August 18, 2008.
I have just recently started selling my artwork wholesale and I have been approached about maybe taking my things to the Dallas Market. This is a dream of mine for my art to be in stores all over the place, but I am nervous about making that jump. I get concerned about being able to keep up with the orders with two small children....."
Melissa Fischer of Fischtale Designs
Moving On Up
Here is the thing, you either sell wholesale or you don't. You need to jump in the fire, or not. You won't know until you try, and I think you know that my response would be "Go For It". I started with my first account with a three year old and a six month old - and I can say my kids lives did not suffer. I painted on my kitchen table, I packed and wrapped the products and I hand delivered orders once a week to local stores. My kids are fine, were fine, I raised good kids. I worked during naps, I worked late at night, I made it work - you can make it work.
A Show Room
I think the fact that someone wants to represent you is wonderful, finding a representative can be hard. I had to search for sales reps, I never had one pursue me....okay one did, but NOT when I first started out. Showrooms are good at selling and if you find a Representative that is passionate about selling your products - even better.
I would not worry too much a bout an explosion of orders, I have found that most companies that are in a show room grow slowly and pick up stores one at a time. The only ones that grow in huge leaps and bounds are few and far between. Being in a showroom does not usually mean overnight success, but if you get it - good for you. The less selling I had to do the better, it left me time to create art and new products. Realize your talent, and move forward with a rep - selling direct is hard, selling to stores is even harder.
A Missed Opportunity
Here is a little history about me and about my missed opportunity, and how I let my one chance pass me by. I have always drawn cartoons, from a young age I have kept sketch books, made comic books, drawing all the time. And, I have loved me some Walt Disney cartoons. I have purchased the books, I have studied the animation, I was obsessed with Disney. There is not a movie that was made by Walt Disney that I did not see. My husband even took me for our first real date to Disneyland - I was hooked, I mean come on Disneyland!
So, about a year into my stay at The Learning Company I got a call from Disney Interactive. A head hunter had heard of me (me? he heard of me??) and wanted to see MY work, they wanted me to send MY portfolio and MY animation reel, someone had actually given them my name. Do you know what I did, I said no thanks. I said I did not want to leave the Bay area and move to Southern California. I called my husband and he said, are you crazy? This has been your dream...call him back. I did call the head hunter back and he was like, "oh, uh okay I guess you can send your stuff."
I never got the job at Disney, I never heard back from them. I got one chance and I passed, I blinked. You only get one chance, and I blew my one chance. If you do get a second chance, then go for it! Most people do not get a second chance, but if you do - go for it!
So, the question you should ask yourself, is more about whether you trust yourself and whether you can handle the possibility of more sales. Or, better yet are you ready for success? You can succeed if you put your mind to it, and if you can't do all the art yourself, then you will hire more people to work for you. Or you will figure out how to manufacture your products and make a larger profit than hand painting.
I hope you took the jump, I hope you decided to take the risk.I never said no again, I have been asked by many a large company to sell my products and I have NEVER said no. Having other opportunities missed, I have had some fall through the cracks, but never have I said no.
Don't be afraid of success, be afraid of complacency.
I look forward to following your success and ventures into wholesale accounts and new stores.