How to Wholesale Your Art or Handmade Work

by Carolyn Edlund

Is wholesaling a business model that can work for you? Get the basics, right here.


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There are different models for selling your art or handmade work. Among them are selling retail, consigning, taking commissions, and also wholesaling. Selling your work wholesale means that an order is placed by a retailer, and that it is sold before it is made. If you have a studio setup where you can produce multiples of your collection and ship orders to stores, you can usually sell wholesale. The beauty of wholesaling is that your work is sold outright – without your taking the risk that consignment entails.

Before I created the Artsy Shark blog, I had a production studio for over 20 years, and I pursued wholesaling as my primary income model. Wholesaling allowed me to leverage my designs, hire studio staff, sell to hundreds of stores, and make a very good living. It is a viable way to not only sell your work, but to gain repeat customers who do business with you for years. And that is a formula for growth and a stable business!

In addition to running this website, I’m the Executive Director of The Arts Business Institute. In that capacity, I’ve been writing articles about wholesaling for years, and speaking about the topic in professional development workshops.

Now, The Arts Business Institute has launched a new series of online courses called Wholesale Academy. The foundational course that I have written for this series is How to Wholesale: A Step-by-Step Guide for the Creative Entrepreneur.

This comprehensive course includes seven units, each with multiple lessons:

  • Wholesale Basics
  • Moving from Consignment to Wholesale
  • The Wholesale Marketplace
  • Your Business Structure and Systems
  • Pricing and Profitability
  • Getting Paid
  • Growing Your Wholesale Business

The online course also has instructional videos in each unit, checklists and templates, self-evaluations, artist stories and hot tips, and sells for $129.00.

Interested in learning what wholesaling can do for your small creative business? Click the button below for detailed information.


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