On being an artisan . . .

I'm a little mad at the moment, and should wait that 24 hours before doing anything, but what the heck!  I mentioned before that I sell soap at a little artisan store on main street, and it is run by another artisan that creates leatherwork.  There is a total of 24 artists and crafters that sell from this store, and about 4 that actually operate it, myself being one of them.

In the beginning, a lot of these people were from the local farmers market, who decided to open a storefront after the summer season, and who would all split the rent and expenses.  Good so far.  The leather guy put all in his name and has the final say on whatever goes on, rightfully so.  But after a few months, a lot of the artisans quit because of the slow season (January - April) and other artists were added on a consignment basis.  So I joined about 5 months ago, and started contributing to my share of the rent.  Little did I know, is that there is a lot of different rates and payments for different people.

I find out that the painting artists, with art that hangs on the walls, pay only a 10% commission and no rent.  Artisans with products such as pottery or fabric arts, pay a 30% commission and no rent.  Five of us, myself included, pay rental and no commission.  But us rent payers said that we didn't think it was fair that some of us pay rent, yet some don't.  Sure some pay commission, but ultimately, us rent payers are paying for the others to have a space.  And when the others have a sale, they pay a small commission and get the balance of their monies.  Yet when us rent payers have sale, we need to sell a certain amount first to cover our rent, before we see any of our monies.  The Dictator says he has come up with a plan and that is $1 per day, plus 10% commission.  We all say okay. 

So a couple of days ago, I tell the bookkeeper/artisan that I would like to switch over to the new commission method, mainly because I really have a problem with paying other people's rent so they can sell stuff.  She says she will tell the Dictator.  Today I go into the store to man it, along with the Dic, thinking that I will be on the commission method, mainly because new artists have joined and they are on this new method, so why wouldn't I be?

One of the painter artists comes in to pick up her monies, and the Dic gives me my envelop as well.  I say I was told there was a 3-digit amount here, but there is only $9.56.  He says he took my rent out!  I said that I don't want to pay the rent, I want what other people have, I want to switch to commission, any one of the commission methods, and why do the new people get a better deal than me?  The Dic goes on about the rent and expenses etc, and that we are all switching over in August anyways, I say I want to switch now.  He refuses.  I am on the verge of tears. 

I am now understanding why this man is single.

Even the artist who was in to get her money is siding with me.  She is a well known and gifted painter and has had her art in many galleries, and is trying to tell him how other galleries do their commissions, etc.  He wants to do it his way.

Oh, and did I mention that I had a store myself?  With artists of every caliber?  That I dealt with commissions for years, and rent, and expenses, etc.  Did I also mention that I have been nominated for Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, and Customer Service of the Year?  All from my soap and artist store?  Yet this early-retired Fisherman knows better.

So I have been paying rent, manning the store, bringing display materials from home, re-decorating the front display window, making signs with my materials, advertising for the store, trying to recruit more artists, washing the front windows, and bringing the Dic my homemade cheesecake!  All for free!  So other people can reap the financial benefits! 

People describe me as mellow and calm.  But we all have our breaking points.  Even people who have known me for years are surprised when they hear me yell for the first time, mostly surprised because I can yell really loud.  I am beyond explaining the unfairness of his methods.  I think I am going to pull a stealth maneuver, go tonight to the store, and retrieve all my stuff from the store.  I know that when I tell my boyfriend about this, that is exactly what he will say. 

And to top it all off, he insulted my soap.  He says that the artists such as painters pay less money and commission because thier stuff is really art, whereas my stuff is just following a recipe and mixing it.

It was at this point where I got very quiet.  I don't talk when I am mad.  I will answer you, I may look at you.  But I sure am not going to have a nice little conversation.

At the artisan store, I have soap, a dozen varieties, essential oils, books that I have co-wrote, and little soap gift bags, filling up a 3 level receded shelf.  I have also brought in one display table, and an assortment of table cloths for the displays, two of which are in the front window.  Which means that when I remove my belongings, one artist will not have a display table any longer and her stuff will be on the floor.  My cloth-covered shelf will revert back to its rustic-not-carpenter-made self, and the front display window will be back to its rustic-fake-grass-plywood-looking-non-decorative self.

Oh, and by the way, he would like me to be in tomorrow.

UPDATE:  We, my boyfriend and I, did go to the store to get my stuff and what a hassle!  The Dic did return some of my money but then just had to add a new cleaning fee of $25, to me only, his way of being an even larger ass and still screw me out of money.  He is the type that has to have the last word, has to be right even when he is not. He had also called one of the artists and told her that I had dumped her stuff on the floor and took her table (it was my table and I was lending it at the moment), and upsetting her for no reason.  Since this stealing of my money, we have talked to a couple of other people and they too were aware of his stealing ways.  One being a guitar from a music store at the Lake, and another being cash from a horse riding club.  Also, he illegally sleeps and lives there at the business, I found him there when I stopped by at 1 am once.  So us rent payers are also providing his housing, where he really should take advantage of the shower.  

1 comment:

  1. I also know he can't really sing or play the guitar that well either! LOL