Selling to boutiques is a great way to grow your crafty business. BUT, it can also be very nerve wracking and scary as hell! Here is a simple step by step guide to get you started.
- Create a list of stores that you would most like to carry your line. To make sure you don’t get too overwhelmed, pick your top 5 ideal stores. Make sure they are actually a good fit for your line and not just stores you love to shop at (hopefully they are both!)
- Do some research online. Who is the owner? What other lines do they carry? Do you know any of the designers of those lines personally? If so, ask them who the store buyer is or better yet, see if they can introduce you!
- Go shopping! If you have not been to your ideal stores in a while, set aside some time to check them out. Make sure you go when they will not be super busy (never go on the weekend!) If you are an accessory, jewelry or clothing designer make sure you wear some of your designs! If not, have a couple pictures of your products on your phone or bring a sample or catalog
- Introduce yourself! Tell whoever is working how much you LOVE their store. If you know some of the designers who they carry mention that too. Once you have a bit of a rapport mention that YOU are a fabulous designer. If you are wearing some of your gear this is the time to flaunt it or pull out your phone to show off your photos. Don’t be pushy, just friendly and engaging
- Ask who the buyer is. If it is the person who you are talking to, awesome, if not mention how much you would love to meet them. If they are in the back office maybe they will come out, if not you can just ask when a good time to stop by would be
- Grab a card! Regardless of what happens make sure you follow up with the appropriate buyer. Maybe the person working in the store is really busy and doesn’t have time to give you much attention. Make sure you leave them yours too. If they seem keen, a catalog and sample are great to leave behind too
- Follow up! Give it a few days and then send an email saying how lovely it was to chat with x. Your follow up should be more pictures and more information on you and your line. Give them a list of shows and other store you sell at. If you have some great press send them that too.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat! Not every store is going to want to carry your line. And that’s ok! There are plenty of fish in the sea, so if you get turned down use that information to tweak your approach and do it again. Biggest thing to remember is DON’T GET DISCOURAGED! Plus the more you do this, the easier it will get…I promise
Do you have any great tips or advice on selling your line into stores? I would love to hear it! Please leave them in the comments below.
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