The Third C – Collections – To A Successful Art Business

by Jul 20, 2016Art Versus Money, Collections, Inspiration, Make Money From Your Art, Production, The Three Creating C's0 comments

The Third C – Collections – To A Successful Art/Design/Craft Business

In a previous post I talked about being a goldsmith, I’m used to talking to clients about the 5 C’s to buying a diamond – cut, colour, clarity, carat and certification.

I then went on to explain that there’s Seven C’s to a successful Art/Design/Craft Business! Each of these 7 areas is very different in terms of the revenue streams it can produce and I believe every artist needs a mixture of these to really excel at business. Equally every art practice will need different ratios of these areas to be successful both, financially and spiritually, and its up to you as individuals to work out your own ‘best mix’.

I explained that the Third C was ‘Creating – Collections’ and that I used this term to describe items that are made in series or production runs – repeats – you create the piece once and then replicate it by some method – you can read my previous post here.

Now I want to talk about how its possible to use ‘Collections’ – repeats / a series of items / production work – to hit a variety of price points.

Being a jeweller, I’ll Illustrate my point with my own work. Take my ‘Daisy Collection’ – pictured below are a couple of pieces made in silver with 18ct yellow highlights. These are what I call ‘my smalls’ – my basic collection, a small element which I replicate to make a range – in this case single daisy pendants and matching hook earrings.


These pieces are all made by hand. The pendant sells for £65 and the earrings for £86. These have been costed accordingly for wholesale first, and then for retail using my tried and tested formula which covers time, materials and profit (more on that later).

The reality of a £65 piece, being sold at wholesale cost to a shop and priced correctly actually means that there is only around £8 profit on this pendant and it has to be made for under £8 of materials. Likewise it can only have £8 worth of time in it which, if you pay yourself £8 per hour, means that each pendant needs to be made from start to finish in under an hour – quite a tall order when you are making by hand. By contrast, the shop when they sell this piece make a £28 mark up plus vat and if I sell it myself then I make a profit of the £8 plus the £28 which totals £36. So better to sell direct than to wholesale – more on that later too!!

Now lets compare that to the Daisy pendant in the photo of this post – its from the same ‘collection’ and uses the same element but this time its been made in 9ct red gold and set with a pink sapphire – it sells for £445. Now admittedly the costs of these higher grade materials are much greater than the silver one, but in terms of time, it takes virtually the same time to make the 9ct gold piece as it would the silver lower priced version. At wholesale I would make approx £59 profit, we have £59 to spend on materials and we have £59 of time (and at the same £8 per hour you then have around 7 hours to make it or you earn more profit). Again by contrast if the shop sells it they make £192 plus vat and if I sold it myself I make £251 profit. So do the maths, better for me to sell more of the 9ct gold pieces – eh?

Ok Ok, so I’ve overwhelmed you with maths and you’re going, say what? Pricing work is a big sticking point for many artists and I have a lot of helpful tips and advice coming up in other posts. What I’m really trying to say is that ‘collection work’ doesnt always have to be at the low end of the price spectrum. In this example I’ve simply taken the same element and produced it in different materials to reach different price brackets – same idea, same design time, similar make time but bigger price ticket!

Collection work does not have to mean £50 products or ‘cheap’ products for that matter.

What elements of your collection pieces can you remake differently to hit a range of price points?….

#thesevencs #collections #makemoney #changeyourmindset #mentortip

So I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below & if you liked this post then please share it with a friend and spread the love!

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