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earthyvirgo

Lacklustre response from Public Sector & funded gallerie

I've recently produced another series of my greetings cards and been approaching new galleries and shops in an effort to fill in gaps and cover more of Wales.

I've had a really positive and fast response from almost all the privately owned galleries and businesses but the 3 public sector/funded ones have been worse than hopeless.

Two have not responded at all (I've given them nearly two weeks) and the third has responded with a yes but the new invoicing system she uses isn't working properly, so she can't place an order. She described the new system when I met her and if I recall correctly, there were at least 6 stages of faffing and paperwork shuffling before I would receive an order.

I sometimes feel that parts of the Public Sector don't have a clue about how 'real' business works or how important it is to make prompt decisions.

If they don't want my cards, fair enough but a bit of common courtesy and letting me know wouldn't go amiss. I just feel like I'm expected to do all the running and chasing.

Has anyone else experienced this gulf between the way public and private sector deal with small businesses or am I expecting too much?

EV
Nick

It's like trying to deal with an oil tanker. Once you're in, you're in, but it takes forever to change things. Systems and processes are designed to cover every base, rather than to do the job well, and people, in the main, within the public sector, try and stay within the rules, not make decisions, or by pass the paperwork.

They are, as you know, infuriating.
Cathryn

yes, it's the public sector and as Nick said decision making of any kind is not their forte.
12Bore

And they get paid anyway, why do/look for anything different or original?
Nick

And they get paid anyway, why do/look for anything different or original?


There is a degree of that, but that makes it sound like a conscious decision. I suspect it's the other way around. People with no commercial brains end up there because it's not commercially motivated, usually.
12Bore

I'll go with that, concious decision and commercial awareness are probably positively discouraged.
Cathryn

Not entirely to be fair but I have been told to not think conspiracy but confusion when it comes to decisions or strategy.
sean

Also, to be fair, I've no idea how big/small the galleries you've approached are but The Plough which is not exactly gigantic gets hundreds of speculative emails/week from artists, bands, theatre companies, managers etc. mostly they won't get a reply or we'd never do anything else.
Midland Spinner

There's a council run craft shop & gallery near us, it's quite high quality & they have an international studio pottery exhibition every year - but OH & I are always disappointed that none of the makers featured in the shop are even barely local - they have had some of the potters & woodturners selling stuff here for at least 20 years and they are from as far afield as the west country & Scotland (the gallery is in Nottinghamshire) but very little from the East Midlands, and nothing from within say 10 miles.

It's good stuff btw although the quality has slipped recently and I get the impression that the probably now-elderly artists see it as a handle-turning exercise and churn out mediocre stuff to fill regular orders - there's no 'spark' to it these days.
But there are some excellent makers nearby and it's clear that the manager is just happy to keep stocking the same old regulars because they know it will sell.
earthyvirgo

There's a council run craft shop & gallery near us, it's quite high quality & they have an international studio pottery exhibition every year - but OH & I are always disappointed that none of the makers featured in the shop are even barely local - they have had some of the potters & woodturners selling stuff here for at least 20 years and they are from as far afield as the west country & Scotland (the gallery is in Nottinghamshire) but very little from the East Midlands, and nothing from within say 10 miles.

It's good stuff btw although the quality has slipped recently and I get the impression that the probably now-elderly artists see it as a handle-turning exercise and churn out mediocre stuff to fill regular orders - there's no 'spark' to it these days.
But there are some excellent makers nearby and it's clear that the manager is just happy to keep stocking the same old regulars because they know it will sell.


We see a lot of that around here.
The same 'makers' pop up again and again - and quite often, the same type of product made by a myriad of different makers.
It's a real shame as there is some original stuff out there.

And I do get a bit annoyed with hard-core Welsh outlets proudly showing off that they're selling Orla Kiely's latest patterns when we've got some really exciting local ceramicists.

I suppose commercially, if that's what sells, that's what they'll stock.

EV
derbyshiredowser

There's a council run craft shop & gallery near us, it's quite high quality & they have an international studio pottery exhibition every year - but OH & I are always disappointed that none of the makers featured in the shop are even barely local - they have had some of the potters & woodturners selling stuff here for at least 20 years and they are from as far afield as the west country & Scotland (the gallery is in Nottinghamshire) but very little from the East Midlands, and nothing from within say 10 miles.

It's good stuff btw although the quality has slipped recently and I get the impression that the probably now-elderly artists see it as a handle-turning exercise and churn out mediocre stuff to fill regular orders - there's no 'spark' to it these days.
But there are some excellent makers nearby and it's clear that the manager is just happy to keep stocking the same old regulars because they know it will sell.

Derby Museum sell a variety of glass jewellry made by a " crafts person " in Wales that turns out to be a production line factory, the annoying aspect of this is a local crafts man Paul Yates has a workshop that makes a very high quality range of jewellry only a mile away from the museum.
earthyvirgo

There's a council run craft shop & gallery near us, it's quite high quality & they have an international studio pottery exhibition every year - but OH & I are always disappointed that none of the makers featured in the shop are even barely local - they have had some of the potters & woodturners selling stuff here for at least 20 years and they are from as far afield as the west country & Scotland (the gallery is in Nottinghamshire) but very little from the East Midlands, and nothing from within say 10 miles.

It's good stuff btw although the quality has slipped recently and I get the impression that the probably now-elderly artists see it as a handle-turning exercise and churn out mediocre stuff to fill regular orders - there's no 'spark' to it these days.
But there are some excellent makers nearby and it's clear that the manager is just happy to keep stocking the same old regulars because they know it will sell.

Derby Museum sell a variety of glass jewellry made by a " crafts person " in Wales that turns out to be a production line factory, the annoying aspect of this is a local crafts man Paul Yates has a workshop that makes a very high quality range of jewellry only a mile away from the museum.

Not on is it Sad
I wonder if Paul Yates has approached Derby museum or has he (like me and the new hard-core Welsh craft/interiors shop) decided to give them a wide berth?

My policy is to make a judgement as to how much I need/want to be associated with them. If it's a lot, I'll approach them and test the waters, otherwise, there's no point whinging.

But, if it looks messy and long-winded, I haven't got the time to spend chasing back and forth, I'd rather focus on the places who genuinely want my work.

I may be an artist, but I am also a business person. I wish some folk wouldn't assume the two are mutually exclusive.

EV
derbyshiredowser

Derby Museum sell a variety of glass jewellry made by a " crafts person " in Wales that turns out to be a production line factory, the annoying aspect of this is a local crafts man Paul Yates has a workshop that makes a very high quality range of jewellry only a mile away from the museum.[/quote]

Not on is it Sad
I wonder if Paul Yates has approached Derby museum or has he (like me and the new hard-core Welsh craft/interiors shop) decided to give them a wide berth?

My policy is to make a judgement as to how much I need/want to be associated with them. If it's a lot, I'll approach them and test the waters, otherwise, there's no point whinging.

But, if it looks messy and long-winded, I haven't got the time to spend chasing back and forth, I'd rather focus on the places who genuinely want my work.

I may be an artist, but I am also a business person. I wish some folk wouldn't assume the two are mutually exclusive.
EV[/quote]





I don't know if he has approached them but I know that the Items for sale have not shifted in the past couple of years and last time I looked
they had been reduced. I suppose that it makes little difference to the staff if stuff sells or not.
welsh veg grower

welcome to my world, wouldn't take it personal they just don't see these things as priority, possibly it went to the wrong person. You could try a call and say I sent some info can I check if the right person (i.e. the decision maker) got it and if not could you speak to them and send stuff directly.

alternatively post them some samples then call to see if they got them, its hard slog but once your in with these types you tend to be in unless your stuff really doesn't sell.
earthyvirgo

welcome to my world, wouldn't take it personal they just don't see these things as priority, possibly it went to the wrong person. You could try a call and say I sent some info can I check if the right person (i.e. the decision maker) got it and if not could you speak to them and send stuff directly.

alternatively post them some samples then call to see if they got them, its hard slog but once your in with these types you tend to be in unless your stuff really doesn't sell.

Did the prep work WVG, called to get the Manager/buyers name before sending anything.

I'll follow up before the end of this week.

As you say, I guess the trick is not to take it personally Smile

EV
welsh veg grower

welcome to my world, wouldn't take it personal they just don't see these things as priority, possibly it went to the wrong person. You could try a call and say I sent some info can I check if the right person (i.e. the decision maker) got it and if not could you speak to them and send stuff directly.

alternatively post them some samples then call to see if they got them, its hard slog but once your in with these types you tend to be in unless your stuff really doesn't sell.

Did the prep work WVG, called to get the Manager/buyers name before sending anything.

I'll follow up before the end of this week.

As you say, I guess the trick is not to take it personally Smile


EV

sounds like you are doing all the right things just keep at it hard mind isn't it.
welsh veg grower

welcome to my world, wouldn't take it personal they just don't see these things as priority, possibly it went to the wrong person. You could try a call and say I sent some info can I check if the right person (i.e. the decision maker) got it and if not could you speak to them and send stuff directly.

alternatively post them some samples then call to see if they got them, its hard slog but once your in with these types you tend to be in unless your stuff really doesn't sell.

Did the prep work WVG, called to get the Manager/buyers name before sending anything.

I'll follow up before the end of this week.

As you say, I guess the trick is not to take it personally Smile


EV

sounds like you are doing all the right things just keep at it hard mind isn't it.
Mistress Rose

It's really a question of whether you want to get into those galleries or not. I have had trouble with a few private places too. I just give up on those that are too much hard work as I might as well spend less time and effort on easier ones. I find selling direct through shows and farmers markets (perhaps craft or artists fairs for you) works well, but I expect you already do that.
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