Thursday, November 12, 2009

Building on Experience

a winter wreath mosaic

In 2004 and 2005 I designed and sold winter wreaths; my total sales for both years were less than $500. That's sales, not profit.

Two weeks ago I unearthed a pile of notes and records related to my wreath venture. There were notes from craft shows indicating if they would be a good fit for my product, what kind of clientele attended and what kinds of price ranges were there. There was an Excel sales log complete with cost of production and profit margin for each piece. And then my favourites: sales slips, hang tags and an artist's (crafter's?) statement, all adhering to a consistent image sporting a Papyrus font and Microsoft clipart.

Fast-forward to yesterday and a phone call I got from my hairdresser. Remember the paintings I hung at her place last week? Turns out they're garnering interest and that, in her words, it's time for me to "get my butt in gear and bring in a price list." There's also a potential market for prints, especially for Giselle who is not for sale (she's my first face from scratch, therefore a keeper).


After hanging up, bouncing around on an adrenalin rush and subsequently catching my breath, I turned to my wreath venture for inspiration. After all if I did it once surely I could do it again. So I am.

Mimicking steps I took back then I'm re-using the Excel template to calculate production costs and pricing for my artwork, I'm diligently typing up notes from each recon phone call to the printers, and just like I wrote a crafter's statement for display at craft shows, I intend to write an artist's statement for display at the salon. I'm pulling out my books on selling crafts, gleaning tips that apply just as much to original paintings as they did for wreaths.

I can do this. I've done it before, now it's time to build on that experience - a tiny business venture initiated five years ago that today is giving me tools and confidence to move forward in something new. And just that is worth the effort I put into it, maybe even greater reward than the $500 in sales.

1 comment:

  1. you can totally do this! i want a print of giselle too. ;-D