keep the record straight....the only technique that i use for
selling pots is the backyard, studio sale with cider and wine.
i let the people come to me, and i like it.
they love to peer into my kiln, look in the pug mill, look at the un/fired
work..and ask questions.
back in the late sixties when the art fair `promoters took over`..and made
the artists pay to promote a business area....i said `NO` and with the
advent of street sellers, hot dogs, ice cream, and hucksters that re-sell
imported crafts.........i said `NO`.
i keep meticulous records of who buys my pots, send mailings for upcoming
sales, ( i never call them exhibits) and of course have a built in
calligrapher (sharlene) that does all of our promotion. we approach it as
a business. do books, taxes and records. sharlene sells wonderful
handmade books, calligraphic cards, and line of jewelry that she enjoys
making. our daughter when young, made house numbers, using big cookie
cutter numbers. (at a buck a number she made hundreds of dollars a year.)
our 88 year old mother has lived with us for 11 years, and she takes
complete charge of the mailing list, corrects the zips, adds new names, and
deletes those who do not attend. (and that is a huge help)
I always have 4 or 5 paintings hanging around....usually sell a few, and
get commissions for others.
i will not `vent` on my opinions about art fairs...except that i think the
artists usually get the short end, are often treated like crap, and they
breed a great deal of internal politics. i stay away, and don't know
much about the new ones. I have been nicked real hard several times
selling consignment...lost 50 pots once.(she went bankrupt) and 30 another
time...the guy just left town with all the art.
so, i take care of my own pots and paintings.
then i can blame myself if things don't go right.
p.s. i usually give away my seconds....just add an orphan to a bag when
people buy a couple hundred dollars worth..kind of like a discount....and
always give seconds to people that come to many of my sales....my story of
celedon pots in the trunk is really true, but they are not always celedon.
when you are alone in your business, `good will` is everything...and taking
care of your customers pays big bonuses.
also...................i am fully aware of the differences in selling pots
in america vs. japan.....i do not sell pots in japan...i sell them here,
and go through the same `pains` that the rest of you do.