Etsy Wholesale: A Conversation with Tina Rodas from Hi Tree!

Many people don't know where to start with wholesale, but if you are already on Etsy using Etsy Wholesale can be good way to test the waters and get out the nerves that come with approaching a store. That is the nice thing about Etsy Wholesale: buyers contact you. But after getting your bearings, you can then take your knowledge and know-how to stores YOU WANT to pursue. 

#ahasmember Tina of Hi Tree! makes some of the most crushingly adorable plushies you will ever see (AND she just did a licensing deal with Land of Nod so you can see it in person this holiday season at a store near you). She's been a maker for quite a bit now and started doing Etsy Wholesale after she was already doing wholesale on her own. She gives some great perspective on what that's like!

Q: Tell us about yourself!
A: I opened my Etsy shop in 2007. I make woodland themed children's toys, textiles, decor. I also make bags and crafting accessories for those of us that are children at heart. 

Q: Why did you decide to do Etsy Wholesale?
A: I had been waiting for something just like Etsy Wholesale for a long time. I had tried Brandboom, Trunkt, Meyla and a few other internet based wholesale platforms but none of them had a "marketplace" where buyers could come to shop. 

I dreaded going door to door trying to sell myself and my products to shop owners, It's just not my forte and I'm sorry (not sorry) to say I never even tried. I was waiting for technology to catch up and fill the gap. So when Etsy announced they were acquiring Trunkt, I knew exactly what that meant and I couldn't wait for the new platform. 

Q: Had you ever done wholesale before Etsy Wholesale?
A: Yes, I had done quite a bit of wholesale over the years. Buyers would find me on Etsy or at shows and contact me for line sheets. I rarely ever reached out to find new accounts. I'm a little bit of a hermit when it comes to that. 

Q: What was that like?
A: It was just okay, I disdain making and maintaining line sheets, mostly because I don't have a set schedule for releasing new designs. I wanted a way to maintain my line sheets like I maintain my store. 

Q: What was the process like signing up for Etsy Wholesale?
A: Pretty easy! Etsy Wholesale is juried. There were a series of questions sent in an email format. They asked how many wholesale accounts I maintained and specifically who had stock lists. I got the feeling the questions were more for surveying and less about whether or not I was fit to do wholesale. I think they're trying to build a beautiful platform full of the best handmade around, which I can totally get behind. 

Q: What tools does Etsy Wholesale provide you as a seller? What don't they help with?
A: One of the most impressive tools Etsy provides it's sellers is a personal "Wholesale Advisor." Within a few weeks of being accepted, I received an email from my wholesale advisor, Michelle, offering her assistance. Here is a link to the program which outlines what they can and cannot assist with. I think it's fantastic:

Q: How is the fee structure on Etsy Wholesale?
A: It's the same as the retail end of Etsy. 3.5% transaction fee. Which I think is pretty reasonable. 

Q: Etsy Wholesale now has a one-time $100 joining fee. If you were to join now, do you think it's worth it?
A: Yes! Absolutely. 


Q: Anything else to add?
A: I think the Etsy platform is a great way to connect with buyers you may never have the opportunity to connect with at a very low cost and risk. It's definitely worth a try in my humble opinion.

Q: Where can people find your stuff?
Twitter: @hitree

Brick & Mortar
Co-op 28 Handmade here in Los Angeles
Lula Mae in Pasadena, CA
Nevada Museum of Art
Homespun: Modern Handmade in Indianapolis
The Ivy Cottage in Forked River, New Jersey
The Artisan's Bench in Brighton, MI
Plumfield Inc in NY, NY
Adaro Art in Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Paramour Bungalow in Evanston, IL

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