Lessons of the past...
Once upon a time, I had my art in three retail locations and one art gallery. One of the retail locations didn't work out for me ( no sales ), the other went out of business due to the recession and the final one fell prey to "hot mess management syndrome."
She seemed to The owner, who had just bought the "gallery" was the very definition of a "hot mess." She seemed to have it all together but apparently had no idea how to run a business or budget her expenses, pay her lease, manage her money, etc. They stuck me on the back wall in a room that was - the whole time I was there - "under construction." I was desperate to get into a store in the tourist mecca of Dahlonega, GA. However, all was not well...
The owner got married while I was there and I came in early one Saturday morning to find the lights off in my little room and the room full of her wedding decorations from the wedding they had the week before. Other artists said they were told to turn off the lights because they didn't want anyone walking back there and tripping over the stuff on the floor. Where my art was hanging - and YES, this was a retail location where the artist PAYS the store for space! I was a little miffed but never said anything about it. It took them almost a week to move the stuff and turn the lights back on. There were other "grievances" but this was the most hurtful to my fledgling brand, locally speaking.
Our agreement was $175 a month ( in 2014!) and I was to pay 3 months at a time. Fine. We did that. We sold one $200 painting through them and they didn't pay me for it until the day I hauled my stuff out of there. Why did I haul my stuff out of there? Because suddenly at the end of the first three months they demanded 6 months payment up front.
I said, " Well, that wasn't our deal."
They said: " I know, but we need you to pay for 6 months up front."
The thing went out of business shortly thereafter, no doubt they needed some fast cash. I doubt that my 6 months payment would have saved them. None of the artists there seemed to be very happy with how things are run.
And that's when ole Owl learned a very important lesson about retail "pay to play" art galleries and antique shops ( applies to them too):
In general, the only people who really make any real money doing retail or gallery art are the people who own the building. After that, I just started to sell everything online.