Focus on Men’s Gifts

Father’s Day is coming up, and demand is high in this category. We asked Nancy Markoe, owner of the award-winning Nancy Markoe Gallery in St. Pete Beach, Florida for her thoughts on creating and selling items for men in the handmade market.

ABI: What suggestions do you have for artists and craftspeople considering getting into designing items for men? What do galleries want?

NM: There is always room for more works that are directed toward the “men’s market.” which can be an opportunity for many Artisans. Gifts are a large part of Gallery sales and gifts for men are a necessity.

However, in general, this category is in the lower percentage of total store inventory compared to “faster selling” categories. Galleries only have a certain amount of dollars to devote to a slower selling category. Keeping that in mind, it is always prudent to do market research to find out which shops carry a lot of men’s items and will be open to new works for men.

There are certain times during the year that men’s gifts sell the most. Is that the best time for the initial launch of your new item? For best results, introduce items way before Father’s Day, Graduation and Christmas. This calls for you to set up a tight production schedule so that you can get the work to galleries in a timely manner. In general, galleries will want to set up the display and start advertising approximately four weeks ahead to catch the selling window. This is critical for any artisan creating for a certain market.

Designing for men requires some research. What are favorite colors? Can you design a unique aspect to an otherwise ordinary item that creates intrigue?


ABI: Do you find sufficient variety of handmade men’s gifts when you are looking for new lines to sell?

NM: Yes, we have found a sufficient variety of handmade items that are perfect for men. As marketers of American Handmade we also have to think out of the box. There is much work in the Gallery not specifically designated as our “mens collection,” but generally appeals to men. We need to direct a gift giver to those items.


ABI: What range of price points do you find sells well for men’s gifts?

NM: From $50.00 to $250.00.


ABI: What items for men do you sell in your gallery that do especially well?

NM: As mentioned above, there is work in the Gallery that appeals to men that is not necessarily classified in our “men’s collection.” There are hand blown glass works that are in certain colors and shapes that are “manly” and work well in “man caves!” (whether that be an office, a study or workroom.)

We carry a large and varied selection of Artisan works for men. We carry items for a CEO, but also for a carpenter and a chef! Also we carry items for are good for seniors! Here are some: unique clocks, frames, back scratchers, wood boxes, knives, money clips, cufflinks, tankards, stemware, pens, clipboards, magnifying glasses- even long handled shoe horns!


Call for Artists!

Do you make a great gift for Father’s Day or Graduation? Submit your image to The Arts Business Institite’s Great Dad & Grad Gift Guide! Accepted artists will have their image shown in our guide, with a link to their website. It’s free to submit. Details here. Don’t miss out! Deadline is June 3.

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