Wholesale Time

Recently, I set a goal for myself to develop wholesale and consignment relationships with several local gift and art shops. While many of my crafty business books discuss the legal side of wholesale/consignment relationships, I was having trouble finding advice as to how to find shops that might be interested in carrying my goods and then initiating a business relationship with them. However, in Meg Mateo Ilasco’s Craft Inc., I hit the jackpot. Ilasco goes through the wholesale/consignment process step by step, from finding and selecting stores, to presenting your wares to the store’s buyer in an initial interview, to maintaining the relationship over time.

Thanks to Ilasco’s advice and guidance, I’m taking my first step today toward fulfilling my goal: I am visiting several target stores as a shopper to determine how my products might fit with the store’s existing merchandise. A close friend and I will be going to 8 shops in three different Cincinnati neighborhoods, perusing their selection and determining which stores in each neighborhood most closely match my style and price range.

Only after I’ve determined that a shop is a good fit will I contact the store with information about my items. This saves me time, for I’m only going to reach out to businesses that well match my products, and it also saves the stores time, for I will approach them already knowing how my items will blend with the lines they currently carry.

I’m excited about taking this first important step toward reaching one of my major goals. Hopefully, in a few weeks, I’ll have positive news to relate about a shop in Cincinnati that will soon begin carrying items from the JennJill Designs product line.

About JennJill Designs

JennJill Designs provides the handcrafted goods of Jennifer Jill Araya. Visit www.JennJillDesigns.com to learn more.
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2 Responses to Wholesale Time

  1. haydemon says:

    Good luck! I know this one is a biggie. I know how tough it is to go into a “cold call” situation like that. Believe me, I’ve tried (and alas, failed). BUT YOU WON’T.:)

  2. Thanks, Monica! Today, my friend and I just visited the stores as shoppers, without letting the clerks know that I’m interested in possibly selling my items at or through the store. The goal was to find out if my products would be a good fit. We found several stores that I think would be perfect for my product lines. Next week, I’m planning to call each shop, send them my product information, and hopefully land an in-person interview with the store’s buyer to discuss my items. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes! Cold-calling is certainly tough, but it helps having the guidance of my crafty business books, so I know how the seasoned crafters go about finding new wholesale markets (and so I look I know what I’m doing, even if I don’t!).

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