This is a guide about how Katoenclub works and enables artists to have their merchandise produced while taking (part of) the promotion, purchasing, and sales off their hands.
Each quarter, we invite four artists to join Katoenclub. Together with the artists, we choose in total four designs to be printed. Since we're not commissioning but collaborating, as Katoenclub we don't ask artists to create new work, although they're free to do so if they wish to.
All new designs are displayed in our shop on Oudegracht for the quarter. We also have an iPad display where all the designs from the previous collaborations can be browsed. Walk-in customers can choose a design and a garment or accessory to be printed on the spot. Then our colleagues will print their order in ten minutes. Because we print on demand, we don't have a stock of printed items. This means no waste!
Each print sold pays the artist €5 (incl. VAT) regardless of the price of the item. We pay the artists once at the end of their quarter and then annually, at the beginning of each year. In a quarter, an average of 10 to 60 items per artist are sold in the shop. We do kindly ask artists to promote their collection and engage with their network/social media to boost their sales.
We print the designs with our full-colour DTG (Direct To Garment) printers. We have the option to go up to 35cm wide / 40cm high, at any desired location on the shirt (front or back). We print only on high-quality GOTS-certified textiles from Stanley/Stella among others. Different models and seasonal colours are only available in the shop. You can check the size guide for all the items we sell online here.
Offline, each artist has a section with their prints hanging and a shelf/pedestal where they can display or sell small items such as pins, patches, socks etc. The artist decides the price for these items and Katoenclub doesn't take any commissions. The sales of these items would be directly paid to the artist at the end of the quarter. We create flyers for each artist to promote their prints. Walk-in customers can take these and we include one with every online order (these are available during the quarter).
Online, each artist has their custom landing page, where all their designs are visible and more info about them can be found, including links to their portfolio and preferred social media profile.
We ask a few artists per edition to draw on our shop window, ideally before the launch and then mid quarter. This truly makes the shop a magical attraction and it's one of our favourite day to watch all passers reacting and engaging with the artist. As a thank you, we give a gift card (€100) to the artists who'd like to do this.
We're always happy to meet new artists. If you're interested in collaborating for future editions, feel free to contact us. When we make a selection we usually try to combine different styles and media (so we can offer diverse prints) and look for a certain aesthetic. This is hard to explain but basically, we combine "what we fall in love with" and "what we think people might like and buy". If your work is selected, we will reach out to you to see if you're still interested and available for the collaboration. The decision-making moment is of course when we meet (ideally IRL, for artists based outside of the Netherlands, a video call would be ok too) and if everyone feels good and is equally enthusiastic about the collaboration.
At the beginning of each quarter, we organize a "new edition launch party" with drinks and snacks. This gives the edition a power start and boosts the visibility online and offline. Artists may invite anyone they'd like and together we toast to the launch of a new Katoenclub edition! (Although, since the beginning of 2020, all gatherings are canceled and we're looking forward to the days we can once more have these vibrant launch parties. Hang in there!)