Market Monday: Renegade SF Wholesale

Renegade San Francisco is consistently one of the more (if not the most) highly regarded shows they put on. Last year they introduced a wholesale market to the equation-- a separate day just for buyers. This being the second year of it, it looks like they are keeping it around, so we asked #ahasmember Stacy Wong to tell us her first-timer experience at their last show. 

Did you do Renegade SF or wholesale? What was your experience?

Q: Tell us about your shop! What do you make? How long for? What's the process?
A: My shop is Stacy Wong - Authentic Wood Goodness. I make cool gifts and modern keepsakes for littles and big people. I have been creating and making in wood for over 10 years.  

I'm a very visual person so I need to see always things - whether it's mixing colors of paint to obtaining the right shade of color or building an actual prototype in wood to be able to visualize how the product will work. I work with a lot of samples in order to fine-tune graphics, images, and color combinations. 

Q: How did you hear about this show?
A: I heard about the show through Renegade Craft emails and their website. I knew they had done an initial wholesale show in 2014 but really could not find much information about it. 

Q: Why did you decide to apply to this show? 
A: I am interested in growing my wholesale business so since I was applying to the SF retail show I’d thought it would be an easy opportunity to connect with bay area stores/boutiques. 

Q: How is this different from the "normal" Renegade SF?
A: The wholesale show is the Friday before the retail show and ran from 12 Noon until 5pm.  Buyers and stores were encouraged to pre-register for the show ahead on the Renegade website but they also pretty much allowed any buyer to register the day of the event at the Fort Mason venue. 

Q: Were there any special requirements to be admitted to this show?
A: No, there weren’t any special requirements to do the show. It did cost $150 additional for the wholesale show. 

Q: What was the atmosphere like?
A: The show atmosphere was casual and relaxed. Buyers were given drink tickets they could use during the show. 

Although buyer traffic was light, I met buyers from children’s stores, clothing boutiques, stationery stores, and museum shops. Although the majority of buyers were from the bay area, I heard there were also buyers from Santa Barbara and Washington State. 

Q: What kind of vendor would do well here or not do well here?
A: Vendors who are interested “getting an introduction to wholesale” should have some basic knowledge about wholesale trade shows in general. They should have some sort of a line sheet and be prepared to answer questions about lead time, shipping, and wholesale terms.

A business needs to be ready and production must be able to take on wholesale orders. Sometimes wholesale shows are about “meeting potential stores” for future connections and follow-up. The actual wholesale order-writing may happen at a later time. 

Q: What should people considering the show know about it?
A: Essentially this is only the second year of wholesale shows for Renegade. It is not a massive trade show like NY Now. Buyers are discerning and looking for special, niche handmade products. I was lucky to have written a few wholesale orders, but many vendors there did not write any. 

Q: Anything else?
A: I would have the following suggestions for the show -

  • increase national marketing efforts to better promote the show 
  • consider having a separate wholesale website for Renegade Wholesale show 
  • consider providing buyer name badges so vendors know who they are talking to
  • create a wholesale vendor directory list (with vendor websites) for buyers' use during the show and keep for reference  

Q: Where can people find your stuff?
stockists: LA County Store, Lula Mae, and Craftland in RI, and Sprout Boutique in Pacific Grove, CA