I have been thinking lately about what I need to do to promote my work better and to get well known in the industry so, forgive me but I am going to 'think aloud' for a bit. I have been working at this for 12 years but still haven't managed to reach break even point. It is hard to break through into the upper reaches of the profession, the commercially produced books and the stalls at the big needlework fairs etc. I love the community of friends that I have made through this work but so much work has got me nowhere in terms of making a living.
So, what do I need to do? Needlework fairs are expensive. The cost of the stall is more than I am likely to make in sales (let alone the cost of the materials to sell etc) I can't see me ever making enough to change that as my charts range in price from £7-£10 and the stalls seem to start at about £650- £1000. So as I see it, I have 2 options. A) Run my own needlework fair - this is maybe not as far fetched as it sounds, previous posts have shown that there is interest out there both from retailers and stitchers for a fair, dedicated to needlecraft, that is cheap enough to attract the indie's who have vanished from the big fairs. If anyone is interested in forming a co-op with me to organise this, please message me. B) Get sponsorship from a bigger business to cover the cost of the stall. I don't know if I can get anyone interested in this idea (especially as I am quite a shy person who hates approaching people) but from my limited understanding of tax, if a company sponsors someone then they can write it off against tax which long term means they break even on the deal. I don't know for certain if that is correct though and I don't know anyone to approach anyway even if I did have the nerve.
Commercially produced books - I have a lot of ideas that I am working on. The calendar book is coming on well, it will be ready by the end of the year - maybe by the end of the summer but the search for a publisher will be a long winded process and may be ultimately futile. There are other ideas too but as I sew nearly all of my work myself it takes a very long time for me to get enough work together.
A YouTube channel is another idea that I have been pondering. Some tutorials, a few pieces about some of my works and their inspirations. I'm not sure if anyone would be interested but it's worth a shot.
Art exhibitions. This is an option with a narrower client base as far as my charts and kits are concerned but I would love to have an exhibition of work at the castle. I am not ready for it yet, there are several more works that I want to add to the collection first, some are ongoing, some are in my head and some haven't started forming yet. I have done a couple of other small exhibitions and it was fun
OK so that's what I have been pondering, forgive the long and rambling post but sometimes you have to say things aloud in order to make sense of them. Any (constructive) thoughts welcome.