Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson says sending homemade baked goods has helped her build stronger relationships with galleries, collectors, and other artists tremendously.
She says, “Getting noticed takes effort. Staying noticed takes more. Once you are in the galleries you hoped for, you still have to work just as hard to stay there.”
What do you do beyond the Thank You note?
Elizabeth says …
Food is the way to the heart—especially homemade baked goods! I make baked goods for my gallery contacts, I wrap them up and ship them all over the country along with a thank-you note of my pie artwork, or cupcake artwork. This reminds them that I am still ready and willing to do what it takes to be considered for a small group or solo show.
- “Home made cookies? Nobody does that anymore!” said the president of the Atlanta Collage Society after receiving Elizabeth's cookies as a Thank You for help with shipping.
- “You rock!” was expressed in an email from Elizabeth's gallery contact in Taos, New Mexico. She had just received three large works from Elizabeth with a special surprise inside: ginger spice iced cookies.
- “I can't wait to get more of your goodies!” hinted a gallery director from Asheville, North Carolina at the start of the 2009 holiday season.
Elizabeth adds …
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that our galleries work just as hard to sell our work as we do. They ship it, they hang it and rehang it, they use images of it to advertise, they open new galleries and take it with them. I take the time to thank them for this. A little thank you goes a long way.
And then this important insight …
If someone knows you appreciate what they are doing, they are more likely to keep doing it for you.
Tips for Shipping Baked Goods
by Elizabeth St. Hilaire
Cookies and breads ship best. I am famous for my chocolate chip cookies! They are easy to share since they do not need to be cut up or served with silverware. They also stay fresh for a long time and can survive a bumpy trip.
Once completely cool, pack into a gallon zip top bag, press out extra air and before closing. Write a note on the bag with a Sharpie marker letting the recipient know what treat they are in for!
Include your own note card. In your note be thankful and appreciative for all the artwork they sell for you!
I pack the box with plastic grocery store bags for cushioning and use a small box so that the cookies do not rattle around.
You can get a fancy gift box from Hallmark or Tuesday Morning or Target (be sure it is rigid) or you can decorate a shoe box.
If you buy books on Amazon like I do, save those small brown corrugated boxes, remove all stickers, and re-use, recycle! I have return address labels with my artwork on them.
I also have note pads and sticky notes with my artwork on them that I use when I ship note cards or DVDs to a gallery. If there is any extra room in the box, I put a few cookies in there too!
I usually ship all baked goods via US Postal Service and send Priority Mail so that they arrive within three days. You want your treats to be as fresh as possible when they arrive.
Alyson's tip: Check out the USPS flat-rate boxes for these purposes.