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regarding marketing/selling

updated fri 5 mar 99


Jan Parzybok on thu 4 mar 99

Hey Joicey:

I've tried to limit my pot selection to thirty or so items. It's more like
a rifle shot than your sawed-off shotgun blast. I let somone else do
applebakers and spoonhandles and not let my customers have such a huge
selection from which to choose. I make what I'm really good at and fast
at, though, to prove my mind is wide open, I try a couple new things every
year. I have known potters who have 150 items and 7 different glazes.
They are always behind and always frustrated. It seems a customer always
wants something other than what the potter has, though the artist has lots
of stock.

I ran into a potter in North Idaho who sold nothing but two sizes of lamps
and three sizes of planters in three different glazes. My, my could that
boy make lamps and planters quick. Most other potters at shows got pissed
off at "Henry Ford". He laughed at us all the way to the bank. He taught
us all such a good lesson though: narrow the choices. I must say, though,
that most potters make pretty much what they want to make until they find
the public doesn't buy, then they change.

The way I've come to look at selling is that the customer sees either that
your pots match "Aunt Martha's kitchen" or they go to the next potter down
the line. I sell in the hinterland and not in those big, wonderful,
sophisticated cities though, so what do I know.

To answer your statement about men: "...didn't want to chat, just wanted to
pick up a mug, put down the money fast, grab a bag, and skeedaddle..."
Having been a male most of my 55 years, I find that's how we behave doing
most things, if you know what I mean.

Good luck, Jan.

From here on the overpopulated, ugly, wet, and freezing cold Western Slope
of Colorado.