Randy and Cheryl Weisz on tue 14 aug 01
Howdy from Raleigh, NC, USA,
I wanted to share some ideas that have proven profitable for me and other
potters here in the lower states. I thought you might enjoy them and maybe
pick up a new idea or two and subsequently, get up your courage to "go for
it" and some profit.
My father was in specialty advertising for 52 years (you know, the person
who put your logo and address on the matchbook covers and on pens and
pencils). He taught me a lot about selling and I'm grateful. He said: "Make
what you love, create three different items, and don't be afraid to ask
people to buy your wares!" Those fundamental truths have helped me sell here
in the United States.
I sell in three different ways currently, 1) galleries..good for the items
the common folk do not buy readily - example: hand formed letter holders
with dogwood flowers high relief sculpture on the sides, 2) farmer's
markets... good for the everyday functional bowl, mug, etc., - for common
folk like me, and the out of the ordinary venue like 3) "Potter-ware"
parties at my home or a friend's. We set up 15 - 20 items and take orders in
the glaze colors I carry. These are a lot of fun! (And the refreshments are
In my experience, my out of the ordinary sells first - the chicken teapot
($45-$60) or the unique jar with high relief dogwood or rose flowers ($35 -
$50) on the lid, the second selling point are my glazes - most of my glossy
go first and then the matt second, I also find that my small items - spoon
rests $8-$10 with different patterns pressed into them sell most and the
large bowl ( $55 - $75) sells slower because there are a multitude of
extraordinary potters in my local area who make large beautiful bowls.
At a local restaurant you can buy the meal and in addition, the pottery
plate, salad bowl and mug set ($28/set for the potter) you are served on are
included in the price of the meal for you to take home when you are
finished. (Folks! Go out there and talk to your restaurateurs.)
Another...a tourism hotel (local) has authentic "North Carolina" pottery in
their lobby display case that hotel guests (mostly international) may order
and have it shipped to their home. (Go ask your local hotel if you can set
up a display of your best works!)
I approached my local natural foods store and they were buying my pottery
bowls for their display case to sell their deli foods in daily. (They broke
a bunch of bowls because the staff was not so careful with the pottery as
they should have been - but hey, an ever buying client until a couple of
weeks ago when corporate said "hey, cut out the local potter and get some
hospital solid white bowls in here! Yuck!) But, that was a real boost to my
career for a time.
There are so many other ideas..., suffice to say, "Ask, ask, ask!".
I'd love to see others share their experiences and ideas that work in
selling pottery with everyone. And for those of you who are just getting
started, "Carpe Diem" and then tell us all what worked for you!
All the best!
Cheryl L. Weisz