06 April 2010

Questions About Selling Handmade Goods To Boutiques? Weigh In!

Okay, not literally weigh in. I'm not going to whip out The Biggest Loser scale on you indie artists and designers or anything. If I did, I'd have to let you weigh me, too, and uh, that's not happening.

What I am doing, though, is developing future content for my new website, soon to be launched at AbbyKerrInk.com. And I'm doing a little market research. Which is going to blossom into rich, useful content that will help a lot of people who have some of the same goals and dreams I had when I got into the boutique life, and that my vendor friends did when they got into it.

Because as you probably know if you've been reading this blog for a while, until very recently I was Creator and Proprietor of a popular lifestyle boutique called THE BLISSFUL. {Though its official website is no longer live, you can click back through past archives on this blog if you want to get a feel for what type of shop it was--but the quickest and most vivid way to describe it is French-y, comfortable, youthful, and sometimes quirky.} Nearly always, our merchandise mix was comprised in part by handmade {or nearly handmade} work from indie vendors--as in, artists and designers whose companies were small, upstart, and not corporately funded or backed by venture capitalists.

Our relationships with these small and inspiring vendors was very important to us.

And I can tell you that in the indie retail world in general, there is a strong movement toward handmade goods, shopping and buying locally, and avoiding mass-made product that can be found at every big box store in town. Most small boutique owners want to support other small boutique industries. {Good thing we have each other.} Part of my new website is going to be designed especially for the boutique industry and I'm doing a little market research to see where the heart of people's interests lie.

So today's question is for the artists and designers out there, those of you who want to sell your goods to boutiques. Sell wholesale, that is. Or put them there on consignment.

  • What are your biggest who's, what's, when's, where's, why's, and how's related to selling your goods to boutiques?
Just one or two are fine. Or if you want to send me your top concerns for each, that'd dazzle me, too! Feel free to:

1. Leave your thoughts here in the comments {let me know if they're for my eyes only and you don't wish me to publish--but isn't it more fun to start a dialogue?}.
2. E-mail me at abby AT abbykerrink DOT com.
3. Tweet me @abbykerr

There's no wrong way to do it and no question is too small or simple. Remember--none of us knew everything {and some of us knew nothing} when we were first starting out. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Oh, and if you're an aspiring shop owner, here is a post with a question aimed especially at you.

Established indie retailers, I'm polling you next! {Scribe's Note: Actually, the post is now live! Click the link in this paragraph to go there.}


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