We caught up recently with artist Stacey Krantz of In Bloom Jewelry, who shares her collection and her experience at retail and wholesale.
ABI: How do you divide your one-of-a-kind work and your production work?
SK: Although I create every piece with the same care and attention, some elements are designed specifically to be molded and recreated affordably. The one-of-a-kind pieces allow me to create in whatever direction I am moved and are highly fulfilling artistically and inspire future collections.
I bring them both to retail and wholesale shows. Often wholesale buyers choose one or two one-of-a-kinds as center pieces along with a nice group of the more moderately priced production line. I’ve found having both is vital to a healthy bottom line and artistic aliveness.
ABI: What policies do you use to keep your wholesale accounts happy?
SK: One policy that I like to offer my wholesale customers is if an item has not sold after 12 months, I’ll allow them to trade it in for credit along with the following seasons new order. I find offering this to new customers can often help close the sale.
ABI: Why do you feel that selling retail is so important to your overall business?
SK: Selling regionally during retail arts festivals gives me vital information about how my work is received in the actual marketplace. I know exactly what lines have the widest appeal, if a piece needs refining in terms of wearability and if my display shows the work well. I especially enjoy seeing what people are wearing and am often inspired by watching my customers try things on.
I also really need to have the experience of seeing my customers react to my work and buying and collecting pieces over time. It’s especially invigorating to see the one-of-a-kinds go off with their new appreciative owners. Making and shipping to my wholesale buyers only removes these vital interactions from the equation and is too isolating for me as an artist.
ABI: What’s your best advice to artists just starting out?
SK: It’s great to gather as much information, education and skills as you can but nothing beats actually stepping into the market with your creations. Start small and local. You’ll make plenty of mistakes and that’s where all the specific learning happens.