Monday, April 2, 2012

Under $200 shopper

The is the last week my pieces will be in the House and Home show at Mudfire Gallery. Yes, they are still there. Apparently the under $200 shoppers are the only ones buying in the Decatur area this month!
I know my work like this sells, I have sold 12 pieces since these three have been at Mudfire, and have three galleries waiting on work, so I'm not really sure what's going on. Oh well, they are still online if you want one, they are really beautiful and I was very proud to have them in the show. I guess if they come back home, I will sell them myself. If I had priced this work at $200 or less, with the commission to the gallery, shipping, materials (including the found objects which are not cheap) and my time in the studio, I would be paying myself roughly $7 an hour. I am just not going to do that. Walmart pays their employees $12 an hour and I know I'm working harder than a Walmart greeter!  I have shopped around in other galleries and online and I know that my prices are fair and comparable to what is out there in the market place. I'm just not going to give my work away anymore, it takes me too long to produce this work.  Of course, I'm preaching to the choir here, you all know how this goes, don't you!
Oh well, I know these pieces are beautiful and they will find a home somewhere, it just might not be in Georgia!


Cat's Ceramics said...

Here here sister! I hear ya :)
I ashamedly do pay myself less than the minimum wage which over here is about £6 or $9.50. It is ridiculous when you think about it. I could get more money hanging about a store not doing anything than I earn working my ass off everyday! You charge those prices your pieces are worth it x

smartcat said...

Location! Location! Location! The fit with the gallery may not be right for your work.

Many years ago I made not your average piggy bank. A friend wanted them for her toy store....where they SAT. I took them out and put them in another friend's upscale craft gallery/shop. She could hardly keep them in stock!

Stick to your guns....most of us are working for wages that would make us cry if we did a proper costing!

Lori Buff said...

It's funny because they have gotten a lot of interest but I think the buyers are a little concerned about paying your price (which are good prices for the work, I don't think you're asking too much at all) since they aren't familiar with your work yet. It's been my experience that people in the area will buy an inexpensive item when they first see me, then come back later and buy something more expensive. Of course I do mostly functional work, they may be trying to see if the pottery really is microwave and dishwasher safe-I don't know.
Don't lose heart, the houses are amazing and wonderful, they will find the right homes.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Cat,thanks for the cheers!
YES! Location is everything, so right!
Lori, you are also right about people not knowing me. I was talking with a friend the other day and we decided people buy art because they are buying the artist. However, I sold a piece in a gallery in Charlotte to a couple from Seattle, so that's not always the case.... Who knows!? I do know that when I am with my pieces they sell much faster, and I think it is the meeting the artist that helps so much. Too bad I couldnt make it to the opening!

Michèle Hastings said...

if you want your work to be seen you have to get it out there and unfortunately that usually costs money. think of it as advertising/marketing your work.
here is something to think about... what was the price range of the 12 houses that sold recently and do you sell the under $200 houses more frequently? If you need to make a living create a balance of work - houses you know will sell and "special" houses that will get into exhibitions and published and may take a little longer to find just the right owner.
and like Smartcat said, location is important.

Tracey Broome said...

So right Michele! My houses start at $150 now for the most simple form and go up as I add on objects, depending on their cost. I had planned on sending those to Mudfire but they asked for more of a variety, so I sent the best I had, probably should have sent the cheapest I had! Oh well, at least I had some really beautiful pieces in the show, not sad about that at all, and it was fun to work with this gallery, such nice people!

Tracey Broome said...

PS: Lori, I was just looking back at the Mudfire website and I think it is still about price, come to think of it. There are some well known artists that still have work available. I just think the price point for that show was $200 and under....
but you are right, no one really knows me down that way (except you!!!)