Thread: WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST PASSIONS?
04-01-2007, 05:51 PM #1
04-05-2007, 10:25 AM #2
production, teaching, fiber sales
I have found that I need to do all three to stay in business.
As far as production felting goes, I like to sell wholesale. I find I am better talking with a gallery and having them present my work to the final purchaser. All of my production work is flat felt (scarves, etc.) because I can use my felting machine which is more efficient - thus better price points. While the work is sophisticated - I am not! The retail sale is better made by the classy gallery than the chubby soccer mom with no makeup, short unstyled hair, Land's End shorts and birkenstock sandles!
With that said, the wholesale shows are expensive to do ($1600 a booth) in a city convention center with nearby hotels at $200 a night. You also need printed flyers or catalogs and a sopisticated booth. Then you stand there and hope and pray that you get enough orders to meet expenses and keep you busy the rest of the year.
Well, at one of these shows during a slow time it hit me......Teaching!
I love to teach and when I teach I know I will get paid, the students are always enthusiatic, and someone almost always takes me to a nice place to eat! I had picked wholesale production over teaching because I thought I could do one or two shows a year and then be at home in my studio with my family and not on the road so much - like with teaching. Realistically, the wholesale shows were good but not enough to keep me in a years production so I was still having to go on the road doing retail shows. So, I figured that if I was going to be on the road I might as well teach. So this year I have passed over doing any wholesale or retail shows. I still have a body of production work that I make and I sell it through and artist rep in the Northeast. I also hope to have some galleries from last year reorder. But mostly I am teaching and doing fiber sales this year.
Fiber sales I love. And fiber shows I love. I can huff and puff to put my booth up knowing the customers will come! I have way more fun talking with another felter about what fiber they could use on a project they are planning than I do trying to tell a wealthy patron what color scarf they look best in! I also meet many great people buying over the website, the income is steady and since it is credit card based, I always get paid. Galleries on net 30 days are often late and have to be called! Plus, I am surrounded by volumes of wool all day!
04-05-2007, 02:25 PM #3
04-05-2007, 06:02 PM #4
I have been teaching in many local venues. How does one move on to "the next level" of teaching in other places?Anna Moberly
04-05-2007, 07:59 PM #5
artistic time and next level
I think I have more artistic time since my production schedule is not as full. I don't feel guilty like I would when I am suppose to be filling orders.
Teaching at the next level happens somewhat by word of mouth as your happy students spread the word. You can also submit teaching proposals to craft schools, etc.. I did a lot of that early on. Now my teaching schedule fill in the first two months of the year. So right now I am full for 2007 and in November I will start working on 2008 with most slots taken by February. It's great when you get to a point that you don't have to work really hard to advertise yourself. But at first it takes time.