Last October I met a woman at my doll show booth who asked me to consider selling my dolls at her antique booth on consignment. She seemed so thrilled with my work, and invited me to come down (the shop is two hours away from me) to see the shop--really a series of five booths in an antique mall, and so I did. The shop was fascinating and apparently very popular. So we talked, and though I was a little nervous about her scattered, unfocused ways, her enthusiasm about how well my dolls would sell there convinced me to give it a try.
Here are the lessons I learned:
1. Just because she and I are doll lovers, doesn't mean her customers would be. They shop there for the antiques, and her mass-produced, made-in-china doll reproductions (big names like Nicole Sayers and Bethany Lowe) sell well. My dolls, hand made and one of a kind, did not. I sold one, plus the candlestick doll she herself bought.
2. Get it alllll in writing. People lie.
3. Do NOT let someone "gift" you anything, blithely tossing things at you as if they are the soul of generosity. It's a trap. You'll get charged for them later, when she gets mad.
4. Follow your instincts: if the little hairs on the back of your neck say this is too good to be true, it is.
So all in all, I am getting a third of the amount for the doll I sold, rather than the 90% I would at a doll show after expenses, and none at all for the doll she bought, because I just didn't get anything in writing. Dumb, and I would beat myself up for it, but I'm just too sad and disgusted by the whole thing. Lessons learned are not always painful, but you sure remember the ones that are!
Today is a holiday--at least the hubs isn't working--and wet from a couple day's rain, so I can't go out and dig in the slow spring that is warming our high desert. But I do have some iris catalogues to peruse! I also have a bunch of seeds to start in little window-sill pots--cosmos and milkweed and Mexican sunflower, and several more. Good medicine, playing in the soil, even if it's on the kitchen counter. Also--an Izzy to dress and send to her new momma.