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Retailer Spotlight: Rock Run

Retailer Spotlight: Rock Run

Nora Larimer, Bueno Vista, CO

Rock Run is a Fine Art Gallery including the watercolors and oil paintings of owner Nora Bushong Larimer and the works of 40 other artists including pottery, glass, jewelry, wood turnings, and more. The gallery also does custom picture framing.

Year Founded
2008

Square Feet of Retail Space
1,250 sq. ft

Why did you decide to open a gallery?
I am a life-long artist and I've found this is the most effective way to share and sell my work. The other works we carry also supply a need for those who love art, so there is a little something for everyone!

How many artists do you represent?
About 40

How do you promote your artists and your gallery?
Newsletters, local radio, and gallery guides, local events for shopping and gift-giving. Facebook

What type of merchandise is made in the U.S., Canada, Imported?
All paintings are done in house or painted en plein air. 90% of all other art is handmade by artists in Colorado and across the U. S. One jewelry artist comes from Canada and there is one jeweler from Mexico and one company from Mexico that makes blown glass hummingbird feeders.

What trade shows do you attend?
I occasionally attend art shows in Colorado to find new merchandise.

What attracts you to new merchandise?
New merchandise needs to be unique, handmade and a great price point!

Do you consign?
I do consignment items on the higher priced art- some wood carvings, glass, and jewelry.

Do you sell online?
I do have an online store for my own paintings, tile art, and prints. I am not able to keep up with selling all the other art online.

What is your shopping routine on IndieMe?
I cruise the fine crafts for unusual items that are beautiful with the appropriate price point. Narrow them down to my favorites and then come back to order when the time is right.

Who generates the biggest sales for you? Tourists? Locals? Repeat Customers? Collectors?
My biggest sales come from tourists and people with a second home in the area. This is a popular outdoor recreation area in the mountains of Colorado. I do have repeat buyers and fans who bring friends.

What retail price point sells best?
Under $80 for gift-giving, but also a fair amount of large paintings of $2000 or more.

How is business? Any thoughts for the future of craft galleries?
Business for me is pretty fair, but we do have slower times in the off-season (winter). The best strategy for me has been to own the building so that I'm not paying high rent to someone else. We live upstairs, and my studio is on the premises. Diversity is key also- Since we do picture framing we have another source of income when the traffic slows. I have many different items and price points so there is something for almost everyone.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?
Owner-operated craft galleries and store-fronts do well because the cost of labor and storefronts are lower and profits higher.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?
Follow your own instincts for style and passion of creativity. Don't try to copy others' products and styles. Learn your craft well and be the best at it you can. That will stand out and then sales will come along..

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