Journal: Spring 2020

I’ve been hiding in my studio making non-stop since january, and I thought it would be a good time to give you a little update since the first quarter of 2020 is coming to an end. The year started at 100 miles an hour directly after the holidays with the preparation for the One of a Kind show, which will take place at the end of March 2020 in Toronto. It will be my first large-scale sale event, it makes me a little dizzy I admit. Despite the luck I have of being supported by the SODEC to participate, the investments in time and cost remain enormous for me, which means that I cannot provide for other events or my online store simultaneously. One of my goals for 2020 is to prioritize my online presence, because this is the most direct way to have a close relationship with you. So the first thing I want to do when I get back from Toronto is to reactivate my online shop. I don't have a fixed date yet, but for sure next April there will be a "drop" on my online store with new pieces from the spring collection. The shop will only be open for a few days because I will already have to start making my inventory for 1001 pots next July very quickly. My partner was invited to a family wedding in France next June, and I’ll go with him. We leave from mid-May to mid-June, so I will have one less month to make pieces for 1001 pots. I have had very little chance of having vacation since I started working freelance, and it was quite complicated to negociate my projects with a whole month away, but in this business, if you don't force yourself to plan for personnal and family time, there will never be a good timing.

I would like to warn you that my prices will increase considerably in 2020 because I am in deficit when I make sales with third parties. In 2019 I was fortunate to have financial support for starting a business, so although my sales income is not enough to make a living from my job, I had no financial worries. In 2020, I have to stand on my own two feet so I have no choice but to make changes to make my production viable. To give you an example, storefront stores or online stores will keep between 40% and 50% of sales revenue, and shows can keep between 20% and 35%, plus all of what you have to invest to attend (booth cost, transportation, packagings, etc, etc). Some events don’t take a cut on the sales, but usually those are a lot more expensive to attend. Intermediaries such as conventions, local markets and shops are essential to get known more widely, but if I want to live (and not only survive) from my work one day, it is through direct sales via my website or in person at my studio that I will get there. Would you be interested in knowing how this business works? I don't have a lot of experience but I think it could be very interesting for many of you! With the popularity the docu-series by Shane Dawson and Jeffrey Star on the creation of a makeup palette, I feel that transparency in business is in full trend. I really want to open my books to my audience, I think it could be interesting for other ceramicists, artists, makers, and also consumers, hoping not to make ennemies of some industry players while doing that. Despite the increase of my prices, to thank you for following me and supporting my work, I always offer a promo when I launch a new series via my newsletter, (you can sign-up below) and I occasionally make sales of pieces with slight defects and end of line on my stories on Instagram. So if you stay on the lookout, there will always be opportunities to get a piece at lower prices.

As for Nerikomi workshops, my session just ended at Les Faiseurs last week, and when I return from Toronto in april, I will start with a new group at L’aluminé Studio. Also, at the end of July I will give an intensive workshop at the Rosynski arts center for 5 consecutive days. Registrations are not yet open for Rosynski, I will put all the info in the Workshops section as soon as I have them. Also, would you be interested in an introductory workshop shorten to only one day? Sarah and I (the founder at Les Faiseurs) are evaluating the feasibility and looking for a date that could work in our busy schedules. I will not be able to show as many things in a single day of course but it will be more affordable and a smaller commitment of time! It could be nice, right? Also tell me in the comments if you are interested that I dissect the ceramic market in Quebec! (Disclaimer: Of course, this analysis will be subjective and non-exhaustive, with my only 3 years of experience, I am not a reference on this subject, only my small experience.)

Thank you!

Marina xx