CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE: Best Approaches for Cold Calling and Making The Pitch
REACHING OUT TO STORES AND GALLERIES
Although some jewelry designers may feel uneasy mixing art with business, for most it is a necessity. Yet, you do not have to sacrifice wonder for reality. Most designers sell their pieces, so recognizing the things about coordinating art with business become very important.
Typically, small stores and boutiques, websites and online sales platforms, and galleries will sell your jewelry, either outright, or on consignment. Their goal is to turn a profit, and they are at greater risk than the artist. That means their interests, in most cases, take precedence over those of the artist. It is the venue that displays, promotes, prices, trains employees to talk about your jewelry to customers, and keeps the pieces clean. Available selling-space is always limited. When your jewelry takes up space in these venues, it is an opportunity cost to the business — they lose the opportunity to carry someone else’s work which might be more appropriate to the setting, or might sell better.
There are different types of stores, websites and galleries. Each satisfies a different market niche for jewelry. Each has a different level of understanding about what jewelry really is, and all the choices the jewelry designer has made to design and create each piece.
When approaching stores or galleries to display and sell your pieces, it is critical that the artist understands how these venues function, who their audiences are, and what the attendant risks to them are, should they decide to exhibit and/or sell your pieces.
The first step is to be your authentic, passionate self. Your jewelry will not speak for itself. So, in spite of any feelings of vulnerability you might have when approaching stores and galleries, you will need to talk about yourself and your jewelry. You do not want to feel “salesy” when speaking with business or gallery owners and representatives. You do not want to feel pushy. Or desperate. But you want them to get to Yes.