At Your Open Studio; Always Offer Cake

Always Offer Cake or Biscuits During Your Open Studio

You may remember all those tips and tricks folk are advised to use when trying to sell their home.

The reality is they work!

Smells and Emotions

Studies have shown that eight in ten people admit an aroma can make them happy, and fresh coffee was found to be the UK’s fifth favourite smell behind fresh bread, flowers, and a cake baking in an oven. There’s no doubt that catching a whiff of one of these is likely to appeal to potential collector, but that doesn’t mean they will be putting their hand in their pocket to buy your creation.

Your local bakery might purposefully allow the aroma from its ovens to emit onto the street to tempt in passing trade, but the purchasing of a tiger loaf requires a lot less consideration than purchasing some of your art.

That being said, it is definitely advisable to make your home as attractive as possible to potential collectors and, whilst not a deal breaker, one or all of these aromas will certainly help you. Whether you have time to brew coffee, bake bread and cakes, or arrange some flowers before they turn up is another matter!

What is the Ideal Smell for Open Studio Events?

Research shows that, although these items do not make the top 5 favourite aromas, a combination of white tea and fig is the smell you should be fanning around your house. Three years ago, a major house builder commissioned aroma experts to mix the ideal smell and this was the concoction they came up with.

The thinking was that they emit a more subtle aroma than coffee, bread and cake and provide a freshness that enhances the clean design of new builds in particular. The house builder began placing this aroma in all of its properties and claims it sold 14 homes in the weeks after the experiment began.Of course, we have no data about how many shouses they normally smell…we mean, sell!

What Else Can You Do?

If you don’t have time to track down enough white tea to fill the house, there are still plenty of ways you can make your home as attractive as possible to potential collectors.  Neutral colours are best for helping potential collectors visualise what your creations might look like in their space.

Remember that buyers like to touch things like taps and the handles on inbuilt furniture. Make sure they don’t rattle and they are not stiff. Also, give anything they may touch a really good clean because any dust or dirt coming off on their hands could be a real turn-off.

You might also consider doing a trial Open Studio with a friend or members of your family. Imagine they are a potential collector and go through everything you would on a real Open Studio event. Your ‘visitor’ can tell you honestly what they liked and what might put them off and they may even pick up on issues that you no longer notice, but which might affect a potential collectors’ experience of your home. All of this will help give you the perfect chance to show off your artwork at its very best.

A clean studio with properly displayed well-lit work will sell more than something which looks like the set to a new production of ‘Stig of the Dump’.

Elsewhere we have written about how to prepare for Open Studio Success.

The top tip is ALWAYS HAVE CAKE OR BISCUITS (go organic gluten-free if you have to), but make sure you are able to offer a cup of tea and food as if you are greeting friends you have not seen in a while.  Sitting down, drinking tea or coffee, having a chat, eating cake, makes folk feel like they are in the company of a friend and you have more chance of developing a Real Collector.

This is particularly important is your Open Studio venue is slightly off the beaten track.  Of course there are going to be folk to see 97 people rush through their space and onto the next and yes in terms of numbers, of course, those folk will sell, but will they have had the opportunity to properly cement the Real Collector relationship, something which results in the annual pilgrimage and the annual purchase?



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With artists are able to take control of their own careers, list their own pieces for sale to collectors and undertake their own fulfillment of orders.

The only stipulation on is that the work you list is your own and is original. Where prints are for sale, we ask that all image copyrights belong to you and that you are legally disposed to sell the pieces you have on offer.

The site is FREE to use with only 10% sales commission OR for those willing to bet on themselves with only a nominal subscription (from less than £1/month) to upload unlimited artwork and very low 3% commission on sales. If you are a creative, is the best option you have.

Header Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

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