Starting a Production Studio

Are you considering creating your work in production for the wholesale market? Here’s how to get your studio set up the right way.


Production Studio Space


A production studio setup is perfectly suited for artists who want to wholesale their work, and need to fill orders for galleries and other retailers that have been placed and will be shipped on a regular basis.

Making work in production requires that you work in batches, or multiples, to fill orders in the most efficient way possible. This efficiency will reduce your costs and increase your profits.

Your production studio will need space, and enough of it to be able to work effectively without tripping over yourself. Plan your space so that you not only can get started, but grow your business as well. Keep these considerations in mind before leasing or using space in your home for a studio:

  • Your studio should be for a single purpose only – your business. It is virtually impossible to maintain a production studio environment which is also a common space for your family or housemates. To maintain your studio as a dedicated space, make sure other members of the household will respect your time and boundaries so that you can work undisturbed. Set rules or regular hours to ensure this.
  • Consider the use of your space.  Will you store supplies and materials there? Will heavy equipment (such as furnaces or kilns) be required? Will your inventory need to be stored in the studio as well? What about shipping boxes, bubble wrap, peanuts, etc.? Will your office also be in the studio? All of these questions will need to be taken into consideration when planning, so that you allow enough room for everything.
  • Studios tend to become crowded places, and thus work best when well organized. Devise ways to sort, label and store tools, materials and other supplies in such a way that you can easily locate what you need to keep production going.
  • Analyze the steps you will use in production so that the space makes sense, and production can flow in a logical order. Tools needed during your production should be easily accessible in each step.
  • Safety is really important in the studio. If you work with chemicals, fumes, flame or other hazards, carefully consider your studio space, so that you are able to provide safety equipment and precautions, like adequate ventilation, etc.
  • Your studio is a place of business. This means that your homeowners insurance policy does not cover it. Speak with your agent about your business activities so that you can get the best possible coverage and protect yourself and your business going forward.


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  1. When we set up this workshop space for Rubber Stamp Plantation in the Kaka’ako district in Honolulu, we focused on workflow and ergonomics. Production flows in one general direction…from one end to “out the door”! Equipment and furnishings take body mechanics into consideration…ie. height of our paper cutter and counter height for standing work. I’m happy to work with folks on designing your perfect workspace! Mahalo, Carolyn (and Wendy) for stopping by the “Workshop” for a visit after your awesome ABI workshops! Still getting lots of great feedback from participants. Palms waving aloha, Debra

    • Thanks Deb for your kind words – your workshop indeed is the wonderful photo in this article! Mahalo for the invitation, and the tour.

      We loved the fantastic opportunity to come to Hawaii to share our workshops with artists there, and the wonderful “Aloha” welcome that we received everywhere we went.

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