Paul Lewing on thu 27 dec 01
I keep hearing on the radio that it was a terrible Christmas season for
retail out there this year. But I also hear that certain sectors of the
market did well, or at least OK. It seems that this year people were more
interested in more special stuff, stuff for home and family. And I hear
that people waited till the last minute to do their shopping.
So I was wondering how you all did as far as sales. I realize it's a little
early to assess how gallery consignment sales went, but I know some of you
have stores and lots of you had special sales in your homes or studios. And
did shops buy as much as usual?
My experience was that, back in October or so when stores usually place
orders, they decided Christmas wasn't going to happen at all this year, so
no orders. But then the buyer from my largest account called about the 20th
or so and wanted to know if I had any stock, but he only wanted really
We had our annual sale at our house the first weekend in December. In spite
of the really horrible weather, our jeweler and I did well, although our
weaver did not. Her low sales were probably due to her changing what she
makes, though, and the fact that she had almost nothing priced between $6
and $60. I've heard from most of the sales that are part of our 15-sale
tour of sales, and they all say that traffic was down, but sales were about
as they usually are. I was really glad I had so many drawings this year, as
about 30% of my sales were of that stuff.
So, how about some feedback? It sure would be nice to think that, for once,
sales of art and pottery were stronger than sales in the market as a whole!
Paul Lewing, Seattle
The Balentines on fri 28 dec 01
I did a small christmas sale and a studio sale at my house in December.
Both were up in sales over what I made last year by 50%. I was shocked
because of the economy right now but found that people were looking for more
handmade items this year. A real plus for all us artists out there. My
calendar is full for next year but no shops are saying how much they will
order yet. I do mainly wholesale. Susan Balentine-potter in NC
Tjo62@AOL.COM on fri 28 dec 01
The holiday sales were great for me and my group. We had one big sale the
weekend after Thanksgiving and it was great. Then a small group of potter
friends and I had another sale on the 15th of Dec. There was a steady crowd
all day with people looking for bargain pots. I am very pleased with my
holiday sales this year. Tonya in Louisville, KY
william schran on fri 28 dec 01
Paul - Held 2nd annual holiday pottery show/sale of student work
where I teach on a Saturday few weeks back. Only advertised within
the school and limited local community. Raised $3,000 then another
$1,500 when we put left over pots out on a counselor's desk. All work
was donated by students & all proceeds going to "ceramics studio"
When we have a supply budget of only $1,000 per year for the art
program, this really helps.
clay.music on fri 28 dec 01
My home show sales were up about 1/3 from last year. I share my house =
with several other artists and their sales were also up. We all noticed =
a trend towards buying smaller ticket items. They were not necessarily =
functional items that sold, price seemed to be the determining factor.=20
I do some wholesale work and as yet have not heard from any of my =
regular clients. This time last year I already had most of the year =
Geometrix Clay Designs
Jim Larkin on fri 28 dec 01
----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Lewing
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2001 5:58 PM
Subject: Holiday sales
> So, how about some feedback? It sure would be nice to think that, for
> sales of art and pottery were stronger than sales in the market as a
> Paul Lewing, Seattle
After 29 years of selling from the gallery attached to our studio, this is
the best year we've had and the best fall season we've had. And we've sold
more high-end pieces than ever before. I'm sure there are numerous reasons
for this, but I definitely get feedback from customers that they are
treating themselves to something special. After Christmas sales are good,
too. Good enough for me to back out of a backpacking trip today to keep the
shop open a couple more days, and it takes a lot to get me to do that!
Fox Pass Pottery
379 Fox Pass
Hot Springs, Arkansas
OWLPOTTER@AOL.COM on fri 28 dec 01
I am from Michigan, had my pots in five temporary art/craft stores in malls
here and Ohio. The sales in them were dismal - varied from 90% to 70% down
from last year.
When we contacted our wholesale accounts (the ones that haven't named us in
their bankruptcy) we were mostly told they had "lots of stock" and didn't
think they'd need anything before Christmas. Out of over a dozen accounts,
we only had one normal before Christmas order.
We did three retail shows/sales in December. One was near Washington DC, two
were here in Michigan. Two were bona fide failures. But one of the Michigan
ones, an all clay, student-type sale was very pleasantly up in sales over
last year for me, and I think, a lot of the participants.
I really don't know how the big retail stores did this Christmas - but I
heard on the news this week that the Michigan based chain, upscale retailer,
Jacobson's, was filing bankruptcy. I am sure glad they don't owe me any
-Carolynn Palmer, Somerset Center, Michigan
Karen Shapiro on fri 28 dec 01
I must say that I had an incredible holiday season. I do raku-fired sculpture and it's whimsical, so I seemed to fit the bill for this season. People were definitely looking for something to make them smile. The sales were good across the board, i.e., higher end as well as lower end. One of my galleries told me that under $1,000 whimsy was his best bet.
I'm taking a bit of a rest after months of nonstop kick-butt work. Back to work very soon ... maybe this afternoon?
Hope you all did well too.
Karen in Gualala
Do You Yahoo!?
Send your FREE holiday greetings online at Yahoo! Greetings.
Hank Murrow on fri 28 dec 01
>I keep hearing on the radio that it was a terrible Christmas season for
>retail out there this year. But I also hear that certain sectors of the
>market did well, or at least OK. It seems that this year people were more
>interested in more special stuff, stuff for home and family. And I hear
>that people waited till the last minute to do their shopping.
>So I was wondering how you all did as far as sales. I realize it's a little
>early to assess how gallery consignment sales went, but I know some of you
>have stores and lots of you had special sales in your homes or studios. And
>did shops buy as much as usual?
>My experience was that, back in October or so when stores usually place
>orders, they decided Christmas wasn't going to happen at all this year, so
>no orders. But then the buyer from my largest account called about the 20th
>or so and wanted to know if I had any stock, but he only wanted really
>We had our annual sale at our house the first weekend in December. In spite
>of the really horrible weather, our jeweler and I did well, although our
>weaver did not. Her low sales were probably due to her changing what she
>makes, though, and the fact that she had almost nothing priced between $6
>and $60. I've heard from most of the sales that are part of our 15-sale
>tour of sales, and they all say that traffic was down, but sales were about
>as they usually are. I was really glad I had so many drawings this year, as
>about 30% of my sales were of that stuff.
>So, how about some feedback? It sure would be nice to think that, for once,
>sales of art and pottery were stronger than sales in the market as a whole!
>Paul Lewing, Seattle
At my Holiday Sale this year, sales were up about 80% from last
year. A banner year for me at home. Very glad I built that showroom out of
what had been a solarium.
Marie Gibbons on sat 29 dec 01
I have heard this from many people this year, in many areas of the
country.... sales being up or at least very comparable in hand made
merchandise. One friend of mine who does ceramic tile murals has an
interesting take on it.. he feels that with the whole 9.11 experience people
have been put into a 'nesting' mode.. and wanting to make their nests
comfortable, creative, reflective of good things... this does make sense, it
is almost an expansion on the whole trend of interiors being more important
to us as 'the home office' became more common... Pier I ... Pottery Barn and
the like started raking in the dough because people were spending much more
time in their homes, by working from them as well as living in them.
Charles on sat 29 dec 01
Pottery Sales at The Creative Oasis were up about 40% over last year. For
those of you who know our space via visiting artist workshops-the fact that
we can sell anything is nothing short of a miracle...we have no frontage, no
display windows, just a darkish stairwell leading into combination
gallery/studio space basement. Despite this we did amazingly well with
sales. I am waiting to hear from the various galleries that carry my work,
but I expect things went well.
Jocelyn McAuley on sat 29 dec 01
I felt myself looking to purchase holiday gifts from local sources in my
community, perhaps thats what others have done. This could contribute
to crafts doing well. I will never again walk into a mall if I can help
I had the pleasure to go to Hank's sale. I know what his secret really
is- bubbly and truffle offerings to the gods!
they were pleased
Jocelyn McAuley ><<'> firstname.lastname@example.org
Coolpots@AOL.COM on fri 4 jan 02
Craft fair sales for me this fall were up. People seemed to enjoy spending
money in the Sacramento area. BUT, 4 of the galleries I consign to had to
close their doors the end of the year. They said it was due to the decline in
tourism. Two of them were working artists in their own retail shop. I feel
bad for them. It seems like a tough business.
So, in 2002, I will be doing more art/craft fairs. Hopefully it will be a
good year. It will be easier on my bookkeeping too. Now I need to build up my
muscles for the extra lifting I need to do for the shows. I did 14 last year.
My goal for this year is 20. Hope you all have a very successful year!
Vicki in Cool, CA
Jonathan Kirkendall on thu 16 dec 04
*sigh* I have 1637 unread messages in my Clayart account. I just
haven't had time to read them all, due in part, I think, to the holiday
season. I miss that.
But! Let me first say that the holiday season is not what it used to
be. In, say, the year 2000, I remember in one weekend (three sales)
making enough to pay my rent, buy some new tools, and buy some groceries
for two months or so. This year is very different. No sale has been
outstanding. My annual open house netted a good third less than usual.
Instead, I'm getting more phone and email orders ("I saw your pots at a
sale in September and picked up your card..."). I'm also getting calls
from two of the galleries I sell at - last minute orders, that oddly
enough I can fill (I have bisque ware out the wazoo). It's certainly
not as exciting as that one weekend, but it's steadier. Quite frankly,
I think my bank account prefers it this way.
The other (better) half has cookies in the oven downstairs...I think I
need to go say hello to him.
Holiday cheer to all of you,
Jonathan in DC
looking forward to NCECA on this side of the world, again.