This past spring at Craftcation we hosted a Think Tank (group feedback session) on packaging. We did not anticipate the high demand for this class. Apparently a lot of you have questions about the best way to package your products, especially for wholesale and especially about jewelry. So, we thought we'd get some of the smartest shop owners we know to share what they like to see when it comes to jewelry packaged for their shop.
We've noticed a huge trend on Etsy Wholesale: Starter Packs-- essentially putting together what you think would be a good typical first order for a shop. It makes a lot of sense since buyers don't have to guess quantities to buy or popular items, deal with minimums, etc. Starter Packs happen outside of Etsy Wholesale too, but they have especially taken off on there!
I asked our members to share their experiences with them-- both our members that are sellers AND buyers so you get different perspectives. Read on to see how Starter Packs can help you up your wholesale game.
Our most common question by makers here is: How Do I Get Ready for Wholesale? There are a lot of pieces to it and it looks a little (and sometimes a lot) different for every business, but if you're a maker thinking about scale is HUGE. It will help you make sure that you are maximizing your margins and don't find yourself in a "oopsie" pricing situation. Thanks to Dawn from our Austin Chapter for sharing her insights!
One of the best things about being part of a community of other professional makers is that there are people who have BEEN THERE and DONE THAT. We are blessed to have members with a wide variety of business experiences here at Academy of Handmade. Veteran maker and wholesaler Amy Chin shares with us today her wholesale wisdom-- born of smarts and trial and error. We hope you learn from how she's navigated the wholesale world.
One of the things that is hardest to do in business is predict where your business will go next. But if you are wanting to grow your business or even sustain it, planning for it now and implementing systems is key to making sure that growth doesn't crush you or doesn't look like what you wanted (read this blog post about burnout in a successful business). We're delighted to have members Chris & Andy Design share ways to prepare for this growth. You can learn more from Andy, who will be on our State of Making session on shows and booth design!
Wholesale is usually where serious maker businesses look to up-level. It also can be fraught with nuance and special knowledge. That's why we love member Lela Barker. She is helping makers wholesale like champs through her program Wholesale Matchmaker (which is open now!). Today she's giving you some of her insider knowledge!
Landing the wholesale account is just the beginning. Actually having people buy your product off the shelf is quite another. And packaging plays a vital role in that. It is even a reason some shops won't pick up your product-- even if they love it! So we talked with an #ahasmember retailer about what packaging mistakes they are often seeing. Read on.
Running a business means you are a frequently making tough calls. We are constantly trying to balance what we love with making money, improving skills and doing it all in a way that doesn't make us want to tear our hair out! Recently, metalsmith and #ahasmember Rebecca Holt came to the conclusion that what seemed like a fun project was actually a time-consuming money loss when she did the numbers. Read on for her lightbulb moments!
We don't know what we don't know and oftentimes in business we can beat ourselves up for mistakes. We can fail to see each mistake as an opportunity to expand our knowledge base. But if we build into our business the expectation that mistakes happen because we are ALWAYS learning, then it's less of a huge mental setback when they happen.
That's why I love today's post from #ahasmember D'Shawn of of Southern Elegance. Her mistake not only taught her a valuable lesson, it opened her up to new avenues and opportunities!
Ever want to peek inside the mind of a retailer? We are bringing you an interview today with Austin's very own super stylish and handmade-supporting boutique Take Heart! Proprietress Nina Gordon has curated a thoughtful and intentional shop that many makers are eager to get into. How can you impress her and shops like hers? Read on!
If you have been in our Wholesale Tuneup Series, you will remember today's blog guest OR if you're in the LA chapter you might have been in her shop for one of our roundtables. #ahasmember and shop owner Leanna Lin recently went to the National Stationery Show (NSS) as a vendor and gives her perspective on what she saw at this prestigious paper-focused trade show!
This post was part of the launch of our FREE Wholesale Tuneup Series (which you can still sign up for!) and so we are wanting to give you some wholesale help leading up to it. So far we introduced you to a few #ahasmembers who talked about how wholesale changed their businesses and posted a big list of wholesale resources our members love. Here on the blog there are quite a few posts that, if you haven't read yet, are by smart and helpful folks. We include a few other posts we love too. Enjoy!
We our launching our FREE Wholesale Tuneup Series on Tuesday (but you can sign up for it now here) and so we are wanting to give you some wholesale help leading up to it. Yesterday we introduced you to a few #ahasmembers who talked about how wholesale changed their businesses. Today we're giving you a big list of wholesale resources our members love!
This post was part of our FREE Wholesale Tuneup Series we did. And you can sign up for it now so you won't miss a thing. The series will be chockfull of advice and perspective from makers, retailers and consultants.
But I realize some of you might still be on the fence about wholesale. I know that having a store "take 50% of your sales" can seem like a bad deal. It's not-- I promise. Stores work for that 50% for you (and if they don't you give them the boot!) and help you get a steady stream of sales that you do way less effort for (especially considered to other more labor-intensive ventures like craft shows). And everyone knows it's MUCH more cost effective to keep customers than to find new ones. Having a solid base of stockists is like having a bunch of repeat customers.