Moving out of the shop

I have been renting a wall at a local antiques and interiors store but . . . . as you can see from the photo above, everyone has moved out. But me. Since I only have a wall, it took me all of 12 minutes to put my things in the back of my car and drive away so I waited til the last minute. (That table with the big X legs isn’t mine).

The building is set to be torn down to make room for a mid level high rise. I’m sure it’ll be lovely but I’ll miss having my “space” at this little shop. It was always fun to stop by and see a bare spot on my wall where a painting had sold or find a small check for a package of my notecards that sold.

Overall I would say renting a space in a retail shop like this has been a good experience. For those that are interested in the particulars, space like this rented for $4 a square foot. Most of the booths people had were 100 square feet, I had a particularly good deal and only paid $100 per month for my wall space. Also, 10% of all sales go to the manager, which is very fair since she has to either be there to make sales every day or hire salespeople. I had no interest in spending time at the shop so I never had to. Eighty percent of sales from this shop were made to designers and they get 20% off the list price. You just have to figure all that in when you price your paintings, or other items.

I sold everything from 6″x8″ unframed paintings to 30″x40″ framed paintings. I had a basket where I would put my little 6″x8″ and 8″x10″ studies with price tags of $100 and $150. The 30″x40″ framed painting sold for $1800. Something for everyone at every price point!

While I did make money and every month I made enough to pay my $100 rent plus more, I will not continue selling this way. At least for a while. The majority of the dealers all moved to the new location, I opted not to. The new location is huge, more than twice as large, and I felt my paintings would get lost among the sea of “stuff” in the new place.

I have enough portrait commissions to keep me busy for a while, and I feel confident that more will come. I have a group show later this year and a solo show in April 2013. Selling paintings at the shop on a continual basis did provide me with constant encouragement, which is something I won’t be getting, at least not from sales. But it’ll be good to just paint whatever I want and not even think about sales for a while. I am always trying to simplify my life and make more time for painting so I think this will be a positive step.

2 thoughts on “Moving out of the shop”

  1. Great post, Joan!! That was such a sweet set-up at the shop. You did such a wonderful job providing such variety and value for the customers there. I’ll be curious to see if you find another similar set up elsewhere. Although, I imagine you’re busy enough with upcoming shows and a waiting list of portrait clients.

  2. Thank you for sharing this information with us! Important stuff.

    I’m so glad that you are doing well and that you have the confidence and wisdom to make the right decisions for you, without coercion from business owners.

    Best wishes going forward!

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