Larry Kruzan on tue 5 aug 03
> How have sales been for everyone else?
> Garret Bonnema
I recently sold my first mug, to a friend no less. So for me it's been a
banner year Garret. I'll let you know more next year.
Garret Bonnema on tue 5 aug 03
I was wondering how sales for the rest of you are going. We have 29
years of retail experience in our present location, and sales have
been slow. Our sales for July were down 15% and we are down 10% for the
year. I think we have been down all but three months since 9/11. Given,
it has been a relatively lousy spring and summer, weatherwise, up here
in Maine, but it was a good, if cold , ski season.
How have sales been for everyone else?
Tony Ferguson on tue 5 aug 03
Business has been slow for me this summer in terms of internet sales. Art
shows are also down a bit. The economy will eventually turn around.
On Lake Superior, where the sky meets the Lake
Stoneware, Porcelain, Raku and more
by Coleman, Ferguson, Winchester...
315 N. Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55806
----- Original Message -----
From: "Garret Bonnema"
Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2003 7:57 AM
Subject: Summer sales
> Hi Clayarters,
> I was wondering how sales for the rest of you are going. We have 29
> years of retail experience in our present location, and sales have
> been slow. Our sales for July were down 15% and we are down 10% for the
> year. I think we have been down all but three months since 9/11. Given,
> it has been a relatively lousy spring and summer, weatherwise, up here
> in Maine, but it was a good, if cold , ski season.
> How have sales been for everyone else?
> Garret Bonnema
> Bonnema Potters
> Bethel, ME
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Cecilia Wian on tue 5 aug 03
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Garret Bonnema"
> > Hi Clayarters,
> > I was wondering how sales for the rest of you are going.
This summer has been rough. June was horrid. It's getting better slowly.
Thank heaven (or whichever deity you prefer) that we live quietly and sock
away some cash when things are good.
Susan Fox-Hirschmann on wed 6 aug 03
I had my best Ann Arbor Art Fair and have been there almost every year since
1986......I am grateful.
Stephani Stephenson on wed 6 aug 03
I won't know for sure till I run numbers through the computer
but my sense is that this summer I , and also Alchemie
have been busier than ever.
"Multi-tasking" to put it lightly
several projects simultaneously all summer
but my other sense is that profits seem to be lower....
i.e. just as busy
holding even, but no great windfalls.
I'll have to figure this out
some balances due still out there and not counted
thank goodness the windfall from last year has held up and is
the summer and spring were slow.
orders in general were small
no two years are the same. in some years the business has
actually held in strong through the fall, other years it drops
this year started late.
Many orders came in simultaneously in mid to late June.
My sales , dollar wise, are highly dependent on
a smaller component are the gift sales
internet sales are about the same
the big downer was a public art commission
which had its budget cut by 2/3
right at the time artist was selected
then seems to have been put on hold indefinitely.
Public art commissions
depend on them for income?
Probably not a good time to ask me about that!!!!!
I have really come to appreciate the far more direct way of
doing business in the private sector
far fewer restrictions, fewer hoops, not made to feel like a
trained pony, no lengthy meetings , not trying to please a
committee, fewer delays, you do the work, you get paid up front
and upon completion.....you don't get shot down at the starting
gate. It works out pretty good.
meanwhile the other thing that always slips away is keeping the
pricelist ahead of rising costs.
supposedly there is no inflation, but while no one is watching,
the price of gas, natural, propane and auto, has gone up,
electricity and other utilities have gone up, charges for things
like shipping, shipping and packing supplies, telephone service,
reference material, and other supplies and equipment have gone
up. Medical, homeowners, rental , car and health insurance has
gone up, rents have gone up too... so it is important to keep
up with those increases in costs. You can try to get more
efficient, but my feeling is most of us are already doing double
time and can give some pretty good tips on efficiency....What
are those lyrics from "I'm a woman?..."I can stretch a greenback
The other less 'tangible' but very real aspect is that the
projects this summer have been pretty satisfying, in that I try
something new, or improve on something, or learn something, or
am pleased with the way it has come out, or meet a nice client,
and see the client is pleased too.
The 'stock items ' cater to a market based on 1) nostalgia for
times past: this includes something handmade, made with 'real'
and traditional materials, and to some degree, recreation of
historic styles , if not exactly than , the 'feeling of it.
People want to recreate the feeling of the fireplace that was in
their grandparents home, or want to honor and also add value to
remodeling of an older home, or personalize a newer home. Others
want something unique and special. MAny are in highly
professional careers, bankers, CPAs medical profession... they
want something that is not new , is not plastic, is not resin,
is not imported, is made by an individual.
The individual projects may not be tied to the historical
'longing'. Usually the person has already has a vague idea of
what they want, and they are pleased to find someone who can
somehow make that intangible longing into reality. It has a lot
to do with the presence of the material itself I believe. The
warmth and presence of fired clay, together with whatever skill
the artist or potter or sculptor can bring to it's formation. I
am always thankful that there are those people out there who
search us out as I am hardly hanging out on billboards, street
corners, or tv commercials advertising my wares!!!!!
Ah yes, Ceramics IS the world's second oldest profession... did
advertising come before or after?????