Here we go, I’m putting it out there. Ever since I was unceremoniously laid off this past spring, I have been pondering the possibility of trying to make my entire living from pottery. I have been thinking that I might just try out selling my wares online. Etsy.com is one online option I am considering.
Right now, I think my biggest barrier to starting this is knowledge, specifically, business knowledge. Sure, I can make the product, and I can ship the product, but other than that, I don’t know the finer details that I probably should know before embarking on a venture that will make me financially vulnerable (in my eyes anyway). Oh ya, I am a humongous procrastinator, that would be the other barrier :)
I’m pretty sure that unless you have a good reason, and a vision of what you want to achieve, then it will not be as successful. If the only reason is to make money, then it probably won’t be enjoyable either.
I want to have a more personal relationship with my customers, and broaden my customer base. I sell out of a couple of Galleries in the city, and although this is a relatively pain free method of getting your work out there (no overhead etc), there is a lack of connection to the public. I am never sure if what I am making is what will sell, I just take it to the Gallery, cross my fingers, and never get any real feedback from the customer.
I enjoy participating in the semi annual sales that Fairview Studios puts on. You get to meet the customer first hand and find out directly from them what they enjoy about the pottery they are purchasing. The one thing I HATE about these types of events is the strain on the body. It is a lot of work getting ready for a show, and by the end of the day, I am hunched over like an old crone from all the heavy lifting, my feet hurt, I’m starving, and since I had to get up at the crack of before dawn on a Saturday, I’m tired.
To work full time, running the production out of the studio that I currently work out of. I get 24 hour access as I teach there, so that would not be an issue. Turn my condo into my business and marketing nerve centre. I would like to turn my 2nd bedroom into an office and warehouse. I would conduct all transactions from my home, as well as the shipping of all the orders.
That I can make this a sustainable venture. That doing this gives me the ability to learn more. My thoughts are that by not tying myself down to a traditional 8-5 job, I will be able to attend more workshops and participate in seminars and symposiums in order to expand my skill sets, and let the creative juices flow more.
I know that working for yourself is hard, but if you truly enjoy what you are doing, is it really work?
So, If anyone out there wants to chime in with their two cents about how to make a pottery business work (or not), or want to impart any salient words of wisdom, please feel free to comment.