Monday 4 August 2014

My Shop + Giveaway

Soon after the high school, I started to work as a real estate agent. I was only eighteen, but I was very good at my job. Some of the properties we offered were either in a really poor condition or the ownership was complicated. Since they were also mostly overpriced, they remained in our listings for months, or even worse – for years. When I started to work there, I soon found out that I had a knack for those troubled properties. I sold them one after the other. 

I was a good salesman but I was also lucky to learn from the best. 

I am not selling real estate anymore. Today I am a maker, a potter, a ceramicist or a clay artist. Today I am selling products I make with my two hands in my small home studio in the Swiss Alps. Today I wish I had that ease and fearlessness from my days as a real estate agent when it comes to selling my own work. 

Looking back, I remember that I was always honest about the homes I was selling. I didn’t talk much but I was trying to give many different perspectives of what is possible to do with a potential new home without being pushy or aggressive. Mostly, I gave my clients the space to get their own impression about the estate and helped them to supplement their gut feeling with facts and figures. 

The art of selling one's own work is probably the most difficult skill that every artist has to learn. How do you sell something you put all your heart into? How do you put a price tag on something you made late at night when your baby finally fell asleep? How do you price a design you had been developing for a whole year? How do you charge for something that goes through your fingers many, many times? Finally, how do you value something that carries tracks of your soul?

A few years ago, I have decided that selling my own work is just like selling anything else. At the end of the day the costs should be covered and the working time should be included in the calculation. Finally the most important thing is that you should learn to stand behind your work. 

So far I have been selling my ceramics to my friends, family and neighbours. Now it feels right to reach a wider audience. So, a few days ago I have opened my Internet shop on Etsy.  To celebrate it I am giving this pair of earrings away.

Giveaway earrings: faceted porcelain beads, labradorite, amethyst and sterling silver, ca 4 cm long incl. the clasp.

To participate, check out my new Etsy shop and leave a comment either here on my blog or on my Facebook page. Lucky winner will be picked randomly on August, the 15th. This giveaway is opened to all of my readers worldwide.

 The winner is Rachel from Berne.