Currently I’ve got my products in two stores: I Like You in Minneapolis and Nature’s Blessings in Pennsylvania. My partner and I have been actively trying to get ourselves in other stores, but it’s been a slightly uphill battle.
One store has been impossible to get a hold of. Granted, my partner and I work full time, and can’t really make phone calls during the day. When we can make phone calls, they aren’t open. We have a deadline, though, and we’re sticking to it. We actually want to hit as many stores that day as humanly possible, so we’ll see where that gets us.
There is a major question that keeps coming up: What is a fair cut for the shop selling your item? A general consensus is that 60/40 is the most common break down. It’s what we follow at I Like You, and I’ve heard of many other stores with the same split. Some shops charge a rental fee instead of commission. We rent space at Nature’s Blessings at a relatively reasonable price.
But what to do when it feels like the shop is taking advantage of the artists they are seeking? The obvious choice is to say no to the store. There’s really no question about that, but past that, what can you do? It sucks to sit by and watch as someone takes advantage of the independent artist community. It’s a bit like being able to see the hint of some horns from under their hat, and not being able to warn anyone about them.
If artists and crafters had some sort of a union, we’d be able to band together to get the fairness we deserve. I’m not saying shop owners don’t deserve 40% or even 50%. There’s a lot of money and hard work that goes into a brick and mortar, work and money I don’t have to give. But I shouldn’t be expected to shell out what amounts to three days of labor every month. Not when I’m not getting anything in return to make it worthwhile.
Maybe this will come back to bite me in the butt someday, but I’m willing to take that chance. If I don’t stand up for myself, who will?