By and large, I am finding that Valentines Day is getting a bad rap. For the last month or so, I have been thinking about Valentine's Day and where it fits in the cycle of a shop like mine.
There has been a lot of media and chatter recently about the idea of "minimalism" or reducing the amount of "stuff" that people have. You might be surprised that I heartily agree with this trend.
I am amazed at the kind of creative courage in the artist's we work with. Let's hope we can all be as wild.
"The Back" is meant to be a showcase. We have just completed renovations on the more formal gallery space at the back of the shop. It is our hope that we can use this space to provide a more focused look at an artist or group of artists.
It has been my good fortune to meet Mark Groaning this fall as he winds down his own Gallery to focus on creating.
One of our favorites, TeeJay Dill, is one of our first artists to sign on. Some of her paintings are now hanging.
The front end of the shop is open for business at the hours listed here. The Gallery space in the back is still in process but is expected to be done soon. In the meantime, more artists are starting come in.
The boutique space is almost ready. New track lighting is installed. The walls are painted. The flooring is down. The picture hanging systems are up, although I need to order A LOT more lines and hooks. I can't wait for the art to fill these walls. It has felt like an unbelievable amount of work to do the demolition, design the space, and to rebuild it. But it has only been three weeks! Good thing I also run a handyman business.
After LOTS of debate and analysis, we have finally signed a lease for the gallery at 1826 Penfield Road in Penfield, NY. It is adjacent to the Art Stop, artist supply store and learning center. We are excited to partner with them and to have a place to call home. Lots of renovations to be done now to get this space ready. The one main thing is that it has a beautiful store front to showcase artists in the Boutique. But it also has a secondary space in the back that is perfect for a more formal gallery space to highlight a featured artist.
I recently consigned a set of work to a local gallery. They were beautiful original watercolors of Paris buildings. Pricing on these things seemed a little tricky to me for their setting. I asked the to set a fair price for their shop. They sell high end works and figured they would want to maximize their returns as well. Their consignment rate was an astounding 50%! I knew that I wanted to run a consignment style gallery, though, and needed to see how this went for myself.
The items sold very quickly. They had priced them at a rock-bottom $38 each, less than the price of a framed print at a box store. When they handed me the check, I just about vomited. I honestly almost cried. The effort I put into building the frames from scratch felt like it was worth more than $38. One remained unsold and I took it with me. It is the beautiful sketch you see here.
I learned a very important set of lessons here. First, a 50% consignment rate for an artists' work is never right. I have to make this work for less. Second, I will never sell an artist's work without fully comprehending the value the artist sees in their work. I have an MBA and I understand things like supply and demand. I understand pricing strategies and sales. So we are going to have to be partners on this to match what the market will bear and what the artists can deliver.