So you’re thinking of moving into selling your jewelry wholesale. Congrats! I made a fortune selling wholesale to over 100 accounts across the country. It was a liberating experience to know that my line was in beautiful and prestigious stores such as Hallmark, Cracker Barrel, the Smithsonian, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Tuesday Morning and a hundred other Mom and Pop gift stores of every shape and size. But it all started with one store and one phone call.
Starting with just the local gift Swimwear stores, galleries and tourist spots in your area you can get a hang of how it’s done. Stores owners are, for the most part, receptive to looking a new line of handmade gifts or jewelry that can make them money. But just walking in to their store unannounced is a bad idea. Store owners are very busy people that have only small windows of time to look at a line. Just walking in will interrupt the customers already in the store and the owner or buyer will probably not even be there. You must call ahead.
Making a simple phone call to the store and asking if the owner or buyer could put some time aside to review your line works like a charm. The least busy time to call and the most likely time the owner will be there is around 10 am, just after they open. They get calls from major manufacturers all the time, so be sure to mention that you are a local artist with a handmade line that their customers would love. The words “handmade” and “local” is a plus for store owners. They know their customers love local, unique items and it’s something that the big manufacturers can’t claim to have.
If the store owner agrees to see your line, set up an appointment to visit the store at a time where, again, they are not busy…between 10 and 11 am, just after they open. Bring order forms, brochures, samples of your jewelry and displays and dress nicely. You don’t have to a professional salesperson to be successful. You just need to have something beautiful, that they already do not carry, at a price point where they can make money. It’s a pretty simple formula that can lead to big business.