2022 Year in Review
Every January, I take a little break from making new work to rest from the season and reflect on my practices as a business. It’s always interesting to compare data year to year; see what areas improved, what could change for the following year, etc.
I have continued to build upon the new data/item tracking system that was started for 2021 into the 2022 year.
In all, 1174 pieces found new homes in 2022. 68% of the items were sold in person from my studio, 12% of items were sold online, and 20% were sold in a mix of wholesale/commission/consignment. Compared to 2021, that is about a 20% decrease in the total number of items sold, but only a decrease in sales by 14%.
There was a significant increase in in-person sales and a decrease in online sales. It is interesting to look at that shift in where sales occurred; that people seemed to be willing to do more in-person shopping again in 2022.
Once again mugs* were the most popular item, making up 38% of all items sold. 433 mugs found new homes in 2022. Swirly mugs made up 16% of the mug total, 17% of the mug total were nautical mugs, 13% were soup mugs and 40% were custom logo mugs. Travel mugs, horse mugs and everyday mugs made up the remaining 14% of the mug total. (*Piggery not included)
All crystalline items contributed to 21% of items sold, with the mini vase being the most popular item in that category, followed closely by larger vases.
Looking at the overall numbers, it is not surprising that sales were down from 2021. In addition to changes in the economy, I also altered my studio practices and time spent making new work to attempt a little more work-life balance, in addition to spending more time with my family. 2022 presented new challenges, and it was important to adjust my perspective on time in the studio.
Even though the number of items sold decreased, I was interested to see that the total sales from 2021 did not follow the same percentage decrease. I had to make some changes to my pricing structure to adjust for rising costs (of everything), and it was interesting to see that there was not as much of a loss as one would expect from a 20% decrease in product sales.
So- what does this all mean? What are the plans for 2023?
Reading over my goals from the start of January 2021 right now, I am hoping to explore more of the same goals for 2023. This year I am planning to focus more on crystalline- more new shapes, colors, and glazes. Crystalline wallflowers are on the list of items to explore further (which I did not do in 2022). I am also hoping to create more larger scale items that can serve as a statement piece. Large platters for the table or wall and large vases for the floor. If I can add it in, I’d also like to explore more in the world of crystalline tile projects to expand on work started in 2020.
I would also like to create more dinnerware items- plates, platters, cereal bowls, etc. The past few years I haven’t made many of these items and they are typically requested, so I would love to have a larger inventory for you to choose from. I also have some plans for limited run items, themed both for tulip season and dahlia season.
In just a few short months, the tulips will begin to emerge from their winters’ rest and the landscape will be filled with new life. You can look forward to a great dahlia tuber sale on April 14th, followed by announcements for Spring Open Studio dates.
This year also marks the South Coast Artists 20th Annual Open Studio tour, taking place July 15-16 and August 19-20, and I am excited to participate in the tour again. Sales from the OST account for almost 18% of sales for the year, and it is an event I do not take lightly. The influx of visitors to our little area and the return of friends to the studio is something I look forward to each year. It is an honor being part of such a diverse creative community.
There are so many pieces I want to create, and a limited amount of time in a year, but I will do my best to chip away at the goals to see what can happen in the coming eleven months. Between all my passions, it is a delicate balancing act to fit in time for flowers, family, horses and pottery and something I am continuing to work on every day.
Thank you all for your support over the years! It's hard to believe, but 2023 marks my 21st year working in clay. What lies ahead? Will I achieve all these goals? I'm not certain, but I know I'll continue growing.
Keep creating friends.