Sometimes I receive emails from people who are wanting to sell their handmade goods or furniture and want to know if I have any advice on where to sell. Usually my reply is if you find a place let me know!
I have rented a space at a flea market and antique show. These spaces are usually pretty cheap. When I did Metrolina last June, it cost me around $70.00 for three days. I split the space with a friend so I only paid 35.00 dollars and made close to $1,500. Of course I was there for three days outside in 100 degree weather praying it didn’t rain. These places draw tons of people, but if you pick a weekend and the weather is nasty you are out of luck. The packing up and unloading can be tricky as well depending on what you are selling.
Art festivals are another idea. These can be pricey and unless the organization putting on the festival has done a good amount of advertising you can show up with a ton of stuff but no people to buy. The work of loading up your car, unloading, setting up, tearing down, loading up your car again is exhausting. You just never know what you are going to get out of a festival as far as people. Some come ready to spend lots of money and then I have been to festivals where no one is buying anything. I love being outside with other artists selling things but usually these festivals take place on Saturdays and I have a hard time spending the whole day away from my family on a precious weekend.
Art galleries, boutiques, and shops are my favorite places to sell my products. You have to find a place that is a good fit for you and what you are trying to sell. Good location definitely helps as well. You can join a coop where you work a shift and get a hire percentage on sales or you can just sell your stuff without working usually for a 50/50 split with the owner. I worked and sold my stuff at Sanctuary of Davidson Art Gallery for almost two years until the end of December when I decided to take a break. I loved working at Sanctuary, loved Krissy the owner, and my stuff sold well there. I decided in October to rent a little room within Sanctuary. Unfortunately I let fear into my life. Instead of listening to God and to my heart, I decided even after an extremely successful first month in my little room that there was no way I could do it again. I was terrified I would fail. I was terrified I would never make enough stuff to keep that little room full. Who was I to have a space in such a cool gallery. I listened to fear and fear won over. I walked away from Sanctuary the end of December on good terms but completely defeated in my mind.
I took a month off from making things and trying to sell things. I needed to clear my head. I was still dealing with my youngest going off to kindergarten and what that meant for me as a stay at home mom. I had lost my identity and didn’t really know where I fit in this huge, giant, scary world. I was just tired. One day early February, by accident I met the sweet owner of 32 Flavors Boutique. I was thrilled that this cool artsy boutique had opened in my town and right down the street from where I lived. Turned out she was looking for someone to work a coop shift just like the one I had left the end of December. Taking a little break and doing lots of praying, I was feeling better about myself and my art and decided to give it a try. I worked at 32 Flavors every Friday from 10-2 until June when my kids got out of school. I wanted to be home with the kids this summer because we all know that the years are short and they grow up way to fast. I just had this need to be home with them as much as possible. Plus I was going to have to pay $200.00 a month to get a babysitter in order to continue my Friday shift. I wasn’t getting paid to work at 32 Flavors but was getting paid a higher percentage for my stuff that sold. I just couldn’t justify spending that much on a babysitter when I just wanted to be with my kids.
So I tell you all this long drawn out story for a reason. The other day, after making 4 more owl clocks and taking them up to shove somewhere in my guest bedroom in hopes that I would find a place to sell them or hoping my etsy shop would take off, I spoke to Krissy at Sanctuary of Davidson. My little room was still available and I could come back anytime. God answered my prayers. I wouldn’t have to work, could be home with the kids, AND have a place to sell my stuff. My dream is to own my own store one day. This is my little spot in the world for right now and I am so happy.
Love this man. The most supportive and encouraging person I know. How he puts up with my craziness I will never understand.
Hung my sign back up and it felt so goodddddddddddddddd!
It took me three hours of moving, shifting, hammering, hanging, more hammering, more moving and then finally……
I had my little room back!
Thanks Krissy for the second chance. So happy to be back!