Wednesday, May 14, 2014

                                 consignor or consigner  (kənˈsaɪnə, ˌkɒnsaɪˈnɔː, kənˈsaɪnə)
                                          — n
                                      a person, enterprise, etc, that consigns goods

I thought I would write a post on being a consigner in a shop. This post is purely my perspective and it could be totally different from other shop owners. Also, I have to add this is coming from an owners perspective, not a consigners.

Let me start with saying my consigners are definitely part of the team, absolutely and I love them. They add so much to the store and I am so happy to have them there and watch their success and be even a small part of it. It makes working in the store so much more fulfilling. I am also super duper picky about who I have in the store. I hope they never leave because I so appreciate and are inspired by them.

 I have a small amount of retail space to work with to maximize my profit. It is a business, we are not just decorating a store. You would be surprised to know that some people when approaching the store to consign in don't look at it that way. I don't work 6 days a week for nothing {well sometimes if feels that way :)}.

 I look for consigners that's work can fairly seamlessly blend in with mine. I love that the artists I work with tend to paint in the same color stories and choose high quality furniture from similar eras as I do {or as the other consigners do, it all flows well}. I know all of us tend to spend a fair amount for our pieces so that we have the best quality possible to put in the store. I could go on and on about them but I will just stick to- I have great people that not only do fantastic work but they are amazing people. I don't ever have to worry about them not bringing in enough pieces and they always have the quality I want for the store.

Ok, geeze this might be a long post. LOL. I am just thinking about all the information I have to share with you.

Hmm. Let's start off with-you think you want to start in this business and that consignment is the easy way to start. I would advise against that. If you are approaching a store it is almost like sending your resume. Well, it is exactly like sending a resume. It is best to have an established business with a good portfolio. Even better for the store, have an established customer base.

Do your homework on the store. Is it purely a consignment store? Is it a store where the owner that paints but would like helping filling a store and thinks that a consigner would help fill the store and add another voice? Does the store actually not do consignment but rent out spaces to other artists. Find out before you approach them.

Realize that a store {like a business getting multiple resumes a day} might get approached often. To be honest, there are weeks I get 2-3 emails about being a consigner. Some approach me through MCC, some Poppy.

If you are new to the business you need to find out about the painting business-know your market. Would you be the only person doing it {that would be ideal} or are there dozens of people selling painted furniture in your area {a quick search on CL and you will find out}.  The more people selling in your area the more you have to stand out with quality and branding {build your resume}. You are going to have to put some money in to start the business if you want to stand out and have a long career {and realize you won't make decent money for a good while, even with being a consigner}.

Also, if you are an established business approaching another business to consign in, do so with care. Understand that it is another person's store that they have worked hard for and inserting your ego into it might not work. Example- your store is ok but it would be even better with me in it and I have been doing it for years and years {yes this happens and I know right off the bat that that person is not going to mesh well with the team}.

This is totally speaking for myself but I only work with people who I know only bring positivity into the business and respect that the store.

Don't feel bad if a store turns you down because they are full. After you submitted your work, if you hear the feedback is that the store loves your work but they are full, don't be discouraged. Ask to be on a waiting list or if it is ok if you contact them again in six months. Honestly, you would want to be a store like this. It means they really care about who they have in the store and don't have say 6+ consigners contributing. Also, ask to be referred. You would be surprised how many of us store owners are actually really good friends in somewhat constant contact.

Basically to sum it up, being a consigner in a fantastic store with a supportive owner is great! It is good for some and not others. It will be for you to find out. It might be best for forge your own path, call you own shots and own your own store!

Lastly don't forget to dream big!