Re: To Grow or Not to Grow?

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Posted by M.R. Daniels on July 12, 2000 at 19:39:01:

In Reply to: Re: To Grow or Not to Grow? posted by John Iverson on July 09, 2000 at 12:24:39:

We aren't doing the summer show...sending out a wholesale catalog instead. I'll be sure to touch base with you in February, assuming we are not in a rest home by then! We have read your FAQ, diligently. We ran a business in Philly for 20 years with 14 employees, and understand the issue and agree with your presentation of it.

: Running the numbers on growth is merely an intellectual exercise. I sense in your posting that there is a lot of stress attached to having other people doing your work for you. From the level of your posting I can't tell whether it results from organizational deficiencies or plain old "cheerful, but clumsy" help trying to do a creative job.

No, that's not exactly it. The other people do minor stuff, like shipping, varnishing, etc. Scott and I do the designing, building, painting. We see this more as a dollars and cents issue, but to be honest, the orders are coming in so fast we don't have time to evaluate it!
Luann's post about "follow your heart" is appreciated; we do that. We earn our living doing our art, and that is where our heart is. We would be happy going either way, as far as the kind of work we do. What we want is a saner lifestyle.
Our problem is that we are swamped with wholesale orders, always seem to be behind. Perhaps it is organizational. We keep trying to build up an inventory, then oops along comes a big order and wipes out the inventory. This might be as simple as raising our prices, but at retail shows we find the keystone of our wholesale price is just right....a little higher and things stop selling. We are conscientious about keeping our retail price at double the wholesale one. Maybe too conscientious?
We think the problem lies in either the size of our line, the pricing, or the work flow in the shop.
For this wholesale catalog, we are pruning down our line, eliminating the items that are either a hassle or hard to ship, and raising some prices.

Some days I yearn for the early years when we only did retail shows. We started doing wholesale to fill in the cash flow and to connect with galleries that would promote our custom work. Maybe we're there already and should cut back on the wholesale, but then the money stops coming!
Being an artist ain't for sissies.

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