There are so many ways you can sell your art and so many different avenues for earning money from your talents. I’ve highlighted a wide variety of options for earning money from your art on The Art Biz podcast, but today’s conversation is a first. I’m joined by Katie Hunt, the founder of Proof to Product, to learn more about wholesaling. She has helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of large retailers like Target, Nordstrom, The Container Store, and Starbucks, as well as independent boutiques around the world.
In this episode, Katie shares basic basic information about wholesaling your art. What is it? Who is it for? Who is it not for? What’s the difference between wholesaling and retailing? Where does licensing fit in? Katie is a wealth of information, and generously gives four considerations for wholesaling. And stay with me to the end of our conversation, where Katie reveals the four things she takes into account when making business decisions.
Key differences between wholesaling and retailing. (4:20)
The importance of selling in larger quantities at a lower price in wholesale. (6:53)
How is licensing different than wholesaling? (12:20)
What type of artists are a good fit for wholesaling? (13:41)
Focusing on one revenue stream at a time — before wholesaling. (17:58)
Foundational checkpoint number one — Is your product line strong? (20:20)
Are your sales tools in place? (26:20)
Outreach and marketing — detailing your artwork and your terms and conditions. (29:18)
Step number four — solidifying your operations and systems. (31:07)
Handling criticism and rejection when wholesaling. (32:38)
Paper Camp and other resources for artists considering wholesale. (35:52)
4 considerations Katie bases every decision on. (40:50)
This Week’s Assignment
This week’s assignment has 2 options. Option 1 is to review Katie’s 4 considerations for wholesaling to decide whether or not it’s a direction you want to go. If you want to see those again in a list, visit this episode at artbizpodcast.com. Katie’s format is so straightforward and she is clear that wholesaling isn’t right for everyone. If you know that wholesaling isn’t for you, go for option 2, which is to write out her list of considerations for making business decisions and keep it nearby. Adjust it to your needs and revisit it often to stay on track.
“There are so many ways we can sell our art, and each one requires a different foundation.” — Katie Hunt
“With wholesale, we’re talking about a very different system of the sales process, the marketing process, even the fulfillment process.” — Katie Hunt
“Artists don’t have to wholesale everything they make. They can create a special segment of their product line that is for wholesale.” — Katie Hunt
“Before you take the plunge into wholesaling, you need to know you have an audience.” — Katie Hunt
“The more we experience with the pitching process and putting ourselves, our art and our talents out there, the stronger we become.” — Katie Hunt
About My Guest
Katie Hunt is the founder of Proof to Product, the host of a podcast with the same title, and a business strategist who supports product-based business owners. She has helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of large retailers like Target, Nordstrom, The Container Store, and Starbucks, as well as independent boutiques around the world. Katie’s work has been featured in Forbes, New York Times, Entrepreneur as well as dozens of business podcasts. She brings experience, education and a love of learning into her programs. Her strengths lie in connecting people & bringing ideas to life – brainstorming, making a plan and implementing.