Saturday, May 10, 2008

Encounters of the "I'm not so sure" Kind

I discovered a store in Brookside called Stuff recently, when out with a group of friends. My first impression upon entering the store was "wow, what a lot of stuff" :) I was overwhelmed by the multitude of products. Being involved in jewelry design, I of course browsed other jewelry desigers' products that were displayed. There was quite a selection...perhaps too much of one. It seemed the glass cases were overflowing with so many products, one artist sort of blended into the next. I had to search in most cases to find a tag or card that identified the artist.

While browsing, one of the employees commented on my jewelry I was wearing and I told her I made it. I wrote down my web store address for her on a scrap piece of paper, thinking "I still don't have business cards! I've got to get on that!" I thought about offering to sell her the piece off my neck, but did not because it seemed a bit tacky. Hopefully she will visit my shop and perhaps make a purchase :) It is always nice to get the positive feedback!

I met one of the shop's owners, who was obviously busy behind the counter. When I asked her if they did consignment, she replied, "Well, we don't discuss that in public." I thought that was a strange response. A simple yes or no would have answered my question, but I took the artist information packet anyway so I could have a look.

When I read through the artist requirements, one statement jumped out at me - "Our guidelines include regional exclusivity and one-on-one access to you, the artist." Whoa - that one made me do a double-take. To me this sounds like if you sell at their store, you don't sell at any other store within the same "region". Whether "region" refers to a one mile radius or a twenty mile radius, that sounds like a good deal for the store, not so much for the artist.

I did some more online research and discovered an article in the Kansas City Star that discusses a local team of artists that sells recycled purses at Stuff. It states that the team gets 50% of the proceeds. I am assuming that means the store takes the other 50%. Again, sounds like a good deal for the store, not so much for the artist.

Needless to say, I don't think this store is for me as a seller. I doubt there would be a place for me with such an overabundance of products, not to mention talent. Oh, well, on to the next great adventure - tonight I am going to help paint the inside of Now and Then, where I currently sell on consignment (and receive an 80% cut, might I add - I even have my own dedicated display for my product - it doesn't get better than that!). Cheryl Hocker (the owner) is an awesome gal to work with!

1 comment:

  1. I've often wondered about that shop. Several have told me that I should try speaking to them about carrying my felted items, but now I'm no so sure about that. I do need to try to sell at more local shops though. Thanks for the great info and your personal experience. I appreciate your candid report :O)