Tips for Holiday Shop Applicants and Artists

Below is a little extra information for artists who are applying or joining the Holiday Shop. I will edit and adjust as time goes on, but it’s a great resource for artists who want to know just a little bit more!

FAQ’s

  • The Historic Shell Holiday Shop started in downtown Issaquah in 2015, and is curated by Alison Lang (of So, There.) It is run as a pop-up boutique with gifty items every holiday season.
  • The Call for artists typically goes out at the beginning of October. You can hear about it by watching this feed, the facebook page, instagram, or by joining our mailing list

When Applying for the shop…

  • Make sure you look over the payment terms, drop-off and pick-up details and make sure they will work for you.
  • Consider the items you’d like to show us. If you have been to the shop before, think about what you make that might fit in. If you haven’t, look through our past photos on Instagram and Facebook. Feel free to send an assortment of options for us to look at.
  • Send quality photos of the items you’d like us to consider. You can also include a link to an online shop or gallery if you’d like, but make sure we know exactly the kind of things you’d like to see at the shop.
  • Consider your pricing – if you’re new to selling your art in shops, look around and see what other people are charging for similar items.
  • Do tell us what’s special about you and your pieces!

If you aren’t accepted to the shop…

  • Don’t worry! There are a lot of factors at play: your work may be very similar to another artists and we had to choose, your work might just not fit in with this year’s collection (we try to pair items of similar styles, color stories), or we might just not have the space needed to properly display your work. We try to keep our artist number in the 30-35 range, and we get more applicants than that.
  • There are usually other options for artist pop-ups in town during the winter, so please do let me know if you would like your information forwarded on to the organizations responsible for those events.
  • Let me know if you’d like further feedback, but please be nice! The decisions are always difficult, and typically they are mine alone. It’s a lot of work trying to pull together a cohesive collection from so many talented artists.
  • DO apply again next year. The shop is always evolving and so are you!

And if you ARE accepted into the shop’s collection…

TIPS FOR ACCEPTED ARTISTS

PACKAGING

  • All items will need to have a tag FIRMLY attached with their item number and price.
  • Even if you don’t have a website yet, it’s great to include your name or business name on your items.
  • Consider including your “story” on your packaging. It could be something very simple like “Handwoven in Issaquah, WA” or something a little longer. I talk about these details to customers when I can, but consider that most of your things will be given as gifts, and that story detail adds something special for the person who eventually receives it.
  • Think about how the price is put on your item or packaging. As a gift, it will often need to be removed without removing your business name or other value labeling. I like to use pencil, a removable price tag on my packaging, or put it on a portion of a tag that can be cut off.
  • Think about how items will be displayed…
    Necklaces will likely be taken out of boxes, so they should have identifying tags on their chains.
    Ornaments are often small or delicate- try to attach their tags to the other end of their hanging ribbon so that the ornament is still the most visible. Consider the size and style of your tagging on items like this.
  • All things will get handled a little bit, so think about ways to protect your items and labeling. Art prints do best with a firm backing board. You can usually find biodegradable sleeves for cards and prints and such if you’d like to avoid plastic packaging.
  • Scented items can be OVERWHELMING when they are here in quantity. Consider using packaging that can be opened or closed closed, or give me a sample of each item with the rest in giftable packaging.

My favorite packaging tricks…

  • Print on cardstock, and use a shape punch to make a tag. I am nuts about French Paper cardstocks.
  • Avery® Return Address Labels, 5167, 1/2″ x 1 3/4″, <<These return labels – in removable or permanent– are a great size for many things!
  • Write SKUs and Prices in pencil. I keep an eraser at the counter
  • Get a business card printed that can work as your story packaging, then tie or safety pin it!
  • Find packaging options at Clearbags (including compostable sleeve options), and EcoEnclose

DISPLAY

  • I mostly display things on shelves in the space. That means your items might be at eye level or lower. I move items around over the course of the shop. If you’d like to try to use your own display items, please keep in mind that I can’t use things that are overly tall, deep, or wide. I will definitely try to work with what you have, but I cannot guarantee it will work.
  • I typically do not put business, post cards, or personal signage out with items. These extra bits get kind of cluttered when I merchandise items together. I am happy to give business card to customers, though.