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Artist Spotlight: Barbarah Robertson Pottery

Artist Spotlight: Barbarah Robertson Pottery

Barbarah Robertson, Strasburg, VA

Born and raised in Alexandria Virginia, Barbarah Robertson moved to the Shenandoah Valley and began taking pottery classes in the early 1990’s. Now a full time potter based in Strasburg Virginia, Barbarah is an official juried Artisan of the Artisan Center of Virginia and a long standing member of the Shenandoah Potters Guild. She participates in various arts and craft shows/exhibits & gives educational workshops in the Valley and Northern Virginia/ DC metro area.

Describe Your Work:
We produce a line of small batch, handmade pottery meant for day to day use. Pieces that work well and feel comfortable in hand. I want our pieces to be a part of someone's family dinners, gatherings around the table, memories of holidays and important events. Heirloom quality doesn't have to be stuffy.

How did you get started in the crafts business?

My husband and I decided to take the leap and I quit my job as an art installer in 2007 in order to have more time at home with my family. Going back to pottery full time was a dream come true. I found Etsy and began selling online in 2012.

How long have you been wholesaling?

We've been selling our pieces wholesale since 2013.

What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?

We love instagram and Facebook for reaching out to new buyers, and for keeping current buyers informed about new pieces, but it's sometimes challenging to maintain a personal feel. I like to visit shops in person to see if my pieces would be a good fit, to get a feel for the shop and it's customers.

What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?

50% wholesale, 40% retail, 10% commissions

How has IndieMe helped your business?

We're brand new to IndieMe and hope to reach a wide selection of new buyers that are excited about our work!

What advice do you have for new craft artists?

Make items you love! Fiddling around with pieces you really don't enjoy making is a big time waster. If you make items you really enjoy yourself, your customers will see it in your final product!

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?

Don't be afraid of the word "wholesale", many vendors have pretty low purchase order minimums in place to allow new buyers to give their products a "taste" before jumping into a huge order. Wholesale really can make your business thrive vs doing consignment, and builds a great relationship with your makers.

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