Re: Belated realization of unsalable product

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Posted by John on January 20, 2001 at 08:43:13:

In Reply to: Belated realization of unsalable product posted by Bathsheba Grossman on January 20, 2001 at 00:35:09:

Doomed is too harsh a word to use for your predicament. Your problem is merely one of positioning, complicated by not having the personality (shyness?) to romance your art face-to-face with the public. You are not alone. Start with the premise that you will have to talk to some people -- period; there is no way you can get around that. That suggests that you should be thinking about a wholesale distribution system, to minimize the number of these contacts. That in turn suggests a major investment in good sales and point-of-purchase packaging and literature to explain your art. All of which is doeable.

About costs, which you say are not in play here: why are you using sterling as the base metal, if you then turn around and plate the object with platinum? Casting them in base metal -- and casting more pieces at a time, while you're at it -- should bring those components of your costs down dramatically.

Personality aside, you should steel yourself to deal with others in explaining and romancing your unique art. You are your own best cheerleader here. Whether you primarily do it verbally or through graphics and print is up to you. But what you are trying to do is position your art where people can admire it and be interested in buying it -- is it jewelry (partly), is it a nick-nack (partly)...just WHAT(?) is it?

Your work reminds me of some friends here in Santa Fe. For want of a better way to explain their art, I'll just say they do a stick-on-a-rock line. River rocks with gemstones and twigs glued on them, and sometimes wrapped with rawhide. Reminds me of Southwestern fetishes, small sculptures, paperweights etc. with a vaguely Oriental twist. They sell primarily retail all around the country -- probably two dozen craft shows a year. And, Sheba, they can't make enough of these things! Seeing them work the crowd around their booth at a show is an amazing experience; I'm reminded of the Ginzu knife pitchman at the county fair! From the display to the packaging to the card inserts to the spiel, there is a consistent theme explaining why Mr & Mrs Consumer would want to pay $150+ for a stick on a rock! Go figure!

Good luck, and please don't despair.

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