Have you considered selling your art or handmade work in the wholesale marketplace? Answer these questions to see if wholesaling is the right model.
Are you a fine artist who wants to sell original paintings, sculpture or other work?
If your art is a candidate for a traditional art gallery, then you most likely cannot wholesale. Art galleries operate on a consignment model, and do not typically buy originals outright from an artist.
However, if you have reproductions (prints) of your artwork made, you can potentially wholesale them. And, if you place your 2D designs on other products, such as clothing, jewelry, bags, greeting cards and other items which can be produced in volume, you may be able to sell them in the wholesale marketplace as well.
Are you willing and able to reproduce your designs over and over, and fill volume orders?
If you are prepared to design a collection, and make work in multiples to fill orders, wholesale could be a good fit. If you don’t like to make designs over and over again, you may want to opt out.
Please note, however, that artists who wholesale need to offer new products on a regular basis, so there is significant design time required in the studio. This keeps your creativity flowing.
And if you plan to have your designs produced outside of the studio by a third party, then repetitive production would not be part of your schedule. In that event, you would still have to commit to stocking inventory, shipping orders and handling the day-to-day activities of providing merchandise to retailers who sell your work in their stores.
Is all of your art or handmade work one-of-a-kind?
Although there are ways to wholesale one-of-a-kind pieces, they are not the mainstay of a production studio’s business. If what you make varies widely, using different mediums or styles, all of which are one-of-a-kind, then you would not realistically be able to wholesale your work.
However, there is wiggle room for differences within a collection that won’t affect your ability to sell wholesale. Examples: Scarves which are in similar but unique patterns and fit into a size and color range within a particular collection can be wholesaled. Found object materials may vary within a collection of sculptures, but if they all fit within your brand’s look and concept, you may still be able to sell them at wholesale.
If you make goods using molds, templates, technology or efficiently by hand, you would be a good candidate to wholesale your products. Studio production should be organized, and your business should use systems and cost controls that help you build out a successful line that will be profitable.