My Top Tips! | The Things I wish I Knew When Starting Out as a Furniture Artist
Hi there, my wonderful furniture painter friends. My name is Jodie Flavell, artist and owner of Decoris Vintage Designs and I started my business just a little over a year ago. I'm writing this blog today, to tell you all of the things I had wished I knew when I started out on my furniture painting journey.
Everyone's journey and path are different, however I hope that you will find some of these tips useful today!
Don't Under Price Your Work
I know, I've been there. You've just started out your business and you are eager to make a sale. In fact, you will do anything to get that first sale, even if it means selling that piece of furniture you have spent hours on really, really cheap. However, my advice would be, don't do yourself a disservice by under pricing your work. Of course, I understand that you aren't going to be selling your furniture at high-end prices yet. However, if you set the bar too low, then it can make it really difficult for you to then start raising your prices. Say for example you sold your first piece at fifty quid and then you suddenly try to sell a piece at three hundred, well that is just going to look strange and confuse your customers! So make sure that you start a a price that you are comfortable with being at for a while.
2. Use a Trusted Courier
I'm going to let you into a little secret. When I sold my very first piece of furniture, I just didn't have a clue! I was very excited about my first sale and now I had to get it shipped to the customer, but how did I do that? Well, I went with a regular old every day courier service called Hermes, which is NOT a service that has been created to
Needless to say, my first every piece of furniture arrive utterly and completely BUSTED. Yikes. I was very lucky that I had a kind and understanding customer. There are courier services that are specialists in safely transporting furniture. You can usually find contact details on Furniture Painting Facebook groups, or if you are ever really stuck, there is always Shiply.
3. Be Present & Active on Social Media
There are tonnes of different Social Media platforms that you can promote your business on. The trick is to learn how to successfully use them. When I started out I felt a little overwhelmed, so I began by first mastering Instagram, then Facebook and Pinterest and so on. Social Media is a fantastic tool for reaching people you might otherwise not have reached. It also gives you a chance to really engage with your customers, who will then share you work and then voila, you have more potential customers!
It also gives you a chance to really promote the personality of you and your brand, potentially leading the way for other opportunities such as becoming a content creator for a company or going live where you can promote your products. The opportunities are endless, so make sure you are taking full advantage of those Social Media tools!
4. Paint For You!
Now this is a bit of an interesting one. I would always encourage people to paint what you feel inspired by at that moment in time, that way you are creating unique and authentic art. Some people might say they are more interested in selling pieces quickly and that is fine if that is what you are motivated by! However if you are an artist, I suspect you would like to get a little artistic with your furniture painting.
I found that by staying true to my style that I eventually found a great following and customer base, who are loyal to my style. However, if you are in a bit of a crunch and really need to get those sales, then just make sure you paint a piece of furniture just for you at least every one in a while.
5. Deal with Negativity with a Positive Mindset
No matter what you do or how amazing you are, there are always going to be those unfortunate people on the Internet that just like to tear others down.
I often see negativity come in three forms, First there are the trolls. These people are just unhappy and are definitely not worth your time! Do not take anything they have to say to heart. There are then those that might just not be that interested in your work and may even feel the need to tell you as such. Try not to get too hung up on these people. It's important to understand that you can't impress everyone, so just focus on those that genuinely do love your work! Then there are those who give you constructive criticism. It's important to listen to this feedback, as there might be a golden nugget in there that will help you grow from it!
6. Recognise Other People's Success as Inspiration
There is always going to be someone out that there has what you desire to have and so you feel a twinge of envy. Envy is totally fine, just make sure you put it in perspective! Instead of feeling envy, try to turn the envy on it's head and instead thing of the ways you can work towards achieving that goal.
7. Lastly, Have Self-Belief!
You just keep doing you with complete confidence and you won't go wrong! There is no other you in the world and your artwork will be totally unique because of that!
I hope these tips were useful, If you would like to see them in video form where I go into more detail, then you can find the video here -
Just remember to take care of your mind and body and then the rest will follow.