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CDHM dollhouse miniature All about dollhouse foods in miniature

How your mini food CDHM artisan sharing their st patricks day creations for the dollhouse
can bring in the green

By Betsy Niederer

It happens to a lot of us after the mini-bug bites - that desire (or in my case need) to sell your work. Hey, you need to buy more supplies! Most of us aren't lucky enough to find a leprechaun and steal his gold, so we need to use more conventional ways to fund our addiction.

One of the things I hear often from mini-food makers is that it can be very hard to sell their work. There are lots of reasons for this; the recession, too much competition, widely available manufactured food tends to sell for much less, and the vagaries of on-line selling venues. The fact is that handmade miniature food (as well as all handmade miniatures) takes time and patience, and is of a much higher quality and variety than mass produced.

CDHM artisan Tamara Barnes shares her st patricks day cake for the dollhouse What can you do to make your work stand out? Here are suggestions from some of the CHDM mini-food makers:

Let CDHM work for you. The staff tirelessly promotes the galleries (so if you don't have one, start and keep it filled up). If good pictures of your work are available, the staff can submit them to publishers to get your miniatures noticed!

Wendy S. of Wendy's Miniatures takes out one print ad a year in a miniatures magazine, and from that she has received online orders and also phone inquiries. She also does the Greater Cleveland Miniature Show each year, and stays very active on the miniature-related message boards.

CDHM artisan Courtney Strong of Courts Creations created soda bread for st patricks day for the 1/12 scale collector

Linda Cummings has offered many food-making tutorials, which is a wonderful way to get your work noticed. People want to learn the techniques of making realistic food and in many cases collect special pieces from the teacher as well. Many of us have found that teaching classes introduces many potential collectors. You're thinking that you can't teach? You'd be surprised - offering a class on CDHM is easy and fun.

Jocelyn (jteoaiwei) and Cindy (snowfern) love to blog and are convinced that being active on social websites such as Facebook are a wonderful way for people to get to know you and your work. CDHM artisan Michele Kelly creates 1/12 scale dollhouse miniature foods

To summarize, here are a checklist of ideas to help you get your name and work noticed by miniature collectors:
Start a CDHM gallery and fill it with good, clear pictures of your work. Keep the photos fresh so there are always new things for people to see. Look at the finished gallery to see if your word choices are clear and you have a price displayed; CDHM artisan and IGMA Fellow Linda Cummings has created shamrock cookies for st patricks day for the 1/12 scale collector

■  Start a blog and update it regularly. Again, use good, clear pictures both close-up detail and angled shots to show size;

■  Offer to teach a class for your local miniature club, CDHM, or put a tutorial on your blog. If you teach it…they will come!

■  Be active on social networking sites and message boards. Post pictures of your work (don't be shy), and let people know what you do;

■  Put some of your work on several different sales sites - try to list something new every week to keep your name out there; CDHM artisan Cynthia Taylor dollhouse miniature food

■  Don't underprice your work!

■  Take the plunge and do a show (a small one at first). You don't have to have a ton of stock, just enough for people to see a good variety of your work (and take orders).
Remember 'the customer is always right'. If you keep your buyers happy, they will tell others!

I hope that some of these suggestions start you on your way to bringing in more "green" in 2010!

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Custom Dolls, Houses & Miniatures / CDHM