Artist Spotlight: Roxann Astra Slate

Artist Spotlight: Roxann Astra Slate

Roxann Astra Slate, Brooklyn, NY

Roxann Astra Slate grew up in a family of glass artists. Exploring the magic of glass fuels her inspiration. Roxann creates her glass at UrbanGlass in Downtown Brooklyn, New York.

Describe Your Work:
Each unique piece is created by heating glass rods in a 2,000 degree flame. All findings are sterling silver.

How did you get started in the crafts business?
I’m a second generation glass artist. After many years working in the New York fashion jewelry world I quite. When I had a full time fashion job, I stay connected to glass by teaching and maintaining a small selection of consignment galleries. These partnerships gave me the confidence to commit to working on my glass jewelry line full time.

How long have you been wholesaling?
I’ve been wholesaling my glass jewelry in various forms for almost 10 years. In the last 3 years I’ve expanded my wholesale representation to over 40 active accounts.

What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?
#1. Doing my research, looking online for reputable fine craft galleries around the country. Taking the time to thoroughly look through their assortment to make sure my product is the right fit. For example, many galleries carrying handmade glass but only carry fine jewelry. Or frequently galleries prioritize local or regional artists.

#2. Sending samples to galleries and stores I think are the best fit for my product. Even if you have high quality product photography nothing compares to seeing and handling the work in person.

#3. Setting calendar reminds to follow up. Many galleries have seasonal business or large museum of have a limited budget annually. If a retailer turns me down I try to keep the door open by asking when they review their product assortment or when they have the funds available to buy. I then set a calendar remainder to follow up with them.

What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?
60% of my business is wholesale, 40% of my business is ever changing mix of retail pop-ups and fabrication projects for other artists.

How has IndieMe helped your business?
IndieMe has helped me stay informed about my fellow crafts people. It's nice to see other artists' motifs and price points. For the customers I have who use IndieMe they appreciate having all their orders in one platform.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?
My advise to new crafts people is to keep working on their art. To know that even people well established still have moments of self doubt. Nothing bad ever comes from making yourself humble and asking for a critique from someone you respect. Lastly, be open to consignment. It's a great way to have access to a venue without asking the owner to take on any risk.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?
My advise for galleries is to look for artists you can partner with long term. I deeply appreciate my oldest galleries that share with me information about best sellers, ideal price points, and new trends they notice.

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