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Artist Interview: Hiroko Saka

By Kimberly Sumerel

Note: Back in 2007, I was commissioned to write a series of online articles about aspiring and talented artists living and working in the U.S. Inspired by the talents of these artists, and being an artist myself, I wanted to see if these individuals were still active and creating beautiful works of art. I am pleased to report after almost 10 years,...

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miss-mandy-m:

Acrylic on Canvas, Flora Series.  Impasto paintings by Justin Gaffrey

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At a recent art show I was in, I was asked by a fellow artist and business owner if there was anything they could do to improve sales when it came to presenting and selling their products at outdoor shows and events, and would I be willing to offer my advice? I wanted to say, “How long do you have, because answering that question was going to take a few hours?!” However, after offering my friend a few helpful tips on what I thought needed addressing when it came to the overall presentation of one’s store, I began to look around and it was as clear as day, why some businesses were selling and some were not….it was their “PEOPLE SKILLS!” Sure, they had great products, great prices and a “killer” display, but that wasn’t all! They were smiling and you could tell they genuinely not only loved what they were doing, they valued the customer and welcomed them into their store like they were family! They talked, listened and engaged in conversation with their customers. They talked about their work and shared their passion about their products with everyone.They were not sitting and texting on a cell phone, or chatting with friends who stopped by to monopolize their time and crowd their store, leaving no room for customers to shop, but were acknowledging each and every customer who came into their store whether they bought anything or not.   

So many beautiful products for sale, so many talented individuals. They, like myself had worked long hours, sacrificed their time, and spent a lot of money to bring a plethora of artisan created products to the public for sale. But, what I mostly observed of those who seemed to be having much success was, they knew what it took to serve the customer and that was GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE…. WITH A SMILE! I think often sales people do not realize they are not smiling. Yes, we are tired and yes we sometimes have to set up in the rain and drive long hours to some of these events, eat fast food and take pills because our back and feet are killing us, but that does not excuse us from giving 100% customer service with a “SMILE!” 

Note: You may have the best product money can buy, and if you are in sales of any kind and have no idea how to smile, my suggestion is invests in a mirror! You will be amazed at how far a smile will go when it comes to being successful in sales.

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