Here's HOW I got my work in STORES!

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Original Post

PlumeAdore says

For those wanting to get your products in stores and grow your business with some wholesale work, here is what I'm doing. (I know there are some who go into stores but I'm too shy in person for that)

In under 3 weeks, I've gotten 5 wholesale orders (ranging from $250-$850 in size) and have 4 more appointments coming up next week (1 being a LARGE chain in Canada).

Here's what I've done:

1) Looked through Local fashion magazines to get label names to look up (I picked jewelry pieces with my same price points and style). Once on their website, I saved all of their retail store info to contact later.

2) I got a line sheet template from an etsy seller ( and in my opinion was the best $60 I ever spent. I drop all of the images and words in myself but the look of it makes things really pop and people are really impressed with it.

3) I emailed all of those retailers I had saved (I googled their names and looked for a website where I got the emails) with the same blurb:
--> An opening line about why I'd be well suited for their customers
--> A short bio about who I am, where I'm located, my accomplishments (mostly etsy related but if you have not had a lot of etsy success yet, talk about the local work you've done, helped brides etc.).
--> A line about what's included in the email (my wholesale line sheet with pricing, order form with terms and pictures of my best sellers).

I attach about 1-4 photos of my best selling pieces or stuff I think they would like and that's it.

(Out of 80 emails, I've gotten about 10 replies. Some wanted more information, some placed an order right away, some wanted to meet in person (the local stores) and some said I wasn't right for them.)

4) For stores without email addresses/websites, I would call and ask for their email address or to speak to the person in charge of buying. Most times they would give me the email address and those are good because they are expecting your email and are not considering it too spammy.

5) Certain stores that were really important to me (ones I really wanted to get in with) I called myself and asked to speak to the buyer so I could introduce myself and get to talk them up a bit. At first they are like "who are you? why are you special" but then at least when you send over your info, they may remember you more than someone who just sent it without talking to them first.


-> Although I got some replies within a day, others I'd hear back from a week after I originally hit sent so if you don't hear anything at first, don't fret!

-> Some may consider this spam, but I do not because it's business to business (not business to person) so they expect it.

-> Don't sit around waiting for replies! Keep making new pieces, phoning/emailing new stores and working on the orders you have gotten (reorders are a big hope).

*** Regarding the chain store for those who are curious: I called the head office, asked for the jewelry buyer's name and number. I called him up and got the voicemail a few times but DID NOT leave a message. I finally got him to answer, asked if I could email my work (and did so RIGHT AWAY since he was at his desk). Although he seemed uninterested, he wrote back within 10 minutes asking for a meeting.***

If anyone has other questions or comments, feel free to reply or send me a convo ;)

Lots of luck,

Posted at 1:08pm Jun 28, 2009 EDT


Thanks for this great thread! I'm just back from vacation and this is #1 on my list - start working on wholesaling. Thanks for the great timing :-)

Posted at 1:12pm Jun 28, 2009 EDT

TheTinyFig says

Thanks for sharing Justine! I'm curious what this big retail chain store is :)

Posted at 1:13pm Jun 28, 2009 EDT

Justine! This is very helpful. I have been extremely shy about approaching shops and this gives me a bit of nerve. I will be trying it with my fall line.

Posted at 1:13pm Jun 28, 2009 EDT

Justine, thanks so much for demystifying the wholesale process! I'm definitely going to try to implement these tips in the upcoming months.

Best of luck to you and everyone else here! :)

Posted at 1:16pm Jun 28, 2009 EDT


Posted at 1:16pm Jun 28, 2009 EDT

PlumeAdore says

I'm glad you guys find this helpful. It's been an exciting few weeks but overwhelming too.

tinyfig - Once I have the meeting, I will spill the beans :)

Posted at 1:17pm Jun 28, 2009 EDT

This was a great post and very helpful..thank you for all your information,

Posted at 1:19pm Jun 28, 2009 EDT

This is awesome, My husband and I are gearing up to start a local shop campaign with our items and get them out there. We have decided to do it around the end of August-after we are done with our weekend flea markets and art fairs. We also think that is a good time because retail businesses are already thinking about Christmas.

All of the tips that you gave are exactly what we were looking for as to a formula as to how we should execute this plan. I am on my way over to check out that template now. Thanks so much.

We also have gotten the suggestion to ask local salons, photography studios and art galleries about putting a small display of our goods at their locations. We even had a local salon owner contact us(after seeing us on etsy) and ask us to put some of our glass in their salon. We have had over 50 sales from them alone!!!

That keeps us super busy-we now blow glass 6 hours per day, 5 days per week thanks to all the business we get from that salon and from etsy and our local fairs and fleas.

Another great place to put your art items might be to enter it in the state fair. We have filled out the application for our local fair and will have 5 glass items in it-we may not win first place, but we will have our cards available and local business owners will have access to us.

Posted at 1:20pm Jun 28, 2009 EDT

TheTinyFig says

good luck at your meeting! :)

Posted at 1:20pm Jun 28, 2009 EDT