I'm on the hunt for new shops to carry my work and I'm focusing on boutiques and indie design stores instead of galleries. Years ago, my collections could be found in shops around the US, but in 2010 I retired all those designs and shifted my focus to one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry. This change brought new spaces in the form of galleries, and with them, consigning instead of wholesaling. Selling one's work is challenging for all sorts of reasons, but selling mainly on consignment brings extra challenges: investing in materials and time, and then waiting for the work to sell. In the current economy, consignment is especially hard and I'm beginning to realize I have to find wholesale accounts again, and say no to additional consignment.
My "new" production collections seem like they could work in all kinds of places so I've been spending hours on my laptop searching for shops. I visit websites and Facebook pages, looking for an overall style or aesthetic that is similar to mine by examining the kinds of things the store currently carries. I also check price points to be sure mine will fit. Then I start emailing... My goal is to contact 100 shops by this Friday and then to contact 100 more in August. I like challenges like this so it's been fun to work on. I'm also keeping my expectations low, understanding that, realistically, I will be lucky if I even hear back from a few.
I will continue to make my one-of-a-kind and limited edition work, too, and plan to keep all my current galleries. I'm fortunate to have my work in all of these places and feel honored to be in each one.
Finally, if you know of a shop where you live where you think my work could be, please send me a message (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading.