How to Find Local Shops to Display Your Artwork

Shop owners are always looking for something unique to sell to their customers.  There is nothing more unique than your paintings or crafts.  Nobody creates them like you do.

Take your photo album or a few paintings and visit some local gift shops. Show them your work and ask if they would like to carry a painting/craft or two in their store.  Let them choose the items that they think will fit best in their store.  No need to be shy – you are doing you both a favor if they find something you make that their customers will like to buy.  Both you and the shop owner will make money.  It’s a win-win situation.

The store owner or manager will tell you their terms.  A standard consignment agreement is 35% to the store owner and 65% to you.  If they agree to show your stuff, be sure to sign a contract with them and get a copy for your records. Know how often they pay when something sells.

I approached the owner of Kaleidoscope Inspiration in Canon City, Colorado.  She was willing to give my paintings a try.

Since then I have sold a painting and she has asked for more.

If you come across a shop owner or manager that doesn’t seem sure about carrying your items, ask them what they are looking for.  They might say, “Something more western” or “Something in a lower price range.”  It’s possible that you can provide them with what they need so don’t be afraid to ask.

Once your items are in their shop, go visit that place them regularly.  If something isn’t moving, offer to replace it with something new.  This way you will discover what that shop’s clientele likes to buy.

Another approach is to paint something that will increase the chances of appealing to a store owner.  For example, if there is a bike shop in town, paint a bike rider with a local scene in the background.  It could be mountains, the beach or a famous local landmark.  Then approach the bike shop owner and ask if he would consign your painting in his shop.

Put yourself in the shoes of his clientele.  If someone’s love is bike riding, wouldn’t he or she love to have an original painting or craft that displays his interest?  And if there is something local included in the painting, where else could they buy something like that?  Possibly no place but right there in that shop!

Expand this thinking to other hobbies and interests – the archery shop, the pool hall or the golf shop.  Even bookshops, restaurants and wine shops.  The possibilities are endless.

What are your thoughts about approaching store owners to display your artwork?