Sunday, February 17, 2013

Going Wholesale!

I've always been interested in doing wholesale, but have not had the good fortune like other artisans to be approached by businesses.  Back when I was going to school in OR, I did meet with one local business with all of my inventory and, to my surprise, she bought from me right on the spot.   Looking back on the meeting... wow, was I naive!  And while the experience was interesting, to say the least, it did get my feet wet (but boy oh boy I didn't know what I was doing!).

Recently, I learned how big a deal going wholesale really is.  That there's lots of paperwork involved on both ends of the transaction.  And then there's this thing called a "wholesale kit": line sheets, lookbooks, contracts, business terms, permits, etc.  Being overwhelmed/confused by this info is an understatement.  Feeling lost may be more accurate.  Hopefully my desire to do wholesale propels me to easily figure this all out (ha!).  Oddly enough, there really isn't anything out there on Google for doing it yourself, and I can't afford someone else doing it for me right now.  So perhaps, once I figure it all out, I can throw together a wholesale-how-to for newbies.  For now, this is one of the best, super simple resources I've found: by The Mother Huddle.

There are several great boutiques in the town of my grad school - the community is really rallying around emphasizing local and handmade, which is great.  I decided to muster up the courage (not sure if that's the right word, but it certainly took me out of my comfort zone because I hate doing anything where I feel unprepared or uneducated) to approach one of them via e-mail.  Because I don't know the technical/professional way to go about it, I spoke from my heart instead.  I was pinning my hopes on perhaps a small boutique owner being more sympathetic to my naivete.

Lucky for me, the owner said yes to an appointment!  She didn't specify whether I'd be a wholesale or consignment account, but I'm going in with samples of all of my jewelry line.  Seeing as she owns a boutique filled with unique finds, I figure my OOAK Chiyogami jewelry would be a perfect fit.  This morning I started some fresh samples, and below is a pic of my progress from about an hour ago.  My appointment is in a couple days.  I'm super nervous, but I'm going to try my best to be prepared.  Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck! I have done wholesale on a small scale (200 is the most ornaments I have done at once). I like it a lot more than commission work. I did do the Atlanta Gift Mart and it was a whole different world than your average craft show. I am going to pop on over to the link. I think my biggest challenge is finding the companies than want wholesale handmade without shelling out a lot of money to be in wholesale shows etc.