[159] Top Tips for Selling your Handmade Goods Wholesale with Melanie Augustin

What if you could sell 95% of your handmade creations via wholesale?

My guest today has done just that. She quickly grew her business – and her income! – by focussing on selling via wholesale, rather than online or at markets.

But where do you start? How do you know if you’re pricing correctly? And what’s the best way to approach stores? How to you show them what you’ve got to offer?

There’s a lot to know, and it’s important to keep your relationships with current and potential retailers secure.

Figuring out your pricing to include all those elusive overheads is truly one of the major pieces of the puzzle; along with having a stellar catalogue and knowing how to get your name and products ‘out there’.

In this episode Melanie Augustin sits down with me to talk about how she jumped into wholesaling headfirst and the lessons she has learnt along the way.

Mel is my good friend, and also my co-teacher in the upcoming Wholesale Know-How course, that starts this coming Monday, September 10th!

Click or tap here to find out exactly how our course will show you the steps you need to take to successfully sell your handmade creations to brick & mortar retail stores.

NB: The body of this episode is a replay of Episode 5 of the podcast – I’m bringing it back today because that was 3(!) years ago, and I know many of you would have never listened to it – Mel has some brilliant insights to share, so don’t miss it.

 

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • “Some days it’s almost like the business part and the creative part of me are pulling against each other, and you really have to accept that.” {Melanie}
  • A lot of crafters who craft for fun often think they can turn things into a business but it’s really a different mindset and a different way to think about things.
  • Make sure you know how much you can make in a specific time frame to figure out if you need to factor in staff or other help to get your orders filled.
  • Find a business partner or think about hiring help if you find the accounting side of your business too scary.
  • Trade fairs can be great places to pick up new business but they aren’t essential for you to step into wholesale.
  • Trade fairs are completely different to a retail craft market as people are less likely to want to chat and are there for business.
  • Make sure you have a catalogue which makes it easy for buyers to choose and order efficiently.
  • “I wish I could just create all day and I think that’s what people think but there’s a lot just sitting there and marketing and online business.” {Melanie}
  • “We all make mistakes with our pricing in the beginning. When you have a lot of orders, you can sit there and think, I’m not earning enough money for this!” {Jess}
  • Make sure you maintain a good relationship with your buyers as it’s easier to sell to the same customer rather than get a new customer.
  • Don’t be so worried about work/life balance on a daily basis as you will find that it evens out over the course of the year.
  • “I’m now strict about not working weekends except in those last three months of the year” {Melanie}
  • “Before my daughter was in school, I would go into studio lock-down for days on end and that worked really well because then I could take the time I wanted. Now I have my daughter’s schedule with school hours, I have to adjust.” {Mel}
  • BookThe Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood by Rachel Power
  • Instagram is a great tool for marketing an online business along with Twitter if you’re a bit of a wordsmith
  • Mel’s Top 3 things to get right for wholesaling
    1. Pricing
    2. Catalogue
    3. Marketing
  • “If you don’t build your dream, somebody will hire you to build theirs.” {Tony Gaskins}

 


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  • Joining the Thriver Circle – without the members of the Circle, this podcast would not be possible. 

 


 

Wholesale Know-How: Registration Open Now!

Wholesale Know-How Handmade Business Ecourse

 

Hey Thriver,

 

Have you ever wondered…

 

  • If wholesale is right for you, and if so, if you’ve got everything in place to hit the ground running? (Business branding, products, legalities etc.)
  • If you’re pricing your items right, so you’re still making a profit when selling wholesale?
  • How to grow your business faster than you’re able to by only selling direct to your customers?
  • What systems you need to put in place from the beginning when selling wholesale to get things running smoothly?
  • How you can get your brand ‘out there’ into the world, and gain wider recognition?
  • The best way to approach stockists, and how to maintain a positive (and profitable) relationship with them?
  • How to put together a wholesale catalogue that will wow potential stockists?
  • What the ins and outs of how to succeed at a trade fair are, (without taking the risk of losing thousands of dollars because you don’t know what you’re doing?)
  • Exactly how other people have made selling wholesale the main part of their business?

 

The C&T E-course – Wholesale Know-How – will answer all these questions, and more.

It will teach you everything you need to learn in order to start successfully wholesaling your handmade creations.

 

Registration for the 30-day course is open now: class starts September 10th!

Enrol Now

 

 


[119] 10 Steps to Wholesale Readiness

Are you ready to sell your handmade goods wholesale? Is that even something you want to do?

In this episode, I outline 10 steps to wholesale readiness – questions you need to ask yourself to know if selling wholesale is a good choice for your handmade business, and if so, are you ready to dive in?

If you’d like a free pdf copy of the questions and thinking points, scroll down and you’ll see just how to get a hold of that.

If you do decide that you want to sell wholesale, make sure you don’t miss out joining me and Melanie Augustin for our e-course Wholesale Know-How! Class starts Monday the 28th of August (2017, if you’re reading this in the future) and we only run the course once per year.

 

Quotes & Highlights from this Episode:

  • Not sure if your products are up to scratch for the wholesale market? Scout out the stores you would like to stock your work and assess the quality of the current products.
  • Easily replicable work is quicker to resupply and build your stockist list.
  • Quality control is key with wholesale especially if you are not the only maker of your products.
  • “If you are thinking about going into wholesale you need to go back and look at your pricing structure.” {Jess}
  • You should be able to sell your products at wholesale rates and still make a profit.
  • Avoid over-extending yourself – be realistic about your timeframes for manufacture and delivery.
  • Build a social media presence to demonstrate your market reach and potential for promotional activities.
  • Finding the right stockist takes time, energy and perseverance.
  • “Be selective with the stockists you approach – start small, start local.” {Jess}
  • Practise your product pitch until you have it pat.
  • Are you willing to take on assistance when you hit your wholesale ceiling?
  • “When you focus on selling wholesale it doubles your making workload.” {Jess}
  • You can choose how much of your business to make wholesale. (Jess shares an anecdote about finding a wholesale business balance with Epheriell).
  • Be clear about your wholesale goals.
  • “Until you decide why you are doing wholesaling you will struggle with progress” {Jess}

 

 

 

Download or listen to this episode.

 

 

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

[118] The Only Race is With Yourself

 

Do you feel ‘left behind’ when you look at other handmade businesses?

Do you worry that you aren’t doing enough? That your business isn’t growing fast enough? That you should be where that person is?

I’m here to tell you that this is a super-common feeling. AND that you need to stop looking at and comparing yourself to those other businesses out there.

You can only do what YOU can do. You cannot compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.

That is: maybe you have a job, and children, and elderly parents, and a partner, and hobbies… etc etc. In other words – your life only leaves you with a certain amount of time free to work on your business.

Your free time may be vastly different to that person’s free time.

Stop acting like you’re in a race with other people. The only race is with yourself.

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • Many fledgling creative entrepreneurs struggle with finding what they think is enough time, energy, and resources.
  • There are times when establishing a business will feel onerous and times when it will feel easy.
  • What really matters is that you enjoy the majority of the journey. Otherwise a time will come when it all becomes too hard.
  • “You are not in competition with someone else. You’re not racing someone else. You’re simply racing against yourself.” {Jess}
  • In the words of Mary Schmich “the race is long and in the end it is only with yourself.”
  • It is okay for your craft to remain a hobby rather than a business. (Jess shares an anecdote from a Thriver Circle member who made the decision to close her business and instead pursue her craft as a pastime).
  • Establishing a business is more than just creating your saleable project. You will be spending a large proportion of time learning about marketing, administration, finances, connecting with people.
  • Factor in your time, energy and resources when making goals.
  • “We get frustrated from the disparity between our reality and our imagined reality.” {Jess}
  • Create a toolkit of time management and planning strategies.
  • Building a business takes times, patience and long-term dedication.
  • “Every little step is progress forward. No matter how small it is. It is always a step forward and it is always something to be proud of.” {Jess}

 

Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

Register Now for Wholesale Know-How!

Wholesale Know-How Handmade Business Ecourse

 

Hey Thriver,

 

Have you ever wondered…

 

  • If wholesale is right for you, and if so, if you’ve got everything in place to hit the ground running? (Business branding, products, legalities etc.)
  • If you’re pricing your items right, so you’re still making a profit when selling wholesale?
  • How to grow your business faster than you’re able to by only selling direct to your customers?
  • What systems you need to put in place from the beginning when selling wholesale to get things running smoothly?
  • How you can get your brand ‘out there’ into the world, and gain wider recognition?
  • The best way to approach stockists, and how to maintain a positive (and profitable) relationship with them?
  • How to put together a wholesale catalogue that will wow potential stockists?
  • What the ins and outs of how to succeed at a trade fair are, (without taking the risk of losing thousands of dollars because you don’t know what you’re doing?)
  • Exactly how other people have made selling wholesale the main part of their business?

 

The C&T E-course – Wholesale Know-How – will answer all these questions, and more.

It will teach you everything you need to learn in order to start successfully wholesaling your handmade creations.

 

Registration for the 30-day course is open now: class starts August 28th!

Enrol Now

 

 


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