10 Ways Artists can Prepare for Fall Sales

By Andrea Rosenfeld on September 4th, 2014 / Comments

Please don’t scowl at the messenger but I’m here to announce that summer’s over. You probably spent some time on vacation or weekends enjoying friends and family while on the lake. Maybe you participated in a few fairs and festivals and if you did, I hope they were successful for you. But now galleries and retail stores are busy preparing for Fall and the upcoming holiday season so you should be as well. It’s time to shake off the sand, stow away the fishing gear and put your business hat on TIGHT!

I know you’re woozy from spreading mounds of suntan lotion on yourself and inhaling bug spray so I’ve gathered ten ideas to help get your creative business ready for bbbrrr-time sales:

1. Create clear images of your current art work or product line for exhibition submissions, promotion and media. I recommend the upcoming DYI photography workshops given by ShootMyArt™ in Berkley, MI.

2. If you decided to play hooky from your studio this summer, I suggest you get down and dirty and create new retail inventory by October’s shows and wholesale samples by the February wholesale dates.

3. Research your local, gallery calls and also look at Art Serve Michigan. Once you find exhibitions that fit your demographic, get the important dates in your calendar and apply. Plan the next few months out. Here’s a head-start: Detroit Artist Market 2014 Arts for the Holidays Call.

4. Research upcoming Holiday Shows to participate in or create your own incredible event collaborating with a non-profit and/or for profit business. Remember, holiday retail shows may begin in the month of October to give people ample time to shop for everyone on their list.

5. If you sell online, refresh your inventory (using your new, crisp images from idea #1) and spruce up the page design and or stories/content.

6. If you currently sell through galleries or retail outlets, especially small boutiques, call your contacts to set up trunk shows for the holiday season.

7. You can use these holiday shows to test new design ideas but put those out sparingly, especially if they veer from your branded, best selling pieces.

8. You can also increase your prices (within reason) for holiday shopping but try to include a larger price range (low to high) as most of the sales during this time are gifts and people have a set budget that they have to break up into many parts. However, many women will begin to shop for their gifts and end up splurging on something for themselves too.

9, Begin to lookup art, fashion and craft wholesale shows. Although they typically hit in end-January – February, they are taking applications now. *Mercedes Benz Fashion Week begins February 6th.

10. If you don’t have a mobile point-of-sale tool (a way to accept credit card payments at a sale site), this is a good time to get one. I use Square but I read an article recently that says the company is struggling, so be wary. You can look into Blue Pay. They also offer mobile or wireless credit card processing. Call your bank to discuss their merchant account for your business but they may only be able to offer you a hand held credit card swiper. No matter how you accept payment, be sure you know the sales tax rate in the location of the physical sale to be able to charge correctly.

Need guidance in your own small business? Check out Mind Your Art Business‘ consulting services to give you pin-pointed mentoring to help keep you on track and growing.

About the Author

Andrea Rosenfeld

A professional artist, business consultant and former Director of Merchandising and Operations for Isaac Mizrahi, Ltd. is the Founder/CEO of Detroit Art & Business Institute. DABI increases the value of artists and entrepreneurs through best business and healthy relationship strategy education and community advocacy. DABI offers artists, makers and designers various options to profit from and enjoy their creative enterprise; targeted, private consulting; group seminars; 8-week courses; and art brokering programs. To further strengthen the art sector, DABI is popping up D*FINDS, a studio supply, consignment boutique. An advocate, Rosenfeld mentors creative entrepreneurs and is active in the local art community. For more information about Andrea Rosenfeld, her DABI business education programs and events, visit: http://www.theDABI.com.