Business of Art : Resources You Need to Pitch Art to a Retailer

If you follow me on any form of social media (facebook, instagram, snapchat), you know that a few weeks ago I had the privilege to talk to the Oklahoma City store of the West Elm LOCAL program. And while, ultimately, I wasn't able to sale my work as part of their full time local program (because I live in Arkansas, not Oklahoma - 25 miles too far), I learned so much and am happy to share these resources with you.

  1. Knowledge- If you don't follow Clare & The Indie Retail Academy, stop reading this post and go do that now. Even if you NEVER plan to sale anything wholesale, the way she explains the process is both enlightening and entertaining. 
    If you do plan on selling retail, sign up to get her Indie Retail Starter Kit which, gives you both a written and audio option to learn about pricing, line sheets, and wholesale prep. For free guys.  She also hosts a Facebook group where the conversation is priceless.
  2. Photography- I'm (obviously) not a professional photographer so the easier I can make things that better it is. I used a white piece of foam board to take my photos all at one time. By doing this I knew what adjusts need to be needed to be done in post-processing which made the time and energy I put into this so much less stressful. 
  3. Line Sheets- A line sheet is basically a simplified catalog which allows a retailer to order your products with all the information in front of them: size, description, name, product number, wholesale price, suggested retail price... Before this WE experience, I read that and my brain almost exploded.
    "There's so much to record! How will I ever figure all of this out?!?" To echo the lovely Anne Lamott, "Bird by bird." or "One thing at a time." At the bottom I have a link to a Canva file that you're welcome to use as a line sheet template.
  4. Bio Sheet- I wanted to leave these the interviewers with a physical reminder of who I was. So, with what harkened a bit back to 3rd grade book reports, I put together a portfolio of sorts. A cover sheet, a short bio, styled shots of my work, and that mind blowing, aforementioned, line sheet. I have a link to that Canva template as well.
  5. Relationships- I couldn't have done this with friends. Whether it was an email saying, "Could you introduce me to xyz local artist?" or shooting a Facebook message to a friend I met at a conference three + years ago who now runs a retail shop asking her to look over my prices or relying on the kindness of a local friend & fellow artist to supply me with the materials to physically package my prints.
    Information like this is invaluable but doesn't happen before hours of working together OR swapping stories over coffee. Actually probably both.  

It's with point number six in mind that I share the templates below. If you find them helpful, shoot me an email and introduce yourself. Let me know what you make and tell me what you're trying to do in the world. I'd love to see what we can do together.

Bio Template 

Line Sheet Template