Planning is in full swing for preseason buying for the wholesale gift shows and markets. I’m lucky to be hooked up with a really great sales rep, Karen Sobolesky and Company. Karen and her team are creative, sincere, professional and rep a bunch of really cool lines. I’ve decided to build a wholesale line of my work and reprint the Alaska Animal Alphabet book, print a new line of children’s art prints, design and illustrate a new Alaska children’s activity book, offer new releases of my Art Quilt Patterns along with a couple more of my creations for the wholesale gift market. The souvenir gift market in Alaska is very strong and with proper profit margin planning, creating for selling wholesale is a lot of fun. With a good sales rep it’s also a lot less work for me than me trying to regularly sell retail or only have my work on consignment at Galleries. I still need to put together my wholesale order sheets for Karen and design some custom foil labels for the art prints and books but I’ve had my hands full getting all of the creative components designed and "sample ready" for her showroom. Several of my original designs I’ve decided to scrap. Sometimes right after I finish an illustration or design I really love the work but I've learned I need to have a “cooling off period” and try and look objectively at the work when considering if it will be a good seller for the retail market. Even then, nothing is a sure thing. I’m reviewing the budget and timeline with my printer in Hong Kong for the reprinting of the hard bound Alaska ABC book. The over sea printing costs make it much more cost effective for me to be able to wholesale a professional, hard bound book that will have a reasonable retail price of around $10 each. The activity book, the art prints and patterns are all printed here in Alaska –an important point to most souvenir shoppers. I’m a bit out of practice juggling all of the new deadlines for the various projects I have going on but would rather be working on the wholesale line than packing boxes for the move!
A Birch Tree at Gus' X-Country meet today near the APU Mosley Sports Center. The colors were so vibrant they made me happy but made my eyes water!