Hagar, of Gilgulim, excitedly posted about the new co-op she was working with in March of 2010. See the other post here. Unfortunately, the co-op did not last beyond a year of operation. Hagar shares some of her insights on why it failed. Undaunted, she plans on forming another group. Sometimes it takes a painful experience to understand the potential pitfalls of a project. Once those addressed, success is much more likely! Here is what she says:
Why did our artists' co-op die so young?
Eight good artists and craftsmen, highly motivated and hardworking, with a jewel of a shop, an elaborate contract and fairly good understanding between them were the force behind Vitrina Co-op. Still, our artists' co-op closed on March 1st, just a year after the grand opening.
We may put the blame on world's economy or on Israel's summer social revolt, but actually, we have to look for the answers inside our group itself. A few of the reasons for failure include:
- Lack of patience and eagerness for quick success.
- An uneven share of sales as opposed to equal expense sharing.
- An absence of understanding that our power comes from being a group and that the shop should be run as one business.
- The lack of acceptance that running a street shop is very different from selling from one's studio.
- That joining an artists' co-op means an artist has matured from a hobby phase to an active marketing and selling stage.
Vitrina co-op was a highly interesting and enriching experience for me and I still believe that an artists' co-op is a very good solution for arts and crafts marketing. I am already looking into forming a new artists' co-op!
|Inside Vitrina Co-op|
Read more about how to establish a co-op to free artists from their loneliness: Post on Hagar's blog.
You can keep up with Hagar and her next endeavors on her blog. Hagar makes beautiful jewelry out of vintage ties and other odds and ends she finds at thrift markets:
How about you? Have you ever participated in any type of a co-op? If so, are there any valuable lessons you would like to share with us? We would love to hear them!