If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Judy Dehoog of The Mombot Window Art, then you probably love her as much as we do. We were so excited to hear she was going to be hanging her art in a local coffee shop and wanted to ask her about her business and this opportunity. You can see her window art on display from now until August at Block 1912 Cafe on 10361 82 Ave Edmonton, AB and you can also check out and purchase pieces from her Made Urban shop: themombot.madeurban.com/
We love the story behind your windows, can you tell us a bit about why you started making your window art? There came a time when I needed a gift for someone who had everything! I thought it was a unique idea and because it was handmade, it was thoughtful and truly one of a kind! It was received with great enthusiasm! I made a few more as gifts, then I started getting requests to make them for others to give as gifts and so on. I took the hint and looked for ways to sell them to the general public. *check out the full story behind how she came up with the gift idea on The Mombot’s website
How many years have you been working on The Mombot Window Art and what have you found to be most beneficial to its growth? For the past 8 years I have been doing the Edmonton Downtown Farmer’s Market on 104 Street/City Hall where I ‘set up shop’ year round every Saturday. Patience, persistent, consistency and commitment are key to building a solid customer base. The market is perfect for me. Customers are aware of my presence and return to buy. Tourists and new customers come on a regular basis and keep the business growing. The market gives me the opportunity to have a permanent ‘shop’ at a reasonable price and I can still participate in other shows and events.
What’s been the most difficult part of your handmade business and how have you overcome it? The past few years have seen strong growth in sales. Keeping up with demand is the most difficult because collecting and preparing the flora is extremely time consuming. There are so many supplies I need to collect because they cannot be purchased and a very short season to collect them in! In January I began to focus full time on my window art. Even with extra time it fills my days with activities surrounding the creation of my art.
You’ve been a part of several great shows and events over the years, how do you decide which ones to be a part of? Sometimes it’s a matter of trial and error. The cost of participating is really not the main guide in deciding which shows to do. The venue, the mix of vendors, the enthusiasm, the promotion, word of mouth from previous attendees- everything that goes into the show is what is important. I have to believe in what I’m participating in whether it’s a fund raiser or just a sale.
Your art is going to be displayed at Block 1912 Cafe until August, how did this opportunity come about? Persistence, patience and sometimes being in the right place at the right time is all it takes. When at the Edmonton Downtown Farmer’s Market, the manager of Block 1912 Cafe recognized my work. He had seen a piece hanging in The Edmonton Journal building and asked if I wanted to put some pieces in the cafe. I said YES!
Typically how many pieces do you need for a showcase like this? It relies on how big an area you need to fill. You also need to decide how much stock ( which translates to dollars) you want to have tied up hanging in an establishment. There are currently 10 pieces on display at Block 1912 Cafe with possibility to hang more.
How do you decide on which pieces to hang? I have sole responsibility to hang the pieces I would like to feature. Because they are inside and semi-permanent I created some larger pieces. The price points vary from $100 to $300 being the most expensive.
What is the process if a piece sells? At Block 1912 Cafe the customer can buy directly at the cafe or if interested can contact me directly. If the consumer decides to take the piece then it is my responsibility to replace it.
If you could give one piece of advice to other artists/handmade business owners, what would it be? Never stop learning, changing, adapting, or growing.