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Monday, 19 January 2009

Selling Your Products

Yesterday we drove to Peregian Beach near Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.  It wasn't a nice day, weather wise but it was a wonderful day regardless.  I showed a potential new stockist (more on that in the future) my new fabrics and she loved them.  

Professional presentation is very important so I cut the fabric swatches, overlocked them and put them together in this adorable fabric sample book.  Note the Thea & Sami label in the bottom corner of the Marguerite print.


There is no point in creating wonderful products if you aren't getting sales so you must find the right places to do that.  Craft markets are a good place to start and to get direct feed back.  Trade shows can be good for securing retailers but often expensive if you are starting out.

It's always best if you can personally visit potential outlets to determine if your products would fit into the esthetic of the store and if the quality and pricing of other items is similar to yours.  You certainly don't want your beautiful, locally crafted work competing with mass-produced, cheaper versions from Asia.

If you can't physically visit the stores yourself because of distance, the next best method of finding the right locations is to check where your competitors are selling theirs. Looking at their websites will usually reveal this information.

Call the store first and ask to speak to the owner or buyer. They will usually want to see examples of your work first through digital images.  This is where a website or blog comes in handy and will save your time and theirs if it is not what they are looking for.  Assuming that they like what they see, you can then can make an appointment or arrange to send swatches/samples to them.  Ensure that you include a wholesale price list, ordering information and your terms and conditions clearly set out. 

My final piece of advice is to not try and sell your wares to a store where the buyer is not excited about your products.  If they don't love them, they really won't be successful in selling them.  You really are better off moving on to somebody that does appreciate your craft.

Fabrics from top to bottom:  Marguerite print in Dusty Rose on Hemp/Organic Cotton,  Iron Flowers in Chocolate Brown on Natural Linen, Fretwork in Cactus Green also on Hemp/Organic Cotton.

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