Our challenge as crafter's and intarsia artists is to discover our markets. You need
to know your market, who is your
Are you selling a product to local or global customers?
If you're selling to local customers say out of a storefront, you must know
if you are in
right market and selling at the right price for this local customer. If
you're not showing the right product to the right customer base, chances are
they're won't be any sales or at least very few.
It only makes sense that If your selling a product that is not of use to the
customer and its not something that they see they want or need, you had better find either different markets or a different product to sell
from your store.
I use to have a shop that sold simple crafts like little
animal yard and driveway signs. These items sold well because I was living in
a rural area where my customers had big yards and long driveways.
I also sold lots of country style decorative items for the
interiors of their homes.These people wanted the country style of decorating. They loved the crafts I
was making for them. I even had other crafters producing items for me
to sell for them. I was producing and selling to my market base.
If I was trying to sell the country style signs or plaques where I'm living
now, in the
city, I would not do so well. For my customer base is not the
same. Their yards are different, their driveway is short and their interior
decorating may not be the same kind of "country style." So for this new customer
base you have to change your product line.
Does your product fit into the decorating scheme of most of your customers,
if not very few are going to buy. You must be certain that your
craft fits with your prospects or your business will fail. You must take the
time to study this. Find the proper market place.
Craft people are use to having friends and loved ones telling them how
cool and how beautiful there craft is, this is encouraging. The
problem is that it's not realistic. You need to get input and about your
product from a source that will give you a helpful honest response
about your product.
When your customers come into your shop and say how much they like what
you're doing but walk out without buying anything you have to ask yourself,
Are you in the right market for the craft you sell?
If your craft fits your customer, how is your price? The price you sell your
product for may need to be adjusted up or down.
For the price setting you need to look at your competition.
At what price are they selling a comparable product. Ask yourself can I make
a profit selling my product at that price. Can I sell my
product and get a higher price? What can I do to make my product worth more
I now sell art, "intarsia woodworking art" that is higher priced, which means
for the customer to let go of the money, she will have to really
love your product.
Crafts, can be a tough market. I am a cabinetmaker, caught up
in the world of art. I find myself adding artistic designs to cabinet
doors to make them stand out from what other people build. The cabinets add
atmosphere to a room by giving the room character and there by adding value.
I have managed to sell a lot of my work over the years. My prices are usually
from about $200 to $15,000 depending on the work involved. As I said before,
some time ago I had a craft shop in
a small town. I built every wood craft I could think of to build and it was
fun, but not really much money.
The money only comes after you learn the business end of the craft market.
As a cabinetmaker I have learned the hard way that you must get paid for the
hours that you
work, even when you love the work.
How much should I charge for my work?
It's basically the same for most businesses, how much do you want to pay
yourself per hour. Just add to that
a percentage for overhead plus a percentage for profit and add material
cost. That gives you a charging rate for all of your products. You
must add the profit, that gives you the money to grow, like buying more
My charging rate depends on if it's commercial or residential, $45-$85 per
hour depending on how custom the work is.
In my old "craft shop" my charging rate, at that time, was $35 hour, the price fit the
product and the overhead.
If you can sell your craft as "ART" it will increase the amount you can
charge for your product. Perceived value!
Do you have awards! Do
you have newspaper and magazine articles about you! Do you have references?
Have you developed a recognizable name for your market? If not,
you need to work towards these things. All of this adds to the perceived
value of your craft.
Intarsia woodworking is my craft, my art. It's the work I look forward to
Find the craft you love to make, find the correct customer
base, set a reasonable price for your work and your on your way to a
Copyright Jerry Mifflin, All rights reserved.
Jerry Mifflin creates many works of Intarsia Art and gives away patterns of his work for other crafters to use. Articles and information on how to build intarsia are on his website, www.freeintarsiapatterns.com , specializing in woodworking art and business.
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Woodworking, intarsia and art has been the main
interest of my life. I've made my living at this for the past 30 years as a
cabinetmaker and furniture builder.
Sometimes I've been in business for
myself and sometimes worked for others.
Cabinetmaker's love building
the fancy stuff, but for most of us
cabinetmakers this isn't what you build on a daily bases.
I tell people I have an affliction called
"art" and it seems to drive me towards wanting to do something different,
something artful with each woodworking project I'm involved with.
I love to design, to add the little
finishing touches that makes the piece stand out as unique.
Having owned woodworking businesses I am
interested in the business end of woodworking and it's challenges.
So these topics and some others like
computers and business on the web are the main subjects of this site.
I hope that some of the information on this website will be useful for you and
are new to woodworking will, as I do, grow to love intarsia.
Learn more about the intarsia and
woodworking craft from
Kathy Wise, a fantastic intarsia artist,
shows us how to use the Special T CA glue from
Satellite City and also includes some of her
intarsia tips. I wish I would have had
this glue years ago, it would have save me a lot
of time and trouble. Click the info icon
to learn more.