Places For Designers to Sell Their Products

It is very interesting to see trends in society behaviour change. Over the last couple of years it appears that people have been reverting back to how things were done in the past. For example, growing your own vegetables is popular once again, as is adopting old craft and design techniques. I know that here in Ireland handmade gifts and products are more popular than ever before. In this technological world it is great to see such a huge demand for handmade and natural products. This is a good thing and we have the advantage of using modern knowledge and technology to compliment these old fashioned methods and techniques.

Designers, artists, jewellery makers and crafts people of all types create wonderful products but how and where do they sell these products? Below are a few ideas of where to sell your products.

Market Place Websites

Nowadays there are loads of handmade market place websites that offer great facilities for crafts people to sell their products, for a small commission of course. There are so many sites offering this service it can be hard to decide where to start. There is obviously ebay, but this is not specific to designers etc. Amongst my favourite are Etsy and The Design Basket. They are easy to use and provide you with a platform to showcase yourself and your products.

Your Own Blog Or Website

Selling products through your own blog can be very successful; however you do need to have a great blog with a large number of followers to make this work. Setting up a blog tomorrow and expecting to make sales immediately is not realistic.

In an ideal situation you would have your own dedicated website to sell your products. This can be expensive, not only to get built and maintain but also to optimize, through search engine optimization, so that potential customers can find you. This is an option that should be considered and it can work very well if there is a large existing client base or if you are in the process of building a good client base.

Local Market & Craft Fairs

This is a great place to begin selling. It will give you a real feel of how the general public respond to your products and also a way to make a name for yourself. Be sure to select a market that suits your goods, this is very important and will be vital in your ability to make sales. Choose a fair where the other vendors’ products are of similar quality and price to your own. For example, there is no point selling funky jewellery at a market that is attended by pensioners or selling $200 bracelets at a fair where the average product costs $5.

In local Stores

This is a great way for your product to be seen regularly by shoppers. It is also a good way of selling large quantities to one person/business in one go, instead of just one item at a time. However, the downside to this is that a lot of stores buying products wholesale will expect at least 50% of the retail price. Is this an option for you taking into consideration your costs to make each unit?

Consignment

This is a slightly different method of selling your product in shops. You display your product in a particular store and when one is sold, you get your cut and the shop gets theirs. Their cut will generally be a lower percentage, about 20%-40%, than selling into a shop wholesale as mentioned above. The downside of this option is that you have to provide your product upfront without receiving payment until units are sold.

Conclusion

If you are a jewellery or clothes designer or an artist or crafts person why not try to develop your business through one of the methods I have suggested. It will take a bit of effort and time but it can make all the difference.

Guest Post

Art Preservation – How to care for your paintings and prints at home

How to look after prints, paintings and other Big work of Art
License: Creative Commons

How can you ensure that the print or painting that looked so good on the gallery wall remains looking just as good for years to come when you display it in your own home? Artworks can be delicate and susceptible to many different kinds of damage if not cared for properly, so here are some valuable tips on the best ways to display and care for paintings and prints at home, protecting your investment in artwork and ensuring it remains in prime condition.

Handling and moving your artwork

If your print or painting is unprotected by glass, wear gloves and handle it by the frame only. If it is unframed, handle it by the very edges only, again wearing gloves. No matter how clean your hands may appear to be, touching the surface of an artwork can transfer harmful oil and dirt particles. Exposure to cigarette smoke and environments where soot particles, foodstuffs or insects may be present should also be avoided.

The utmost care should be taken when moving any artwork; ensure that you have sufficient space to manoeuvre when hanging or taking down a print or painting and be aware of any objects that could cause damage – even an innocent belt buckle or a pen protruding from a shirt pocket can have disastrous consequences when moving pictures.

Choosing the best environment for your prints and paintings

Artworks can be very sensitive to dramatic changes in temperature or humidity – this is why these elements are so carefully controlled in museums and art galleries. Whilst it may not be possible to recreate optimal environmental conditions when displaying your artwork at home, you can take the following steps to minimise the effects of environmental changes:

  • Hanging paintings or prints on internal rather than external walls
  • Avoid hanging paintings where they may be exposed to extremes of heat or cold e.g. next to fires or radiators, or where windows or doors may open directly onto them.
  • The humid or moisture-rich environments of cellars, bathrooms and kitchens generally make these rooms unsuitable for displaying artworks.
  • Hanging a picture to allow airflow behind it rather than resting it directly in contact with the wall can partially mitigate changes in temperature and humidity
  • If it is impossible to find a room with ideal conditions in which to display your artwork you may consider the use of a portable dehumidifier or air conditioner.

Protecting your prints and paintings from light damage

Prints and paintings – and particularly watercolours – may suffer from fading if exposed to excessive light over time. Artworks should never be hung in a location in which they are exposed to direct sunlight, so walls opposite windows should be avoided.

Picture lamps which can be affixed to frames can not only concentrate excessive light on a single area of a picture, they may also generate heat which can cause canvas or paper to become brittle over time.

The use of appropriate glazing can filter out harmful ultraviolet light from the sun or fluorescent lighting, but low wattage or dimmable bulbs remain the safest option for preserving displayed artworks.

Cleaning prints and artworks at home

Pictures will inevitably pick up dust over time, but the golden rule for cleaning a print or picture – whether glazed or unglazed – is never to spray anything directly onto it, whether water, furniture polish or glass cleaner. Compressed air ‘spray dusters’ should also be avoided for unglazed pictures as it is possible to damage canvas or paper with pressurised air.

A clean, lint free cloth or better still a very soft-bristled brush should be used gently to remove dust from pictures and frames. Both the front and back of a print or painting should be cleaned at the same time, with the artwork laid flat on a clean, stable and protective surface. Spots or smears on a glazed picture should be removed with a slightly damp lint free cloth or a cotton bud.

The Enid Hutt Gallery sell a wide range of paintings by the famous artist Doug Hyde