Life of a Gallery Owner

The Life of a Gallery Owner

Guest Blog Post – Sarah Duggan (Baxters Gallery)

Baxters has been established in Foss Street in Dartmouth for over 13 years now. The popular gallery is a destination not only for paintings and original prints but a wide selection of ceramics, sculpture, jewellery and greetings cards.  Owner Sarah Duggan is passionate about handmade and supports many makers and artists across the UK via the gallery and her website.

Where do you find all the lovely things you sell?

It’s a real mixture and I suppose I’m always looking, whether it’s on social media, at art and craft fairs, at the many emails I receive weekly or even at presents I get which I think are fabulous! Sometimes artists I know will recommend friends or people’s work they’ve seen that they think would be my style too. Some work is from well established artists but I like to support new makers too.

People often think there are big trade shows that I can pick from but there are only 2 very small events like this. I would also say that probably only 1 in a 100 of artists who walk in the door or the emails I receive are right for Baxters because it’s important they fit my look.

I sell a wide range of materials and prices and I have a fairly small space but they all need to work together to create an atmosphere that I like to think is welcoming and interesting. Customers often comment that there’s always something new and I think that’s really important.

What might you do in a day?

My daily life is incredibly varied with the many roles that an independent retailer has to perform and includes being a professional photographer and copywriter for the website and social media, planning our May ceramic exhibition and liaising with artists, unpacking and displaying new deliveries, packing website orders, always looking for new makers, answering all the emails and other queries. As well as framing our range of John Gillo and Chas Jacobs prints of the local area, ordering new work , doing admin tasks like the VAT, paying bills, arranging insurance or an advertising feature and amongst all of that there are obviously the all important customers to chat to and hopefully take some money from!

What is it like having a business in Dartmouth?

Well it’s Dartmouth so it’s pretty special being here and even after all this time I still love coming to work every day. Foss Street is a wonderful street to be in and we work together to make it look special whether it’s with flowers, bunting or our Festive Fun Day on Saturday 21st December when we thank our customers with entertainers, food, drinks and snow.

Baxters can be found at 12 Foss Street Dartmouth TQ6 9DR or online at baxtersgallery.co.uk

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