Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Word About Wholesale

As an artisan who makes her living with her craft, I long ago decided to include the selling of my work at wholesale as part of my business plan.

In order to offer my jewelry at wholesale I have to ensure that it is priced in such a way as to still be profitable for me. For some of my products, the decision to wholesale was easy. All of my earrings that are priced (retail) anywhere between $15 and $32 are available for wholesale. My higher priced earrings are not. My interchangeable earrings are not. For those 2 product lines, I would rather sell them myself at what I consider reasonable prices, than to raise them for the sole purpose of being able to sell them wholesale.

If you are considering wholesale and have any questions about the details of my pricing formulas, please contact me.

Now a few words about one of my wholesale accounts. There are not many independently owned clothing stores in Anchorage, but there are a few very nice ones. Portfolio and Classic Woman are two stores owned by the same woman and they are back-to-back in a busy area of midtown. I early 2006, I made an appointment with the owner to show her some of my jewelry. I brought in 22 necklaces and 24 pairs of earrings for her to see. She purchased all of them on the spot. For the remainder of that year, I was kept busy with lots of orders for her stores. That year, she purchased over 150 necklaces and countless pairs of earrings. We've been doing business ever since ... at a continuing high volume.

I make a point of visiting the stores frequently to get a feel for the colors that are popular and plan my next order accordingly. Jo (the owner) and her staff have a knack for displaying my jewelry with the perfect outfit. Many customers purchase the entire outfit, accessories included. Jo can sell my jewelry in color combinations that I could never sell at a craft show -- I don't have the outfit to display it with! It may seem obvious, but it's really marketing genius on Jo's part.

I was delivering an order yesterday and took this photo. It was a beautifully sunny day, so there's lots of glare and reflection in the photo, but take a look at her "tag line" under the store name. I love it.

If you can't read it, here's what it says: "an artful collection of fresh clothing for fun people"


Pricilla said...

Wow, how wonderful. And that looks like a shop I would love to visit.

cindy shake said...

In these difficult economic times I'm glad you brought up an example of a GREAT retailer. Jo is a wonderfully talented business woman-glad your work is there! I'll also put in a plug for her sister Jana who owns Cabin Fever and the Quilted Raven (where I wholesale Raven sculptures). These sisters have owned several SUCCESSFUL retail businesses and both of these women have been nominated for various recognitions as well as YWCA Women of Achievement and deservingly so. Jo and Jana both continue to give back to their community and have always supported local artists.

Orion Designs said...

You're so right Cindy -- Jo and Jana are incredibly supportive of local artisans and the community as a whole.

Ainsley said...

Great post, Vicki. I love to hear success stories like that; keeps me optimistic!