Monday, June 13, 2011

Just when you think the animal head biz is dead ...

Selling my animal sculptures is a real up and down business.

 I never know what will be in the email.  The first few months of this year were OK, not overwhelming, but OK.

In mid-May I shipped the last ordered piece, and began waiting for new work.
 And waiting, and waiting.

I did have one customer, who had purchased something from me earlier this year, who said she wanted a second piece.  We communicated about the specifics, and she indicated she was ready to order.  Then nothing.

I do not chase customers.  I never was good at the "ask for the sale" aspect of selling. But it is strange to get an email full of praise, with the comment that she would be placing the order the next day, and then nothing.

Whenever I get a lull in business I become convinced I will never sell another thing. I get full of self doubt and uncertainty. Why would anyone want one of my sculptures?

Before the economy and the housing markets crashed a few years ago, I always had a backlog of orders. But things have slowed down quite a bit. The slow down allowed me to turn my attention to doing what I could to improve the house, which was a good thing.

  Because I no longer want to have an inventory of finished work available for immediate shipping, my work load is dependent on orders showing up in the email. When I did  shows I had to have an inventory to fill my booth.

So, for the last few weeks I have been waiting.  I have been making slow but steady progress on the recipe project, but I have still been restless.

 On Sunday the wait ended.  I got an order for six animals from a man in London Ontario.  It will take me about a month to do the work.

YEA Canada.  Maybe the economy is picking up in our neighbor to the North.

I do have to run his credit card and get a pre authorization since the total will be well over two grand with the shipping.  I am also waiting for one more email from him acknowledging that he will have to pay any customs or VAT charged by his government.  I like to get that in print before I get too involved with the order.

I've had international customers be surprised by customs and shipping costs, so it's good to have it all straight up front.

I've had a few questions about how I make the animal heads, so I think I'll try posting a few in process picture as I work on these.  Better than removing wall paper!

What he ordered.


  1. yeah for a new customer!!!...should be busy building all those animal heads!

  2. Awesome1 That will keep you busy. Such a cool craft. I have never seen anything like it.

  3. Good for you! I will be very interested in seeing your "in process" photos.

  4. I totally identify with the uncertainty & self doubt you experience at times. London Ontario is just a short one hour drive from where we live so next time in London I will be keeping an eye our for your animal heads. Great work, keep it up:))

  5. The heads are so life-like. The detail you put into each one is phenomenal!

  6. Wow, that's a big order! You should never doubt your talent. You do amazing work. It's the economy!

  7. Congrats on your recent orders! That will certainly keep you busy!
    You are a very talented lady!!

  8. Congratulations! I think your animal heads could be a "leading indicator" of an improving economy. Let's go with that! Cheers!!!

  9. I just think these are so cute! We sell on e-bay and that too has come to a screeching halt. If you go through completed listings you see that hardly anything is selling....shipping is so expensive that it is hard when what I sell the shipping is more than the item. I always think if the powers to be are doing polls they need to look no further than e-bay. Smart idea to get verification of credit before you proceed...I would love to see your stuff in between the big boys with the real taxidermy heads on e-bay...I bet the women would buy it!


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