An Artist's Guide: Prep for the Holidays

  • Posted on
An Artist's Guide: Prep for the Holidays

Welcome to the ShopColumbia Artist Guide Series!

Today's post, "An Artist's Guide: Prep for the Holidays," has been created to help you successfully navigate the busy holiday season as a maker. Now is the time to start preparing for winter holiday sales! 

November and December are ShopColumbia's busiest sales season and we want out artists to be prepared. Below you will find helpful suggestions on how artists and makers can prepare for the holidays.

Make sure to download the full Artist Guides: Holiday Market Boot Camp, Holiday Ornaments, and Stationery and Cards produced by ShopColumbia to answer all of your making and selling needs!


SET GOALS
No matter if you are a brand new seller or if you have been selling for years, you should set goals. If you have been selling for a while, than you can base your goals on previous seasons. But if you are new seller, than your goals should push you professionally. Perhaps you want to increase your sales by 10-25% or maybe you want to introduce a new product line. Or perhaps you want to increase your current inventory by 50% or even refresh your branding.

Once you have set your goal(s), then you should set deadlines. Use ShopColumbia’s inventory drop-off deadlines (see below) and work backwards. As you work towards your finished project, you can break your goal(s) into smaller manageable steps and mini deadlines. Achieving each milestone can motivate you to meet your final goal. If you have social media, share the mini milestones to build excitement for your final products.

TAKE INVENTORY
Sales are often linked to inventory quantity. ShopColumbia needs to have a substantial amount of inventory to create a quality display at holiday markets and inside the store. You'll also want to make sure you have enough inventory to last the duration of the holiday sales season. You do not want to run out of inventory the first couple of days and miss out on several weeks (and hundreds of dollars) of potential sales.

Check in with ShopColumbia to find out your current inventory status. Then count finished works and works-in-progress that you have in your home and studio. Based on your goals from the first step, determine how much inventory you need to make for the winter holiday.

STOCK UP ON MATERIALS
Even if you can buy your supplies locally, you will want to start planning ahead as other artists and makers are also producing work for the holidays. You do not want to risk that a crucial part or material that you need for your finished design may sell out. Nor do you want to risk losing precious studio time because you ran out of materials. Also, if you plan ahead, you can take advantage of sales so you can reduce your costs. You may be able to find cheaper options online if you have the time to pre-order or buy in bulk.

When you are buying materials and supplies, do not forget to track your expenses so you can make sure you are selling your items at a profit and so you can make the appropriate deductions when you are prepare your taxes.

MAKE!
Don’t put off making until the final deadline. This is especially true if you use campus studios or resources to make your items. Often, studio equipment and printing becomes competitive around midterms and finals. Also, you may find yourself busy with class projects and finals and run out of time to make enough inventory for ShopColumbia. As you are making, you may discover and want to try out a new technique or you may develop new ideas that you want to incorporate into your work.

Now that you have created the inventory you want to sell - don't forget to APPLY! Below are some important ShopColumbia dates and deadlines.

2019 MILLENNIUM PARK HOLIDAY ART MARKET: NOVEMBER 22-24, 2019
Apply online: http://tiny.cc/holidaymarket2019
Deadline to apply: October 21, 2019
Deadline for inventory: November 11, 2019

SHOPCOLUMBIA’S 11TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY MARKET, DECEMBER 2 - 20, 2019
Apply online: http://tiny.cc/holidaymarket2019
Deadline to apply: October 21, 2019
All finished inventory must be delivered to ShopColumbia: November 18, 2019



SHOPCOLUMBIA ARTIST GUIDES

HOLIDAY MARKET BOOT CAMP

HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS

STATIONERY AND CARDS

                                                

As always, if you have any questions feel free to email us at shop@colum.edu! We look forward to seeing what you create!