Running Your Own Woodworking Business

Creating and selling these woodworking pieces can be a part time or full time income for you. I have been creating them for over 20 years and have done it both ways.

These are custom woodworking products that almost sell themselves to private parties, retailers or business entities. I have even sold some of them to Disney, Red Lobster and Sea World. (Please note that we are not affiliated with these companies)

Every gift shop that I select is overwhelmed by them. They call folks out of the back to come look at the wood sculptures when I come in. I don’t have any trouble getting my woodworking items accepted by gift shops and galleries. In fact, I have to be very selective and only choose the ones that I know will merchandise the sculptures well.

I only choose high end gift shops and galleries, rather than place my woodsculptures in shops that sell a lower class of merchandise.

Usually the gallery will take 30% or 40% of the retail price as a commission. Don’t sell them cheaply; make sure you get a good price for them.

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Over the years, the three pelicans have been the most popular, and I have sold more pelicans than anything else. The Manta Rays and the sharks are also very popular – especially the Large Shark. People fall in love with these sculptures.

How much you make is up to you: from zero dollars to $100,000. It depends on how serious you are about it. As I mentioned elsewhere, at one time I had a shop that employed 8 people. At that time, the Small Pelican was selling for $9. It now sells for $39, so you can see how the potential revenue has increased with inflation.

Here is a list of marketing ideas for you to consider:

  • Art shows – make your sculptures through the week and attend the art shows on weekends to sell your work.
  • If you’re not interested in doing art shows, you may sell to individuals who would then take the sculptures and attend art shows on their own.
  • Sell out of your own shop.
  • Sell to or put on consignment in art galleries and gift shops.
  • Offer your sculptures for sale to interior decorators.
  • Market sculptures to restaurants and/or large companies.