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philadelphia rosen show

updated wed 27 jan 99


Berry Silverman on sun 24 jan 99

Yes, I'm excited. I'm going to be doing my first Rosen show. My
display, lights, and pottery are all set -- worked just fine at 2
OASIS shows. Anything tips or special info I need to know about this
show? Who else is going to be there?
Berry Silverman,
Berryware, Tucson, Arizona
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Kristin Doner on mon 25 jan 99

Hi Berry,

I'll be at Philly (booth 5106). I've enjoyed your posts over the last while
(I kind of check in and out of ClayArt on an irregular basis), and hope
you'll stop by to say Hi.

This will only be my third Philly show, but I'm a newby at the whole
thing anyway. It's been a good show for me, and has really forced me
to develop my lower-end stuff. My love is my higher end work, which sells
at Philly, but not as strongly as the lower stuff. One of my biggest accounts
from the Philly show last year was the J. Jill catalog... which didn't happen
until at least a month or two after the show. Philly is the only show I did
last year, which in my book, means it's a good show. But still, I hope to
expand to Baltimore so my bigger stuff will get the attention it deserves.

The Philly show should be an excellent connection for you!

See you in Philly!

Kristin Doner

Kathi LeSueur on mon 25 jan 99

In a message dated 1/25/99 12:04:59 AM, you wrote:

>Anything tips or special info I need to know about this

I won't be at the Rosen show this year can offer a few tips. First, have a
chair available for your customer. This is a big show and they appreciate a
chance to sit while giving you an order. Second, take a calendar with you that
you can write in. Figure out how much of your weekly production you want to
devote to wholesale. If the amount is $1000 then that is the maximum amount of
orders you should take for shipping that week. If you get an order for $300
write it in that week. Then continue to fill out each week of the calendar. As
people place orders tell them, "my next available ship date is........."

Don't overbook. Do take names of people who didn't order because they need
your work sooner. If you get a cancellation you can call them and say that you
have $.. of production available.

On your order form leave a box to check for "substitutions allowed" and "ship

Try to ship from stock, not from the production coming out of a kiln. It's too
much pressure. Try to ship the order complete.

If you run into a problem with delivery........CALL YOUR CUSTOMER. Don't just
let it hang in the air. The earlier you can call, the better.

Go to the show with reasonable expections. This first year is a learning
experience. Yes, an expensive one. But learning none the less. Seek out other
potters who've been doing the show for a long time.

Last, go to the show for new exhibitors. It's invaluable.

Good luck,


Tom Wirt on tue 26 jan 99

Hi Berry, Another note Re: Rosen. As you're setting up you'll get a
Premier Artisan banner in your booth. That signifies that this is your
first time exposure to the East Coast buyers. They often head first for
Premier exhibitors because they figure your prices will be low, and you'll
book fast. To some extent that's true.

Kathi L's advice re a calendar and knowing your production capabilities is
right on. Don't be afraid to say "no". Our experience has been that you'll
do 2 to 3 time the total sale from this show as you book at the show.

Also, it takes 1-2 years for you to hit your stride at a given shop so
you'll tend to get smaller orders at first. Set your minimum and stick to
it. We use $350 and may raise it to $500 this year (our 3rd). The $350 is
about 25 pots, which makes a decent display. If they aren't willing to
commit 350 to you, they aren't serious in handling you and you probably
won't sell well in their store.

Do NOT get enamored with the catalog buyers that may stop by. One of their
orders can kill you, especially when you're just getting into wholesale.
Big ego thing to say you're in Gardener's Supply, but not when you've got to
crank out that 500 or 1000 pieces that all look the same. John Jensen is
set up to do this, and that's fine. But it could be a hazard for you if
you're not into big production. You can also ask for reserves later in the
year..."do you have a feel for when you might place a second order if the
first one does well?" That way you can get an idea of what kind of time you
need to hold open. The best selling exhibitors will fill 1 to 2 years at
this show.

Our first year we sold $6,000 at the show and ended up with $15,000 from
those accounts during the year. The second year it was $12,000 and $35,000
(our average pot price is $15 wholesale).

Price marking is done at wholesale. They add their own markups mentally.
As mentioned here before, price should include packing but not shipping.
Pictures of your studio and/or you working are a big help. Catalog (doesn't
need to be fancy), price list, 2 part order form (Kinko's). List of terms
and conditions (see attachment) if it isn't part of your order form. Credit
Reference form. Cards and any brochures.

Good luck!

Tom Wirt