The Art Biz ep. 138: 4 Considerations for Wholesaling Your Art with Katie Hunt

There are so many ways you can sell your art.

So many different avenues for earning money from your talents.

Bright blue notebook with gold lettering laid next to a blue and green patterned card hand lettered with Inspire and Sparkle | on Art Biz Success
Blue agenda by Sugar Paper. Inspire & Sparkle Card lettered by Kristen Ley for Proof to Product. Image courtesy of Proof to Product.

See the related episodes of The Art Biz below for examples of the wide variety of ways that my artist-guests are making money from their art.

To that list, I can now add wholesaling.

In this episode of The Art Biz, I asked Katie Hunt to give us some basic basic information about wholesaling your art and products. What is it? Who is it for? Who is it not for?

We’re talking basic stuff. This episode is for you if you are curious about what wholesaling entails.

What’s the difference between wholesaling and retailing? Where does licensing fit in?

Katie is a wealth of information, and generously shared 4 considerations for wholesaling as well as 4 things she assesses when making business decisions. Those are outlined below. 

Here’s my conversation with Katie Hunt.

Listen

Katie’s 4 Considerations for Wholesaling

  1. Is the product line strong?
  2. Are all of your sales tools in place?
  3. Do you have a solid marketing plan?
  4. Are your operational systems in good working order?

Katie’s Assessment for Business Decisions

  • How much time will it take?
  • What is the potential income?
  • Does it excite me or drain me?
  • What kind of impact will it have? 
Katie Hunt teaching
Katie Hunt teaching Proof to Product students. Photo: Jamie Larson Photography.

📄 This Week's Assignment

Because I want The Art Biz to inspire and motivate you to take action that is meaningful for you now, I always have an assignment at the end of each episode.

This week’s assignment has 2 options.

  1. Option 1 is to review Katie’s 4 considerations for wholesaling to decide whether or not it’s a direction you want to go. These are above and discussed in more detail in the interview. I love how Katie’s format is so straightforward and that she is clear that wholesaling isn’t right for everyone.
  2. If you know that wholesaling isn’t for you, go for option 2, which is to write out her list of considerations for making business decisions and keep it nearby. Adjust it to your needs and revisit it often to stay on track.

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Highlights

  • Key differences between wholesaling and retailing. (4:20)
  • The importance of selling in larger quantities at a lower price for wholesale. (6:53)
  • How is licensing different than wholesaling? (12:20)
  • What type of artists are a good fit for wholesaling? (13:41)
  • Focusing on one revenue stream at a time—before wholesaling. (17:58)
  • Consideration #1: Make sure you have a strong product line. (20:20)
  • Consideration #2: Get your sales tools in place. (26:20)
  • Consideration #3: Outreach and marketing—detailing your artwork and your terms and conditions. (29:18)
  • Consideration #4: Solidifying your operations and systems. (31:07)
  • Handling criticism and rejection while wholesaling. (32:38)
  • Paper Camp, Labs, and other Proof to Product resources (including a free course) for artists considering wholesale. (35:52)
  • Katie’s assessment for making decisions in her business (4 more considerations). (40:50)

Katie Hunt Quotes

“There are so many ways we can sell our art, and each one requires a different foundation.”

“With wholesale, we’re talking about a very different system of the sales process, the marketing process, even the fulfillment process.”

“Artists don’t have to wholesale everything they make. They can create a special segment of their product line that is for wholesale.”

“Before you take the plunge into wholesaling, you need to know you have an audience.”

“The more we experience with the pitching process and putting ourselves, our art, and our talents out there, the stronger we become.”

 

A Paper Camp student reviewing a wholesale catalog sample. Image courtesy of Proof to Product.

Related Episodes

I’ve featured a huge variety of ways artists make money here on The Art Biz and corresponding posts in the past. For example …

Not to be outdone, Helen Hiebert gave us a peek at her numerous streams of income.

About My Guest

headshot of smiling white woman with shoulder length brown hair wearing a black ruffled shirt Katie Hunt | on Art Biz SuccessKatie Hunt is the founder of Proof to Product, the host of a podcast with the same title, and a business strategist who supports product-based business owners. She has helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of large retailers like Target, Nordstrom, The Container Store, and Starbucks, as well as independent boutiques around the world.

Katie’s work has been featured in Forbes, New York Times, Entrepreneur as as well as dozens of business podcasts. She brings experience, education and a love of learning into her programs. Her strengths lie in connecting people and bringing ideas to life—brainstorming, making a plan, and implementing.

Follow Katie on Instagram at @prooftoproduct

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2 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 138: 4 Considerations for Wholesaling Your Art with Katie Hunt”

  1. Hi Alyson, I absolutely loved listening to this episode and whilst I know I’m not quite at the stage that I’d want to consider wholesaling (just 6 months into building my art business), it was so helpful to understand the framework for stepping into that world for future reference!

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Your Artist Mailing List: Rethinking + Assessing

Get a transcript of episode 182 of The Art Biz (Rethinking Mailing Lists for Artists) followed by a 3-page worksheet to evaluate the overall health and usage of the 3 types of artist lists.

Where can we send it? 

To ensure delivery, please triple check your email address.

You’ll also receive my regular news for your art business.

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