Partner Up for Your Next Open Studio

Want to hold a studio sale this fall? Start planning now, and consider including other artists in your event.


Flora Davis studio


Teaming up with other artists can produce a bigger and broader event for your audience. The more selection and product range you have to offer, the more of your better customers will attend. And the more artists who participate, the more resources you will have to draw on – like mailing lists.

Adding more artists to your sale doesn’t diminish your slice of the pie. The goal is to make the pie larger! You may even want to join an arts tour, that includes many studios.

When planning your studio sale, get the details set first. Who should be invited to sell? What will your event be about? When will you hold it? Look for conflicts with the date, or even a great coincidence. A football game can be a great time for women to go shopping!

Take a look at preparing your space as well. Make sure the setting will have sufficient lighting (essential for showing work to its best advantage), and that you have “kid-proofed” the room if children may be in attendance. Plan to allow every participant enough space to show their work and do business.

What will you serve at the open studio event? Wine and cheese? Snacks and coffee? Offering something to eat is always a good idea, and will add to the festive atmosphere.

Don’t forget that guestbook, too. Gather names, addresses and emails. And, ask how your guest heard about the event. This will help with future invitations.

Speaking of invitations, sending out a direct mailing to every artist’s list is a great way to get attention for your event. But don’t use a #10 plain envelope. An invitation should always come in a special envelope; colored envelopes can work very well. Handwrite each name and address, and use a beautiful stamp to assure that they get opened.

You might want to create posters, too, which don’t have to be fancy, but they need to be placed in the right spots. A friend’s boutique window? On your church bulletin board? At the art center? Brainstorm on the best places to reach the audience you are looking to draw in.

Social media can help with your invitations as well. Create a Facebook event, or use to publicize your studio sale. Spread the word on Facebook, too. You can narrowly target a Facebook ad to promote your sale to people in your own town, or even from your email list.

Before your event starts, take some time to relax, so that you aren’t feeling frazzled when guests arrive. Then, welcome your visitors and have fun!

When your studio sales event is over, make sure you have your list of attendees (from the guestbook and anyone who hands you their card) and sit down to write thank you notes for coming. Personalize notes by mentioning a conversation if possible, or offer the recipe for the raspberry tea that you served.



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