Cathy Broski creates one of a kind sculptural ceramic work, and makes smaller pieces from clay as unique production items. She discusses how she wholesales to galleries and what she’s learned.
ABI: How did you get started in your business?
Cathy: I graduated from Kansas City Art Institute in 1990, and did a few gallery shows the first two years. Then I figured that since I spent so much on my education, I should find a way to make a living through art. I started applying to art fairs. Each time I did a fair, I learned a little more. I expanded to almost 25 art fairs a year at my peak. As the economy shifted, I needed to shift also. That’s when I took the Arts Business Institute classes. This was very informative and helped me grow my business in ways I had not anticipated.
ABI: What type of market are you tapping into?
Cathy: At this point, the gambit of galleries I am able to contact through wholesaling are not only those that show only one of a kind, but also those that are gift galleries. The array of choices in gallery types I sell to is vast because of the Buyer’s Market.
ABI: Does this mean you have expanded your line to fit into new venues?
Cathy: Yes. In fact, I have been able to explore what I already do, by thinking of smaller and more affordable versions for the gift gallery client, while still producing one of a kind pieces. When gallery owners tell me what sells best for them, I expand that particular line if it was one I liked to make. I still only make what I want to make.
ABI: What goals are you working on?
Cathy: At this point, because of wholesaling, I have become a better business person. I hope to continue to hone those skills I learned thru the Arts Business Institute. Exhibiting at the Buyers Market has helped me become more organized. Now I am better about following up with my galleries. I try to make contact with them twice a year, at the show or with a phone call.
I also work very hard to show new ideas each time I do the Buyers Market show. My goal is for one-third of the booth to be new to my buyers.