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Retailer Spotlight: Susan Rodgers Design

Retailer Spotlight: Susan Rodgers Design

Susan Rodgers, Port Jefferson, NY

Susan Rodgers Designs Artisan Jewelry and Fine Craft is situated in the historic town of Port Jefferson, New York. This building was the original gin mill during the boat building days of the 1800's called the "Bucket of Blood". During World War II it was "Gramma's Sweet Shop"
and has transformed many times since then.

Describe your gallery.
Susan, an American artisan herself for sixteen years, operates the gallery with over 30 American made artists in the gallery. Many forms of craft are available for purchase, including jewelry, pottery, blown glass,fiber and leather goods. Most of the other artisans in the gallery she has had the opportunity to know personally, making the process of selling their work that much more gratifying. It is wonderful to share the stories and creation process of the artist with her clients. At the gallery, you are not just purchasing a beautiful piece of jewelry or gift, but a handmade piece created by an American artisan with a story to tell.

Year Founded:

Square Feet of Retail Space:

Why did you decide to open a gallery?
Susan decided to open the gallery to create a venue that offered only handmade pieces. As an artisan jeweler herself, she found that in locations that housed both handmade and imported mass produced pieces, the American artist could not truly be appreciated and the client could not sufficiently be educated and aware of the difference between the two.

How many artists do you represent?
We have over 30 American made artists in the gallery.

How do you promote your artists/gallery?
Susan promotes the artists in various ways - Trunk shows where the artist is featured and the clients get to meet them, Facebook, Workshops with visiting artists, Instagram and monthly newsletters.

What percentage of merchandise is made in the U.S.? Canada? Imported?
With the exception of Kitras Glass, all the work in the gallery is American Made. There is no imported work.

What trade shows do you attend?
We attend the ACRE Philadelphia, NY Now shows.

What attracts you to new merchandise?

Originality and the artist story attracts Susan to new merchandise. Our clients love to hear the back story of each artist.

Do you consign?
We do consignment on occasion.

Do you sell online?
Some of the artists our featured on our web store through our Square site :

What is your shopping routine on IndieMe?
We usually use the keyword search to find a specific product line.

Who generates the biggest sales for you? Tourists? Locals? Repeat Customers? Collectors?
Since we are located in a historic port town, the summer client is generally tourists, however the rest of the year is mainly repeat customers who live locally.

What retail price point sells best?
The retail price point that works best is generally $ 80 however this is more during the holiday season.

How is business? Any thoughts for the future of craft galleries?
Business has consistently increased since it has been established, with word of mouth recommendations creating new customers on a consistent basis.Susan is optimistic that the future for craft galleries is bright, with the public being more aware of the importance of the small business and the promotion of local/American made wares.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?
Advice we would have for new galleries is to make the atmosphere suitable to really showcase the artist, to tell their story to the client so the client's purchase is a more personable one. That makes handmade stand apart from venues that sell mass produced imported work.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?
My advise to new crafts artists is to have a cohesive collection of work, choose your unique style and stick to that exclusively. Also make it easy for a prospective buyer to view your work, whether it be at a wholesale trade show or line sheet. With so many artists to see it is best to clearly display the work and prices - the creativity of some of the booths is amazing, but remember the booth design can hinder the ability to attract the buyer to the work. Line sheets make it simple to view and order.

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