Hello! My name is Jennifer LaRoche and I am a photographer of people, places, nature and things. My photography is a labor of love, my creative outlet and my source of income - sometimes I think it chose me as much as I chose it. I hope this blog post will be inspirational and give some pointers too!
Sharing and selling your art with the world can be scary!
Do you have a hobby that you love and is your creative passion? Have you ever thought about selling your artwork or creations? I did....for a long time. The thought of actually doing it was a bit scary at first. Of course, I had all of the normal thoughts and questions running through my head; How will my photography be received? Will anyone like it? What if I don't sell anything? Looking back on it, I understand my skepticism but I'm so thrilled that I took the chance.
Etsy is an e-commerce website which offers handmade art and vintage items, supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. After doing some research, I decided that Etsy was a good fit for me. On November 13, 2011, I took the leap and opened my Stamp and Note Photography shop. My business name originated from a simple customer focused marketing idea, I include a forever stamp with every photo note card order so all the customer will need is a pen! I also sell prints, canvases and photo magnets. Building my brand identity, reaching the right customers and actually selling my work is really like having second full-time job (which I still love doing!).
Some tips to consider if you are thinking about opening an Etsy shop:
There are so many great sites out there where you can sell your artwork. Look around, ask others about their experiences and find the one that's right for you!
Selling at Artisan Fairs & Craft Shows
After a few years of selling on Etsy,
I branched out and started selling my artwork at artisan/craft shows and farmer's markets. I bought a big white tent, a couple of tables and used my creativity to present my photography in the best way possible. I am a "people person" so I really enjoy the face to face interaction with my customers. I always feel honored when someone spends their hard earned money on something that I've created. To know that my artwork is be enjoyed in someone's home or be used to send a heartfelt note to a loved one keeps me going.
In the beginning, I found it challenging to find shows. Most of the online sites want you to pay a fee and join their network. That's fine for some people but at the time, I was on a tight budget so that was out of the question. I learn about new shows by networking with other artisans. They are always willing to tell you which ones are good or bad. My Etsy team pages are also a great place to find out about upcoming shows. Show fees range from $25 up to thousands. An average fee is about $75 for an 7hr. day.
Some tips to consider:
Selling at Local Stores
I few years back, I started selling my work in some local specialty stores. I love the exposure that I get from having my product on a shelf! Several of my repeat customers first found me at an artisan show then at one of these stores:
Please contact me for consignment & wholesale opportunities.
A Sampling of my artwork
I hope you've enjoyed reading this blog. ~ Cheers!