Tag Archive | Beads

Annual Giving Thanks Sale!

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while. We hope you are enjoying your holiday season where ever you are. Greg and I are having a relaxing Thanksgiving filling up on Turkey and Carrot Cake.

But we are also running our annual Giving Thanks Sale!

25% off everything in the murrine and bead Etsy stores and on the murrine on the website. Prices are already marked. Sales runs 11/22 (Thanksgiving) through Sunday night the 25th ending at midnight CST. (Note: wholesale orders, custom orders, and made to order items are not available at the sale rates).

Links

Beads: www.cdlampwork.etsy.com

Murrine: www.chasedesigns.etsy.com

Website: www.chase-designs.com

A huge thank you to all of you for allowing us to be full time artists. Have a wonderful, safe, and loving holiday.

 

Deanna & Greg

Whole Bead Show-Amherst, MA Sept 28th-30th

Hey Y’all in the northeast. Chase Designs (that’s me!) has a table at The Whole Bead Show in Amherst, Ma at the end of September. I’ll be selling beads, marbles, and some collector murrine slices. If you’re in the area please come on by. The show coordinators were nice enough to send me five VIP passes for two people each. Admission is normally $7.00. If you want one, drop me a note with your address Deanna @ chase-designs.com, and I’ll mail them to you. First come first serve. Hope to see you there!

ISGB Gathering~ Bellevue, WA

Hello, my dear blog followers. My apologies for my neglect. This year has been amazing and wonderful, though very busy. Demons of Bourbon Street is coming along nicely and headed to the editor soon. I know you’re waiting. It’s coming. I promise. 😀

In the mean time, this weekend I am headed to Bellevue, Washington for the annual ISGB Gathering for glass bead makers. I’ll be hanging out in the vendor area selling murrine Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The great news is the vendor area is open to the public. So even if you aren’t registered for the conference, you can shop for glass supplies all four days. The bead bazaar is held on Saturday and is also open to the public.

Want to see what sort of beads Jade makes? Come on down. There will be a room full of awesome, ubber talented glass bead makers all in one place. It’s by far the best venue for seeing the top lampwork bead artists every year. Hope you can make it.

The venue is the Hyatt Regency, Bellevue, Wa.

Audio Book~Witches of Bourbon Street

Hello! It’s been a while since I updated. Sorry about that. I’ve been in my two caves working my butt off…or more specifically, keeping my butt in the office chair writing Demons of Bourbon Street and moving it to my studio chair getting ready for Bead and Button. If you’re in or around Milwaukee this coming weekend, head on over to the convention center for some amazing bead and jewelry browsing. I’ll be in booth number 1238.

In other news, Witches of Bourbon Street is now available in audio book. You can find it on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. I’ve had a lot of people ask about Demons of Bourbon Street. It should be out in September in ebook and print. It takes a couple of months for audio production, so hopefully by December. The wonderful Traci Odem will be narrating again.

Busy, busy!

Ah, the sweet relief of finished taxes! When I hit submit last week, I  actually had a small moment of contentment. You know the one, when you completed something and you start to breathe easier. One major thing crossed off the to-do list. Nice!

Then I got out the calendar and started planning the next few months and the rest of the year. Whoa! Holdup. I just stopped breathing again. The good news is everything on the list is all good stuff. Great stuff even.

Here is a glimpse of my schedule through the end of the year:

End of this month:

A bead class with the amazing Holly Cooper in TN.

June

Deliver Demons of Bourbon Street to my editor

Bead and Button show in Milwaukee

Witches of Bourbon Street comes out in audio book

July

Deliver my new Urban Fantasy to my other editor (hopefully).

Attend The Gathering for the International Society of Glass Bead Makers. I’ll be selling murrine in the vendor area.

August:

Bead Fest Philadelphia

September:

Whole Bead Show in Amherst, MA

October:

Bead Fest Texas

November:

Houston Bead Society Show

December:

Deliver another manuscript to an editor. I haven’t yet decided which one. December is long way off.

 

Yep, three books, six shows, and I’m traveling every month except May and December. Anyone have an oxygen mask?

Bead and Murrine Sale!

Hey Everyone!

A number of you have asked for it, and I honestly didn’t know when we were going to run our next sale. It seems appropriate now that the dreaded tax day is upon us that we should have a tax relief sale.

So to help you out (and us too) here it is:

20% off all beads in the Etsy store. www.cdlampwork.etsy.com

35% off all murrine in the Etsy store www.chasedesigns.etsy.com and on the website www.chase-designs.com

Prices are already marked on all three sites. Sale ends Friday 13th at midnight CST.

Happy Shopping!

Deanna and Greg

Discounts, Wholesale, and Let’s Make a Deal~The Business of Lampworking

Once you start selling your lampwork, you will run into the discount question eventually. It can come in many forms: Do you offer quantity discounts? Wholesale discounts (If you do shows, make sure you have this answer handy. You’ll need it)?  I’ve spent a lot over the course of the year, do you ever offer discounts? I’ve seen this item in your store for a while now. Would you consider selling it at X price? If I buy ten of these will you give me a discount?

Let me just say right now, I have no problem with people asking for a discount. I don’t get offended, hurt, or indignant. Many times I have seen artists get riled up when someone sends them a message offering less than the asking price or asking for a discount. But honestly, who doesn’t like a deal? And keep in mind when you sell online, the market is worldwide. That’s right worldwide.

Many cultures thrive on haggling and the “let’s make a deal” method of buying goods. It’s a normal every day thing for them. Other folks are just trying to find the best deal. No harm in that.

Some of the arguments I’ve heard from my colleagues include: But we’re selling art! It’s a piece of ourselves! How dare someone ask me to sell it for less? If I wanted to sell it for $10, I would have put a $10 price tag on it!

We Americans can be so touchy. *grin*

Once you start selling your lampwork, you’re in business. Period. Expect to get questions about discounts. It comes with the territory. Try to take emotion out of it and think with your business hat. (Yes, I know, we artists hate the business end).

Okay, so how do you handle it? Do you have a discount or wholesale policy? If not, make one and stick to it. Do not deviate from customer to customer unless you have meticulous record keeping skills.

Example: early on in my lampworking business days,  I had a regular customer who bought at least once a month. I valued her tremendously and one day she asked for a discount. I said sure. I’m pretty sure I said something like, you’ve ordered so much, each time you order from now on I’ll give you 20% off. That was all fine and dandy, until she stopped ordering as frequently. She was a designer and designers move on to new things and new designs. That’s okay.

But as you might guess, I got busy with other customers and pretty much forgot all about the 20% discount. Then the customer came back to me months (maybe even a year) later and ordered stuff, and of course by then I’d forgotten all about the discount. When she reminded me, I gave her the discount, but yeah, I admit I was a little resentful I had to give a 20% discount on a small order (less than $30). And it was my own fault. I didn’t set terms. I didn’t really have a policy. I was making it up as I went along.

So I made one. A set policy I can refer back to when I get the discount questions:

Designers: 30% off a set amount.

Bead Stores: 50% off a set amount.

And that is it. The amounts vary depending on if we’re talking about beads, marbles ,or murrine. But they are always the same. So when someone asks about discounts, I have a pat answer. There isn’t emotion involved.

Do you offer wholesale pricing?

Yes, my terms are…

Do you ever offer discounts?

Yes, my terms are…

I also run a few sales throughout the year, usually up to 25% off. To be notified of future sales, sign up for my newsletter here.

I’ve spent a lot of money with you over the course of the year. Do you offer discounts?

This one gets a little trickier, because they might be thinking they’ve already spent a lot, they deserve the discount on a small order. I always answer that an order has to meet xxx to reach wholesale levels. Sales are not accumulative. I also again refer them to the newsletter for future sales.

If I buy ten of these will you offer a discount?

See designer wholesale terms.

I’ve seen this in your store, will you sell it for X amount?

This one I am flexible on. It really depends on the item. Have I had it forever and do I want it gone? Am I just in a good mood? Or do I love the piece and am not willing to discount it? Sometimes I’ll deal, and sometimes I won’t. Just be firm (but friendly) and if you do deal, be prepared for them to try it again. That doesn’t mean you have to deal again, it just means don’t be surprised when they ask again. Trust me, they will.

As I said earlier if you do go with different discounts for different customers be sure to keep good records. I guarantee after enough time goes by, you’ll forget. We have different ones for designers, beads stores, galleries, and suppliers (for murrine).  On my website I have a place for customers to sign up for wholesale. I keep all the discounts in there for easy reference. All I have to do is look up their name and there it is. (Their wholesale terms are only visible to me on the back end of the website.)

If you don’t offer discounts of any kind, that’s fine too. My response to all of the questions above would be: Sorry, I don’t discount my work. Thank you for stopping by.

Short, to the point and respectful. Remember, you’re in business now.

Bead Fest Texas Report~The Buisness of Lampworking

Hey guys! Bet you thought I forgot all about you didn’t you? Nope. I’ve just been busy writing Witches of Bourbon Street, but I’m taking a break to give you the skinny on Bead Fest Texas.

This was the second year Bead Fest was held in Arlington, and my first year doing this particular show. In comparison to Bead Fest Philly it was much smaller. I’d say about a third of forth the amount of vendors as Philly.

The good:

It’s pretty close to me. It took eight hours to drive each way. Going I had my friend Susan Sheehan with me, so it seemed much shorter, especially since she drove most of the way. Our other friend Lisa Liddy was a vendor there, so for us it was kind of a girls weekend in addition to working the show.

The show was low cost (relative to the other ones I do).

I had a great day sales wise on Friday. (It’s a three day show). Easily my best one day total in a very long time. I had high hopes after Friday, let me tell you.

There were quite a few less vendors than I’m used to, so less competition which is always nice.

The bad:

We had to pay five dollars a day parking.

I had an artist’s table, which means one eight foot table (pretty standard). But all the artists tables were butted up against each other. I’d say there were twelve to fifteen tables all lined up with no room to get to the other side of the table. We had to trek all the way down to the end to get around to the other side. It wasn’t very convenient.

Perhaps the most unfortunate issue was the show was the same weekend as the World Series. The ballpark was literally right next door. The Rangers and Cardinals played both Saturday and Sunday night. To add insult to injury the Cowboys football games was Sunday at 3 pm.  Needless to say, Sunday was a snooze fest. I’m sure we lost many possible shoppers who were afraid of crowds and issues with parking. Luckily for those who did come out there was designated Bead Fest parking. However, if one didn’t brave it, they wouldn’t know that.

The good news is I made more than my formula on Friday, so the show was certainly successful for me. I’ll definitely be back next year.

Formula:

Table fee + electricity + travel fee + $100 a day I’m out of my studio (traveling, packing, manning my booth) = Amount  I have to make to consider the show successful.

Next show: Houston Bead Society November, 11, 12, 13. Only Greg is handling this one. I have a book to finish.

When Girlfriends Come to Town~Favorite Things Monday

So I guess it isn’t a secret I’ve been crazy busy. My poor blog. I haven’t written a Business of Lampworking article in a few weeks. I haven’t posted Book recommendation Thursday is over a month. And my online participation has been noticeably lacking in my favorite haunts.

You see, this upcoming weekend is Bead Fest Texas. I leave Thursday and will be back Monday. Speaking of Bead Fest, if you’re anywhere near the Dallas/Arlington area, here is a coupon you can print to get in free. I will be in booth 611.

Anyway, I had a show in Philly at the end of August, and Hottimes on the Mountain at the end of Sept. The combined events severely depleted my bead show stock. So the last four weeks I have been scrambling to catch up.

In addition I’ve been working feverishly on Witches of Bourbon Street, the second in my Jade Calhoun trilogy.

So you can imagine how excited I am to have some girlfriend time. My good friend, Susan Sheehan is arriving today in  about three hours now. We’re picking her up from the New Orleans airport, taking her out on the town, and then spending the next few days playing in the studio before we drive on out of here for the show. Susan will be in both 609 right next to me, and our other dear friend Lisa Liddy will be in booth 607 right next to Susan. It’s gonna be a great show!

 

Online Sales and Galleries~The Business of Lampworking

The International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) hosts a booth at The Buyers Market of American Craft (BMAC) every year in February. BMAC is the show gallery owners shop at to fill their stores. Members of the ISGB have the opportunity to participate in the show at a reduced rate. It’s a great opportunity for artists to get a feel for the show without a huge financial risk.

But how does an artist balance online sales with gallery sales? Many people will say galleries will not deal with artists who sell online. My question is as a modern artist: How can you not sell online and expect to be successful? The trick is to respect your wholesale accounts.

By this I mean: Do not undercut galleries by selling to the general public below your retail price. Your retail price is usually double your wholesale price. That means you should not list a piece on Etsy for one-hundred-dollars and expect to sell the same piece to a gallery for one-hundred-dollars as well. The gallery must mark your products up to earn a profit. If they can’t, why would they buy from you? And why would anybody buy a piece from a gallery for two-hundred-dollars when they can order it direct from the artist for half the price? Or worse, the person buys from the gallery, goes home and Googles the artist’s name and finds out they’ve overpaid. That gallery just lost a customer. Bad business.

So if you want to sell to galleries and maintain a working relationship, respect them and their need to turn a profit.

Also consider making pieces specifically targeted for galleries. These are pieces you do not offer online and are exclusive for wholesale accounts. That way there isn’t any danger of undercutting and the gallery can then charge whatever they want for the piece. The rule of thumb is wholesale is fifty percent of your retail price, but galleries sometimes mark things up two to two and a half times. If you’re selling it at double your wholesale, you are still undercutting them and they may choose not to do business with you.

I’ve already mentioned the BMAC show which is one way of introducing your work to galleries. Another is Wholesalecrafts.com. They are an online gallery exclusive to wholesale venders. Consider putting together a brochure and mailing it to the galleries you are interested in.

For local galleries call to set up appointments to meet with the gallery owners/buyers. Do not just show up with your work in your hands. Often the buyer won’t be in, plus you need to respect their time. Also they could feel put on the spot and that isn’t a great way to start a business relationship.

Be prepared. Know your wholesale terms. What dollar amount does the gallery have to meet in order to qualify for wholesale? Do they have to meet it again each time the order, or can they reorder less at wholesale rates after the relationship is established? Will you accept net-thirty payment terms? Does the gallery have to pay upfront? Are you willing to offer pieces on consignment? If so, have a boiler plate contract ready to go. Does the gallery pay you if items get lost, stolen or broken? What is the consignment rate? fifty-fifty? Sixty-forty?

The more professional you are, the more likely they are to take you seriously. We artists can be flaky. You don’t want to give them a reason to say no.

With all this said, I confess, Greg and I don’t sell much work through galleries. We have done some in the past and may in the future. But currently, I just have too much on my plate with online sales, shows, wholesale bead and murrine accounts, and the books I”m writing. Adding wholesale gallery accounts and doing it right is just one too many things right now. It’s important to know your limits.

Good luck!