Q: With gasoline prices rising so substantially in recent months, my transportation expenses for attending shows and fairs this summer and fall will be exceeding what I had projected in my 2011 operating budget at the beginning of the year. Is there a way of attending these events without breaking the bank?
—Mark Hursdahl, via e-mail
A: The cost of moving your product from the studio to the show or to the consumer is, of course, a valid business expense. Therefore, you’re entitled to get paid what it actually costs to provide this service, in this case moving you and your work to the shows you plan to do. A plan could be to find other craftspeople from your area participating in a show. This would allow renting a common vehicle and reducing transportation costs. This could be a solution to this year’s problem, but it’s not the best long-term arrangement. The bottom line is, you have to raise your prices to reflect the increased cost of doing business. The airlines do it, UPS does it, and utilities do it. You can do it.
Donald Clark is the author of Making a Living in Crafts and was a partner in Ferrin Gallery for 25 years. In addition to writing, he is currently a consultant to artists, a personal property appraiser, and a collection manager. He also continues to create his constructions that have been shown extensively and collected internationally.