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C&T Podcast Episode 5 – Tips for Wholesaling your Handmade Goods with Melanie Augustin

Some people may feel daunted by the prospect of starting a handmade business in which 95% of the sales are to wholesale buyers.

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’.

Melanie Augustin, from jewellery brand Kimono Reincarnate, sits down with me in this episode to talk about how she jumped into wholesaling headfirst and the lessons she has learned along the way.

There are always ups and downs to owning any creative business and Melanie generously shares her successes and failures with me.

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}
  • Book: The 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}


Download/Listen to this Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create and Thrive’)

If you think you might be ready for wholesale, or want to streamline your current business practice, Mel and I are running a brand new e-course that will teach you all you need to know to start and grow a successful wholesale business – it’s called Wholesale Know-How.

Click here to get your FREE copy of our 10 Steps to Wholesale Readiness Guide and to be notified as soon as the course opens for registration. Class starts May 25.


Van Den has written 320 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.


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