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Experience with Artful Home


#1

The Artful Home site [http://www.artfulhome.com] is very attractive,
and offers work by some very well-known jewelers. Who out there is
on it? Do you sell much through them?

Are there others on Orchid who have been rejected? That is, is it
hard to get into? Is it worth the 50% and $300/year?

Noel


#2

Hi Noel,

I was rejected, then I figured maybe it isn’t worth the charge… I
can’t figure out why unless my pieces aren’t producable.

Jennifer Friedman


#3

i have dealt with them for 3 years now- it is worth the fees ( read
the fine print carefully before submitting any package, samples, etc.
there are some loopholes to their advantage that can leave you out a
lot if you don’t have a third party contract that they will sign-
which took some convincing on my part to get them to do before I
would agree to the rest of their terms) if you can keep up with the
production which is fairly seasonal and select products from your
lines that are largely different than anything else they are
currently offering- you can add pieces later that are more
"mainstream"Another tip is in your artist statement don’t sound
too-flaky- like “you are connected in some dreamtime to each piece
that is forged at the anvil of your heart”- or some such nonsense,
It will get you thrown off the shortlist of potential new jewelry or
metal (or any niche they carry for that matter) quite quickly. I am
close, to say the leasst to one of the jurors, and I know what Artful
Home will toss at the inkling of anything but a professional
business-like appraoch to one’s intital submissions. They don’t care
that you tech PMC on 3 levels, and write articles for x, they care
about the quality of the product and the proof that you can deliver
it in a timely manner to anywhere the product is dropshipped- or if
inventoried (a very small percentage of designs and items that have
been selling since the creation of the corporation and the first
mailing) that you can deliver in superhuman time frames- which
sometimes means dropping a job in front of their request for a
special order to get it to them…

So if you can deal with a semi-stressful outlet for selling your
jewelry or getting your name. brand in a nationally distributed
catalog- then the fees are worth the direct mailing advertising if
nothing else since they reach a specific tartget market that buys
online and through mailings of the kinds of professional qquality art
jewelry, that most of us on Orchid turn out. they buy very little
beading, or wirewrapping so if that’s your thing, I would not bother
submitting it unless you think it isof an award winning class within
those categories of jewlry products.

My guess as to why Jennifer’s work was not accepted is that they
already have someone selling bezel set felt pieces- and it would be
duplicitous and competitive to offer similarly styled work…
matter-of-fact I thought the work *was *Jennifer’s when I first saw
it- It looks like her work to a tee- If I were Jennifer I would
certainly look into when that designer started producing those
pieces as I think Jennifer’s work pre-dates that person’s and in that
case it is then a litigious matter.

Price points are another factor in dealing with them-So set your
prices perhaps higher than you would normally because they have the
"rights" to price your work at whatever the feel they can get for it-
and it’s a real pisser when they mark your stuff up x 2. 5 ( regular
retail markup ) and you barely covered your costs to get in at Artful
Home- so do make certain you have considered all your costs, and
submit PROFESSIONAL photos in your application package. Don’t send
anything -ever- displayed on a human body part…even if you think it
looks good- it doesn’t in the larger scheme of professionalism,
marketing and the jewelry trade.

Artful home is a great tool for jewelry makers with some experience,
credentials and a proven ability to deliver ( established accounts
are a good proof of your abilities to crank out design lines) and a
sense of marketing and dealing with a company that is out for their
own profit- no matter what they say about the care and feeding of
their artists- it’s much more about artful home thatn the basis of
where they get their livlihood- from other people’s work. So with
that in mind, apply if you thin your stuff is uniquue or
alternatively trendy enough to sell to a mainstream niche of people
that are able to spend between 45-1200 dollars on jewelry and gift
items…

rer


#4

Hi Noel.

As a result of your post I spent a couple of hours poking around the
site. There is indeed a lot of nice stuff. But I’m wondering about
the economics of a site like this versus one like Etsy.

Artful Home presents a smaller group of artists of a much higher
overall quality. Etsy presents a much bigger and lower quality pool
of artists.

Artful Home charges $300 a year, plus 50% of the retail price. Etsy
charges 20 cents to list, and 3.5% of the sale price. For that $300,
one could do a lot of Etsy relisting- apparently a key to success.

Artful Home’s commission structure would seem to encourage higher
retail prices, so that the artist’s 50% is enough to make it all
worthwhile… Etsy allows for a potentially much better deal for
customers, since items can be offered at, let’s say, 25% off of
"normal retail", and still result it a significantly larger take for
the artist.

Artful Home claims to do a bunch of marketing. I’ve never seen any,
but that doesn’t mean much. But I have no way of knowing what their
promotion actually is or whether it works. Same with Etsy. Never
seen anything from them either, and I have no idea whether they do
much at all to drive traffic to the site.

Artful Home seems to have a good system of modifying and narrowing a
search. Their pool may be smaller, but it can still be daunting.
Etsy encourages the use of many tag words to allow for a pretty
narrow search there as well. I have no idea how people actually
search these sites, but modestly sophisticated seekers should be
able to find your work on either site.

Do these sites appeal to mutually exclusive groups of potential
customers? Would someone aware of Artful Home be aware of Etsy as
well? Or vice versa? Would the potential of finding lower-priced but
still-great stuff on Etsy make it a better bet for a better take for
the artist on the deal? I could easily see, for example, offering
lower-priced items on Etsy, and higher-priced ones on Artful Home.
But I think higher priced items have potential on Etsy too

Is being part of a better, smaller pool of competitors better than
being part of a huge pool with more overall competition, but perhaps
with not as much competition at the higher end. Selling online makes
it hard to duplicate the “sizzle” that can be created in a store or
gallery, as you hold that great new piece in your hand, the sizzle
that might justify a higher price. I don’t know what Artful Home’s
sizzle is going to be (MY pictures?), but they’re essentially just
another retail account, and I’m not at all clear what their 50%
share would be doing to help me, versus my 3.5% at Etsy. Hmmm…??

Allan
silvermason.com


#5

I too received a rejection notice from Artful Home. I too am
confused and frustrated because I submitted very unique work that has
brought me awards in numerous other venues. I would love to know what
I’m missing. Any ideas?

Dawn


#6

Noel,

Do you do production, or at least limited production pieces? If so,
then everything RER said is right on. But if you are primarily or
exclusively a one-of-a-kind artist, then think twice about applying.
(Actually, I’m not even sure they would take a one-of-a-kind artist
at this point in their evolution.)

Artful Home used to be Guild.com and I was associated with them for
close to 10 years. I only left this year when they changed the
policies to require monthly fees. As a one-of-a-kind artist (in
partial retirement yet), it made no sense to continue; but it was a
good outlet for me for years.

If you make multiples, though, and can get into their mail catalogs
especially, you can do a LOT of business. Their marketing is first
rate.

Beth


#7

Dawn, I looked over your website and for the world of me I cannot
see why your work was rejected.

It is lovely, well crafted, and original. Judges do make some
strange decisions. Of course you feel “confused and frustrated.” But
don’t take it to heart. It is their loss, not yours.

Alma Rands.


#8

Hi Orchidians:

I’ve been with Artful Home for about a year now and it has been a
lifesaver in this sagging economic time. One of the things they
offer that Etsy does not (as far as I know) is a real color catalogue
that comes out in many permutations throughout the year. When the
catalogue hits customer homes, there is generally a little flurry of
work. I’ve been lucky enough to be in almost all of the catalogues
this past year. Though my first year with them was fee free, I only
hesitated slightly before signing on. I’m not with Etsy, so I don’t
have too many other comparisons to draw.

Artful home is exceedingly agreeable to work with and (always a huge
plus) they pay in a timely manner.

Susan Chin
Chico, California


#9

Noel and All,

We applied and were accepted by Artful home about a year or so ago.
However, with the acceptance phone call came the instructions to
revisit their newly updated website, as they were in the process of
revamping their way of doing business. Instead of paying a $35 one
time jury fee and then having the 50% commission on any sales, they
would now require a yearly fee of $300 on top of the previously
stated fees. The changes were made after we had submitted our info
for jurying, but we would be subject to the new fees. They did offer
to give us two free months, as they realized that the rules were
changed on us in the middle of the process. We were less than excited
about the new fees, so we kindly declined to participate.

The gal in charge of things- I think her name was Susan- was very
kind and helpful, and I do think their site could be good for some
people. Like others have noted, read all of the fine print and ask
questions to see if this is good for your business. Artful home wants
you to be successful so they make money.

When we were a retail store, we bought various designer’s lines and
made a monetary commitment to them. It was in our best interest to
promote those designers. Now that we are wholesaling our own line of
jewelry, we would like to invest our time and energy with retailers
who are willing to make that same commitment with us.

Brenda
david lee jeweler
Mason City, Iowa
http://www.davidleejeweler.com


#10

Okay i will chime in, but will keep it short, been with the
guild/artful home for about 4 years now, first year was hard since i
did not Know what or how they operated but it still came through.
till this year it has been very good for me even though it could
probably do better if i concentrated my energies on them and with
them. 2009 has been ify at best, but anytime a company goes through
changes it’s bound to do that, economy isn’t helping. In my opinion
they are very good company to be doing business with. they pay on
time, they advertise in a big way and different ways, their choice
of product quality is why I applied to begin with, pretty much all
around good company to be affiliated with if you are willing and
able to work with there needs. fees or no fees it is still good. what
company is able to get away with out charging fees, and for how
long? even though they get the 50% of the retail, you can not compare
them to a gallery, their reach is way above and beyond any gallery I
know of in advertizing and other. i know of one friend who had done
well over 6k in 07 without working too hard at it, the right
product/price in the right place. also we are a small part of what
they do, they do represent sculptors and interiors/object makers, 2D
and 3D, and that side of it has been getting chargedsince the
beginning,years back. called the Source Book? I think their flat fee
for the commissions and interiors part was 1200. 00 or more
annually,that might be changed now I have not checked up on any of
this recently.

all in all a good company to be with,the fees are justified, the jury
consisted of Michael Monroe and the like… I am sorry, I said I
would make it short.

just my point of view Hratch


#11
Artful Home claims to do a bunch of marketing. I've never seen
any, but that doesn't mean much. But I have no way of knowing what
their promotion actually is or whether it works. 

For what it’s worth, I’ve been on their catalog mailing list for
several years (don’t know how I got onto it). It’s a nice catalog. I
almost always look through it. I’ve purchased from them only once,
but like do like many of the items in the catalog. $$$$.

Jamie


#12

Hi Dawn,

I too received a rejection notice from Artful Home. I too am
confused and frustrated because I submitted very unique work that
has brought me awards in numerous other venues. I would love to
know what I'm missing. Any ideas? 

Having looked at the work on your website, I can only conclude that
the people at Artful Home thought that perhaps your work was too
similar to some of their other artists? Certainly the quality of your
work meets their standards.

It’s also possible that your images didn’t measure up. They go for
clean backgrounds, like jury images, and yours tend to have props and
such, like publication photos, which are an entirely different thing.

All I can say is that they are very picky. Always have been. And I
think that’s a good thing in the long run since it puts them in an
entirely different ballpark from Etsy, for instance, where virtually
anyone can buy in.

Try again, Dawn, with better images and I think you could make it!

Beth