Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Retail: Real Tales

Hark! Has it really been 9 days since my last post? Madness! I do however have good reason. Y'see, I've been juggling school, getting ready for Holiday 2010 (Which I am totally psyched about in spite of the record-breaking 3 digit temps here in Arizona.) and, putting together pieces for my retail stockists.

When I announced my newest retail venture at Phoenix's Bunky Boutique, blog reader and dear friend, MaryJane asked me how it is that I go about approaching retailers. I thought today (Well, nearly two weeks ago when I initially drafted this post.) would be a good time to write about that.

These days, the shortest distance between two points is an e-mail. So, I generally send an e-mail to a perspective stockist asking if they'd be interested in a wholesale/consignment relationship with a local indie artist. Those three words, "local indie artist", make a huge difference in the circles in which I run.

The Phoenix indie art scene is quite welcoming, and even with the breadth of artists on the scene, it's quite tightly knit around a set of core principles, local and independent being prime among them.

Included in the e-mail, is a link to my "catalog". I used to use Flickr! for this, but since subscribing to Big Cartel, I thought it made sound business sense to use the shop as a catalog as well. It's a way to increase my potential for visibility (Google hits: Google ranking) and conduct business even when online sales are slow. Did I mention the impressive zoom feature? You must check out the zoom feature.

I've seen some gorgeous, glossy postcards and catalogs used by other artists, but I'm all about keeping costs down and trees up! Check out my props: forks, a sheet of scrapbook paper, and the empty frosted glass jar from last year's Christmas candle. Everything within reach has a purpose or three, 'round here.

Then, (and probably the most nerve-wracking) is the meet and greet. If a retailer is impressed, they will likely want to meet you and see your wares in person. This is when I bring along my personal favorites; the pieces I can talk about in depth, with the kind of passion and confidence required to seal the deal. Lastly, money talk and handshakes abound. Woot! It's time to get creatin'!



Barbara said...

That was a great breakdown! I don't think I'm quite ready for the big stage yet, but when I am, I'll be applying these steps!

Loving those new colors!

T.Allen-Mercado said...


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