WHC228@AOL.COM on fri 10 aug 01
I have both a retail business and I make a lot of pottery for stores.
Wholesale was slow during the traditional time of the year, and didn't pick
up as fast as summer approached. It did, however rebound for me by mid June.
With the loss of the Peoples Pottery account I lagged behind a little, but am
back to where I was last year at this time. Wholesale is still very strong
here. I did a lot of new forms over the winter and released them slowly since
spring. I expect that had a lot to do with being in good shape now.
The store is doing better this year. The smallest gain was in March with a
gain of 11%.
I, as a buyer go to three markets each year. I go to the New York Gift show,
the Buyers Market, and the ACC shows. We buy most of our work at the Buyers
Market show that Wendy promotes. Since we are in contact with our suppliers,
and are interested in what is going on in the craft world, we ask what they
are doing and what they think of the current market. Almost all of the
craftsmen that I have been talking to are having a good year. Good enough
that it is often difficult to get additional orders of there work when I need
The weakest area has been Large expensive decorative pieces. We are doing
fine with expensive glass, but not paintings, and sculpture. Functional stuff
is doing better than ART. That market is always difficult. It is too risky
for me to spend a lot of money on.
I sell to about 450 accounts, and am not having any collection problems. The
mood that I am reading from those shops is still positive since the weather
began to warm up. I believe that the people that buy my work are little
affected by recession when treating themselves to a modestly priced gift.
I have heard a little whining from a couple of high end jewelers.
My hand only touches one part of the elephant, so I can only tell you what
part of it I feel.
I started this business in the recession of the early 80s and found that
people were able to spend money on CRAFTS when they didn't have money for big
ticket items. People still need to spend money for those wonderful items that
the craftsmen of America make to give as gifts.
I hope that your year is going well
As I was finishing typing this I had a phone call from one of my customers
that has five wonderful stores in Oregon. They are planning to open even more
stores. Their business has been that good.