How to Get Your Handmade Work Stocked in Craft Shops
Written By Sophie Holt.
Whether you are an established maker or just starting out, there can be many benefits to selling your handmade crafts via a third party. From craft shops to museums and galleries, having your work stocked within an already established business can be a great way to get your name out there in a well known environment and backed by a weighty name in the field.
There are many advantages to selling via this method. There are, however, some things you must know as a maker before reaching out to a third party. Firstly, not all but most galleries or museums take a comission from each sale of your work (normally between 20-50%) – something to be aware of before considering stocking work in a larger organisation. There are also certain things potential stockists expect from you as a maker, so before contacting organisations make sure your work is of a high quality, complete with appropriate packaging and presentation cards (branded or unbranded) and constant pricing in line with the chosen organisation. This last point goes without saying, but make sure you have a professional attitude throughout!
When embarking on this process try following these simple steps:
- Do your research before selecting a place to contact and make sure that the organisation would be the right fit for you and your work. Don’t just pick anyone that would have you! You can try and find appropriate places to sell by browsing organisations on websites such as UKhandmade, Crafts Council and Arts Council.
- Do your own market research in determining where you should sell – try looking at the people that have brought your work in the past and base you potential stockists on this information.
- Make sure the work you will be selling is something you are proud of, of a high quality and reflects you are a maker. It is essential your work holds it own with the environment you wish to stock it in.
- Be certain your products are accurately priced (taking into account potential commission). Remember to not undersell yourself as this will cheapen your work. We have a blog post can pricing your handmade work (Read more here).
- Begin to contact organisations – you can email or ring or even go in in person! Don’t be afraid to go in physically, this can sometimes work to your advantage as you gain the information you need directly and can get a good feel for the place.
- Be persistent. Don’t be scared of rejection – this will inevitably happen at some point but try to treat each oppotunity even if unsuccessful as a stepping stone to success!
Please note that here at Manchester Craft and Design Centre we stock the work of resident and affiliate makers and in selecting each we use a specific artistic policy. If you are interested within applying for a studio space why not click here to find out more – apply to join our waiting list.
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