I continued to do two mini markets a month and with the run up to Christmas increased my sales month on month. With this boost in confidence I got into my first shop.
It actually happened in a spontaneous, unplanned way. I went into an independent shop that sold handmade glass coasters and enquired if the owner knew where I could get plain glass coasters. I wanted them for my pet portraits. This led me to showing her some photographs of my work that I had taken on my mobile phone. A few days later I came back with my best selling product flower tealight holders and some knowledge of selling to retail, after scouring the internet!
An order was made on sale or return. I was getting less than I sold them on the stalls but would still make a profit, factoring in time spent painting them as well as materials cost. Definitely worth it and six months on I still supply Panorama in Topsham with tealights.
Spurred on by this success I approached another independent shop Exetra in Exeter. This time I was more professional and prepared! They sell gifts, including a lot of animal ornaments. They were great and not only ordered a variety of products but offered to take orders for my pet portraits. Sadly I wasn’t able to supply them in time for Christmas 2011 but I have a wonderful window display promoting my work. Despite the recession and doom and gloom there have been sales but just a steady trickle so far!
My next blog will be expanding into cyber space!