Ann Kenworthy on tue 13 jan 04
I am preparing a proposal to a national retail chain that would result =
in high quality functional pottery being placed in their retail outlets. =
Sales of work would benefit the potters, and the chain's portion of =
the income would be donated to a 501(c)(3) organization that they =
support. (A third part of the proposal is that I would be paid to =
manage the project--not to select the work, but just to manage the =
I would greatly appreciate hearing directly from anyone who can =
contribute an answer, a suggestion, or an idea to the questions I've =
posed below. My hope is that this will be a win-win for potters and for =
the charity. Thanks in advance for any help you can give! Good =
questions are welcome, too.
1. Jurying process: How would you suggest that a jury process be set =
up? Juror's selected? Would you recommend a "blind" process, where the =
name of the potter is unknown to the jury member(s)? Where do you stand =
on digital images vs. slides? (Administratively, I'd prefer digital =
images, but if this jeopardizes the jurors' ability to evaluate a pot, =
so be it.)
2. Regionality: I was thinking it would help potters create a stronger =
local market if they could only apply to have their work sold in a store =
or stores within their state or region. From a potters' perspective, =
how do you feel about that? =20
3. Potter/retailer split: What's the standard split of income in a =
retail situation like this?
4. Timetable: I'd like to get approval for this proposal within the =
month with a launch date (stuff in the stores) as of September 1. Does =
this seem realistic to you? How much lead time does a potter need to =
submit slides of production functional work? (I know, how long is a =
piece of string, but would appreciate your estimate.)
5. What are the two or three key factors that you think with make or =
break this effort?
Many thanks to everyone. Please feel free to reply to me directly =
offline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ann C. Kenworthy
Kathi LeSueur on wed 14 jan 04
>I am preparing a proposal to a national retail chain that would result in high quality functional pottery being placed in their retail outlets............
>1. Jurying process: .... Juror's selected? Would you recommend a "blind" process, where the name of the potter is unknown to the jury member(s)? Where do you stand on digital images vs. slides?>>>>>>>
I would make sure that at least a third to one-half of the jurors be
buyers for the store. Knowing the names of the potters is not necessary.
Digital is fine, but I would not require it. You will eliminate lots of
potters if you do.
>2. Regionality: I was thinking it would help potters create a stronger local market if they could only apply to have their work sold in a store or stores within their state or region.>>>>
Regionality would be good. It will also cut down on shipping costs.
>3. Potter/retailer split: What's the standard split of income in a retail situation like this?>>>>
Wholesale standard is 50% of the potter's retail. Buyer pays shipping.
DO NOT MAKE THIS A CONSIGNMENT VENTURE. Getting payment will be a
nightmare. What to do if work is broken, stolen. Tracking sales, etc.
You will have a bunch of potters angry at you for the rest of your life.
this last may be hard. More and more retailers are entering into
agreements where they can return unsold merchandise. This might be fine
for clothing but it will be a nightmare for pots.
>4. Timetable: I'd like to get approval for this proposal within the month with a launch date (stuff in the stores) as of September 1. Does this seem realistic to you? How much lead time does a potter need to submit slides of production functional work?>>>>
Any potter who wants to participate in this venture should already have
slides of work available. And, it is essential that the potters selected
be able to deliver on time. This is one of the main criticisms of buyers
at galleries and shops. They order for a certain date and that date is
ignored. Pots expected to be sold for Christmas do the store no good if
they arrive in January.
>5. What are the two or three key factors that you think with make or break this effort?>>>>
Work that is inappropriate to the market will doom this effort. If the
main aim is to "educate the public" rather than to sell pots no one will
be happy. If the chain has a high end clientele then high end work is
appropriate. However, if it sells mainly to the middle income market it
must have work that will appeal to those people and is within the price
range they will buy. For this effort to work sales must be good.
As a last suggestion, I would contact a number of small suppliers to
this chain to see how they pay. Major chains are notorious for paying
small suppliers very slowly and driving them into bankruptcy. They also
are notorious for ordering far more than they take in the end. I'm not
saying all of them are like this, but enough are that it could spell
financial ruin for a potter who has put all of their efforts into this
venture at the expense of their regular stores or shows.