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Get Ready to Wholesale

Lesson 1 of 1

Get Ready to Wholesale

Kristen Rask

Get Ready to Wholesale

Kristen Rask

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1. Get Ready to Wholesale


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Lesson Info

Get Ready to Wholesale

Everybody welcome we're here tonight with kristin rask who's going to teach us how to wholesale kristen, as you probably all know, is the president of urban craft uprising, which she's been doing for six years she's also been selling her work for twenty years and she's on her own store for eleven years, so she has the awesome perspective of both buyer and seller, so she is an expert in this, so we're going to have fun and thanks so much for being here, thanks to really a whenever you're ready. So, as christina said, I'm the president of urban craft, and I've been selling my work. I started doing cop shows twenty years ago, crazy, but it's true on then I started going around after I kind of got the field what people liked and didn't like, uh, tio, start selling my stuff at wholesale level. At one point I had a rap that was not a very create experience and s so I feel like, and then I opened my store, and I still continue to sell my own work for a few years after that and then owning the...

stores a lot of works, right? Stop doing, um, so and then the reason why I wanted to do this, as a lot of, you know, urban craft is doing are wholesaling event so we've done that for three years now and that means that we open the doors on ly tio virus in owners and all that on monday the day after the weekend show so it's been great but I feel like a lot of people still are not totally sure of how to tackle wholesale so I asked creative lives we could do this event here now we're here so as I said I have my own store and I feel like a lot of things I mean I've done a lot of wrong things when I try to do wholesale in the past I used to carry around a literally a plastic bartels bag and just go to store to store I want I used to make these rings and I decided in seattle that I would get a shop in every zip code so every day off I would just like hit up a new neighborhood and find people that's all stuff which is not what I'm going to recommend to you but I did that and that's how I actually met the owner sally of fancy and opened my store called fancy so and I feel like so what I want to start with is how you find the right store for you and I really do feel like you have to do your research there's nothing more annoying for a shop owner when someone makes a beeline to your death and ask you to sell their work without really looking around and I feel like I've been asked to sell relieved weird doesn't make any sense for what I felt at my store items in the past and it kind of I just feel like it waste your time and the owner is time so I really suggest doing your research I think a lot of people, I'm sure there's makers that are like you that can even have list on their web sites of where these sell tio across the united states. So I feel like that's, a really helpful tool to look at other makers and their shop. I mean, some people have that on their web sites if you're trying to go outside of the seattle area wherever you live, that is a good one. But once you do your research, I mean, everyone now has a web site so you can see what kind of products they sell, and if you feel like your stuff makes sense, then you know, you got to make contact. So if you do live in the area, I always suggest calling or emailing something like, hey, I really love your store, you can even say something really personal, I feel like the more information you have, whether it be like they're the buyer's name, obviously, or the owner's name and uh you know something about their shop that you feel like you know, whether it be like another vendor that you feel like you know you saw a lot of same stores or something like that it really helps and I feel like it takes and you as a buyer owner you feel like people have taken that extra little legwork to figure stuff out about you on ben you know, just asking people can I set up an appointment with you to show your work I really enjoy when people said semi line sheets because my story is very small and I don't always have the room for stuff so if I like your work but I just don't have the space for your work right now at least I can keep the email and I do keep e mails of people's work that I like and just save that stuff so that I can contact you later and I mean I do try to get back to every single person that e mails me about selling and sometimes it isn't a good fit and I'll say that or it's just limited space if I say that a lot you know I always say like please you know you're welcome to check back in june or whatever so you know and I really I mean if someone says that to you then you should take them about that and do it again so but I feel like, you know, really doing your research is key and sadly I feel like a lot of people don't do that so um that's my first tip for you then we're doing obviously the urban craft show is happening so that is very different than our weekend show so if you're there I mean there's things to think about that you know, despite like how your boot display can look different, which I feel like I can change for some people but having your stuff together like knowing your terms so you know, some people said that as a buyer they felt like some of our venders didn't know those things, so knowing what net thirty means and you know, are you willing to do consignment? I do consent men at my shop just because I'm not a rich lady in retail, but so I'm really good at it and I'll tell people that up front and I tell them that they're welcome to contact any of my vendors to you know, if they're apprehensive about it tio you know, learn more about me, I guess is a pair but uh, having those things sorry, I'm totally spacing out yeah, can you give so going back a little bit, yeah, tio researching and knowing which stores to approach do you have examples because you're a store owner of people where you really liked, like, how someone did it well approached you about selling and maybe one that didn't go so well and why? I mean, I mean, the ones that don't go so well are literally when I'm like sitting at my computer, and I'm just assume that they think I'm like facebooking or something and don't value my time and they're like, oh, well, I've got it right here in my bag, and I feel like that just doesn't make me feel very good because I don't feel like it makes some think that my time is valuable and it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth and I mean there's once in a while, like where you're like, ok, fine that's whatever, but I feel like really gauging someone's, you know, your interaction if I'm like no, I don't have time and there's still really pushy about it. I feel like that's really, really rude. Um, and then I mean, I've had people, I have one item and my shop right now, horrible durables and I love them and they're out of ohio and they e mailed me and I'm from ohio, but they were just awesome and they had come to visit my shop and like, they really talked about my store and they send a line shed and it's just you know I feel like they were very professional about it and you know, I really felt like they had done their we'll have I think they did it their research because they had been in my stores so yeah, I feel like those tommy yeah that's great oh yeah talking so the terms and I feel like people you really should know if you're going to do consignment or not and we also tell some of we tell the buyers that there will be some people there that can do cash and carry so that's why we do it on monday now so that if you do have stuff that you just want to unload after the weekend you know the buyers can come and last year I did see a lot of buyers just like taking boxes out of there so that's a nice service so that you can um you know, get rid of your stuff and also knowing that you're going to take a cut so I mean, generally speaking a lot of stores are fifty fifties some people do sixty forty uh it's, you know, you decide what you're prices for that I really highly recommend that people keep your price across the board you're not going to like want to do some super sale at urban craft uprising during the weekend because I feel like that just leaves a bad taste in the mouth of your fans and the buyers and I don't know it just like kind of dumbs down the hole situation and people are doing this for their living and I feel like that needs to be respected and that people should keep their prices very much across the board so I mean, when I did a crap show way back in the day here when I just moved to seattle, it was a monthly event and at one point the organizer said, like, look, you guys cannot sell your stuff for cheaper here because retailers are getting upset that they're hearing from their customers like, oh, I love this stuff, but I can get it at this show, you know, next week for a lot cheaper, so it's really mindful to just keep everything you know, the same thing so and then having line sheets and order forms and all that stuff I really like when people I mean there's a lot of people that will do like, you know, your first orders, two hundred fifty dollars, I've talked to a lot of people if I'm like kind of iffy on something and I don't normally sell an item that is like that and they'll say, well, you know, it's okay well, like take that down if you want tio, so I feel like if you are able to do any wiggle room that you know you should do that but you should have your terms and a lot of people dio like two hundred fifty dollars, five hundred dollars whatever it is like as you're opening order and then you know you're reorder is often less than that so that seems to be the kind of standard but I feel like when I see order forms in line sheets I like to see all that written out so I feel like that's really helpful obviously having order form so that you can give the buyer copy and keep a copies for yourself and doing display you know there are differences between doing the weekend event and any trade show really so you know you don't have to have as much if you don't I mean if you can't provide that much you khun have samples there are people that do one of a kind work and I mean that's what I did and I was very adamant about letting buyers trade out with me so if they bought like fifty units then you know if I'm like ok, if these aren't moving in like six weeks or whatever and you want to trade out I'm fine with that I don't mean it was easy enough for me to do that I don't know if it's easy enough for you but those are the kinds of questions that you will get from buyers uh and then yeah, your order form and all that stuff and oh, yeah, I have a question about line sheets. Yeah, totally new to this. I've read that align sheet, maybe should be that most wholesalers will have it in a file, so it maybe would be better to have it this way as opposed to up on a sheet of paper. But what? What would a very simple say jewelry line, chief look like since I am, I mean, it started like everybody's a lot of us online now, so, I mean, I don't like often take line sheets with me, and when I do, I usually don't use them. I mean, it's more like, ok, that's their name and that's the person that I want to contact, but, I mean, I see most of them, I feel like vertical, and I mean, it kind of like whatever looks the best for you should I feel like, you know, are you going to use models? I don't really recommend using models for blind sheets that's kind of more of a look book situation, so yeah, I mean, it would have to like whatever looks the best for you, but I don't feel like one versus the others, like ever stumped me if I like your work. You know what I mean? And maybe it's more important to have it online as opposed to it okay I mean this is the world we live in today, okay? Plus I mean again like if people don't aren't able to buy your stuff right away but they want to keep you know your information for later on I think a pdf file I mean, I've been a buyer at other places and I guess back in like, twelve years ago we did more of the actual paper stuff but it's just so much easier to like and then if I forget your name or whatever I can like google you know whatever in my email find you so and I just like it it's so much easier and if you can do it online ordering then that's all right. Ok, so this is matthew part reporter andrea so I feel like this is a really good example of a line sheet that's just you know, simple there's you know the image the size a little short description in the price and I think there's something really wonderful about being something speak and then there's this woman she's in out of the u k I buy our stuff for my store and again I mean the pictures are really great and clean and you can just read it really easily I love that she has the best seller because I think sometimes, you know, as a buyer, I often will tell someone like just some seventy year bestseller items, but to see it right there is awesome. But this is more of her work, and then this is the last page that just gives all over terms which I think is really great. I think this will be online, right? And I have a question about so was she someone that sought you out, or did you find her and then ask for lunch? I thought her out, okay, and then she e mailed you the lunch. Yes. Okay. Yeah. And I found her on at sea, which, I mean, every single buyer looks on as you know, I mean, maybe not at nordstrom, but, you know, a lot of people do that. So and now, as he has her wholesaling a whole segment to, so I look on that a lot. Now, tio kind of, you know, has helped with that step, but often I still look on at sea quite a a bit and look for new lenders that I like so that I found her stuff and contacted her. So I mean, and I don't normally buy from overseas, but there's stuff the's air another one. I have that, as you know, just a very simple blind cheat she sent that it's a pdf file to me the coolest part I think is that when you click and item it will actually go to her website and so that you can check it out there too because I think sometimes the resolution and stuff in photos and if you don't know I would say like if you make a line she send it around to a couple of here piers not family members because they will never say anything mean about you and last but, you know, asking for some good advice from people that are your peers that you know couldn't tell you like, oh, these you know, the photos lose resolution and you might not know that and then this is another line shape phone she makes and your details and they're awesome so and then you know, again she has her terms in our website and everything like that and then yeah, there's certain images and I mean, often people use like an item number, but, you know, I think if you have an order form, I think you have to make it really easy to use some people have order forms and they don't open are they like, don't automate when you like, put your ordering, so it seems really pointless, so, you know, make sure it makes on dh then there's other places I buy from laura burger, she makes awesome cards and prince and stuff like that, and she uses the last link that isn't basically an automated pdf pdf file and you can order straight from there, which I really like and it's also password protected. So when she updates her line sheet, she'll email all of her vendors and say, you know, here's your new password, and then obviously, like I said at sea wholesale is now in existence. I don't actually know the process of doing that, but if any of you guys do, but I do look at it quite a bit and then having just a separate one on your own website, I do that a lot too, with people that I buy from that have their own line sheet that's like, you know, a whole failed tab, but then to get into it, you have to have it password protected, so I think that's also oh, yeah, no question about it say wholesale, is that? Is it password protected too? So if you're a buyer, you have to, you have to actually live to be about our okay, so you apply, and then I feel like it took I don't know, like three or four days to find out if you're accepted to buy so yeah I mean it's pretty simple but then you know it's still the same way of let's see where you can you know, put in a key word if you want to look at you know golden girls and then you'll find all the cool thing girls so it's pretty easy but yeah, this is seen and it looks the same that's easy. Um I have a question about, like one of a kind item so you know a lot of times especially for example with jewelry where you have one of a kind stones and things like that how do you handle that with wholesale and line sheets? Because your item list could get pretty long if you're listening every single one of a kind item you have so are you like changing like the medal and also the stones or well, like so for example some stones you might buy and I mean it's a totally unique rock there's only one there's only one of it so you would you would not necessarily be able to make that exact piece again. You might be able to make something similar but not that exact one. Yeah, I mean, I feel like when I buy stuff that's one of a kind I really it's more like I'm buying your aesthetic and I know that it's one of a kind, so I think if you're it's hard because you can either do it where it's either like on a more consignment basis so that which can sometimes work for you as long as they're good at paying, but where you can, you know, just like bringing in stuff as you go, and if you develop good relationships with them, then you know it's an easier process to say like, okay, you know, when I these things don't go well, I'll take those back in exchange for line she it's a little trickier, so I feel like doing more like examples of kind of your work and if there are something that are easier to like, reproduce more, more of, like, just in different material, you know, silver versus gold or whatever then, you know, just putting those things in the title, but then I do feel like having that, you know, that has to be, like, spoken about to which I feel like most of your communication, you know, you would figure that out or they would figure it out, you know, from you at that time. So I really feel like when it's, one of a kind it's more like we're buying your aesthetic and then we'll go from there, and I mean, a lot of people say, like, I like the's color ways are you know what I mean I don't buy jewelry so it's a little bit hurt her but I know I mean sally does that fancy and she has tons of one of a kind stuff and I think the only thing is like especially with jewelry because it is ah higher price point generally speaking I think it is a kind thing to do to say that you would like take things back that don't sell and she does buy stuff and you know at least knowing that sheikhoun exchange things makes it a little bit easier so does that answer your question ok uh so I also wanted to talk about attitude at the show because the show is a little bit different in trade shows in general or a lot different I went to the our new york if show a couple of years ago at the javits center and I was like this is new york going to be praising crowded and it was like crickets and there was relief here but you know so a lot of people did look really bored and a lot of people are on their cell phones and I mean our event is now four hours long so it's pretty short things we and that's kind of why we did it that way to just kind of get people in and buy and you know not give like this long time frame that you can come and go but you know, I really do you tell people a lot of people when I talk to them about selling at the show, you know, they'll be like, oh, fine, but, you know, I didn't really make any sales and I really feel like it's kind of on you, we brought the people in and now it's on you to make the sale seal the deal, if you will. So I feel like a lot of people really want to know about your story, which I think is really hard, especially for women, to talk about themselves. But, you know, people do want to know, like, why you're inspired to make stuff and why you do what you do and you know, your process and all of that stuff and you can be a sales person without being, like a cheesy car salesman and obviously not taking business away from somebody else but like, being very approachable, I think it's weird when I walked by boosting people are looking on their phones, it just makes me feel like, ok, you don't really want to talk to me, and so I guess we're not going to talk, andi, I sadly see that a lot, I mean, obviously you need your cell phones to make sales, but, uh, don't be like facebooking or instinct all day long and then, you know, I think ways to get the conversation rolling is to ask someone about their store and, like, what? They fell, and if you've never heard about it, I think, you know, talking about that death is kind of makes them know that you're interested, and then another thing that a lot of our vendors do, which I think is awesome, is they make their own postcards, and they send them tio all that, you know, we update our list all the time of, like, who is coming to the event and they'll say, like, oh, you know, I noticed that you were coming to urban kraft, I would really love to meet you on that boost, blah, blah, which will know very soon. And so I thought that was a really great idea or, you know, sonny email if you don't the coast guard's, someway to, like, communicate beforehand that you're excited to see them and that gives you no plants the seed of your name in there, which I always think is a good idea on then, you know, really taking a lot of business cards when people are interested in your work, but they might not by your work there, I suggest taking their business cards so that you can follow up with them after the event so you can you know yeah so what's a good way to follow up so if someone does the buyer comes and doesn't place an order but really does express what seemed like genuine interest yeah how do you prefer being like what would you recommend for people to follow up what's the right way to do that I feel like an email is great I mean a postcard or something like that tio be fine but I think an email I mean we're all on her email all the time everyone has a smartphone that out of it you know? So in you know, any store owners so you know, sending an email and just saying like it was really nice to meet you at urban cracked I really enjoyed you know, talking to you and you know, I checked out if you don't know about their store like checked out your story and I think I think you know, you're really great that here's more information I mean, I have assuming that you might give them a line sheet there but if you don't you know here's my line sheet I'd love to talk further with you is there a time we can meet and I could come in or something like that? I always really appreciate those kind of e mails so kind of like at the beginning where you know, if you're approaching a store you know, same thing so uh and yeah, I mean just any kind of follow up that says that you're interested is awesome uh and then what if you do get an account I feel like, you know, it's kind of also a great new relationship and you have to foster the circulation so, you know, I really like when people follow up with me from time to time, I don't think it's annoying a lot of people ask me if it's annoying if you do that and I don't think it is at all if you want to check in every six weeks or something like that if you're checking in every single week that really ridiculous but checking in once in a while to just ask like how things were going and shop owners air really, really busy and so I often will be like, oh, I need to tell so and so that I need more work from them but you know, one thing or another comes up and I forget to do so so if I get a follow up email once in a while saying like hey how's it going and any like can I restocked for you? Do you need to place the order? I think that's really, really helpful and then also you kind of put your name continuously in their heads and I think the people that I saw the work best are people that I really have a relationship with and you know I can talk about them as people like other some nice and I love them and blah blah blah and so the more you're having that you know relationship with someone the more they can sell your work and really speak true to you is an artist and they start to know more about you and your process and how you work and so I feel like it's a win win for everybody so I don't feel like it's annoying at all uh and I also tell people it seems really simple and silly but once in a while by something from other shots you know they're supporting you once in a while like once a year I was like ok, I want to you know, once a year like go and shop but the people that are selling my work I think you know they really appreciate it and you know they're supporting you and it's nice to also be supported and let me tell you retail is it it's a hard it never gets easy. So any dollar health andi I feel like that's like everything that I want to talk about I was going to show some boost display shots can you speak about the zip codes and how many stores you should have like in an area? Because obviously if you're being approached at urban craft uprising you might not know how many's where these stores are located and how that all my worried uh so like I said when I started selling I wanted one store in every zip code oftentimes they're mean downtown or something like that there's so many different types of stores my stuff could go into like a hair salon or a jewelry store so I would just I was very upfront like oh well I just sold tio fancies so you know is this going to be coach er I feel like some people are ok with it if they have a totally different demographic there's a woman that's coming to our event that owns a store a salon down the street from mine and she wants to carry bags that I already carry out my story she bought some for herself and so she was you know she approached me and was like, hey, you know, I think I want to place an order there for these guys is that okay with you? You know, I feel like you don't know it's not your responsibility to get into like shop owners rivalries but I think overall you want to do it you know, decide who you want to sell this first and then you know go from there if this dream shop that you want to sell two dozen by your stuff then you know and then somebody else in that scene zip code does you know and then someone approaches you later that that dream stop wants to approach you later and asked I mean, I feel like that you know a caveat that they need to know about but again I don't think it's your responsibility to get into the trivia stuff that I've heard sometimes happens with other shop owners but generally speaking I feel like it's good to do it person koji because you don't want to over saturate yourself and I feel like it's kind of lame when your stuff is everywhere and then it doesn't feel that special anymore so if it's like at every store every block that would be coming so this is I'm sure a lot of you know by olympia so they I asked him for some trade shows shots but I love that they just like break it out per artists that they sell I feel like if you could do that even with your own work like if you have various lines or products you know that you could you just you don't need the whole like ten of everything I mean kind of one thing so you know like they have the artist's name and then just an example of each item and then there I mean again for like people that do one of a kind pieces she can reproduce stuff but you know, just having examples out and not feel too overwhelming but you know, you get the whole you get the idea of what they sell so unfortunately these air lonely slides I have for you is just life yes, you mentioned earlier that you may want to change your booth from the main craft event to selling to a wholesale buyer. What would those differences be? I feel like sometimes you have a lot more items on your boots for the weekend event an actual craft show because you just want to have everything imaginable but like the hearings that you're wearing, you don't need like fifty pairs of them on your boots for a whole sailing event especially I mean, if you're doing cashing kerry, you know you would still like have those under your booze and then if someone wants to walk away with fifty pairs of those fun, you know, but you don't need to have a lot of the same thing out because then it yeah, I just I don't know feels cluttered go ahead and leave I was wearing if you could talk a little bit about buyers and if they have any need for like point of purchase displays or like kind of freebies or examples of displays or anything like that for product, if that's something that they expect and kind of how you would go about that I mean, some people I know like are so people or like body care food people they'll do little samples uh and I always think that's a great idea because then you know, even if they take it home they can use it themselves and then they're like, oh, this is what I wanted you know, by the stuff so I know a lot of you know, people in that category I think if you do something else like obviously if you make jewelry, you're not going to give every single person that walks here booth of hair here but you know, if you can give mean done obviously a line sheet or something like that but some people will make like buttons or something that is a takeaway I think also I mean, as I usedto by for the university bookstore and I would go toe like the seattle give show and stuff like that and I got a lot of just stuff like that, but it just felt like junk to like, I'm going to throw away so I feel like if it's meaningful and purposeful, it can be a nice take away, but I mean, I know that you make sprinkles so if you were to give like a little bag of sprinkles that would be cute and adorable but you know, if you were just gives like a button, I don't know what if that really speaks to your business at all, you know what I mean? I started to kind of clear fire follow up I was wondering when you are creating relationship with a buyer if you know for your product, maybe this applies march me because I do have bottles of something, but if you should have the option of a display tio sell them or give them and if that is something that they either expect to receive for free if they receive if they're getting like a certain amount of your product or if it's something that they would purchase from you and how often you've come across people that have, like retail cardboard displays or plastic displays available to the buyers, I mean, I feel like, you know, at the bookstore that was a bigger place, so some people did have displays and I thought that was awesome oftentimes, like it would be free if you like, made a giant purchase, and then if you didn't make a giant purchase, you would get it for, like a discounted amount and then like a shop like mine, I don't necessarily have the space to have some kind of displays, so I mean it's, nice to offer, but I think a smaller boat tiki store might not be interested in having that, so I mean, if it you feel like your product looks better like that and it sells your work better than I feel like being able to offer that is awesome if you can do that, but I don't feel like people expected either and a lot of people have like obviously their own built ins and they have their own system so it's not necessarily again it wouldn't like never make or break my buying purchases tto have that option or not have that option I you've mentioned several times that you have a small space so could you tell us approximately how many square feet do you have? And then my second question is because you've spoken aa lot about nonperishable items and I'm in the natural foods business so I have a curiosity can you give some insight about perishable items in terms of going wholesale? Yeah and nice stores about three hundred fifty square feet I think it's like a large walking club but um it's really small there's not even a bathroom in it so it's very small as faras perishables go I mean, I feel like a lot of people that I know that self wholesale they do a lot of farmers markets q do farmers back quietly, but I know of a person that does do farmersmarkets as well a cell's tio natural food stores or food boutiques in essence I mean, I don't know that world is much, but I do I mean a few people I know the woman julie who does firefly kitchens and she does a lot of wholesale workers like whole foods and stuff like that I feel like the bigger people like whole foods they have their own system I mean even at the university bookstore we definitely had our own way of buying stuff we had a lot of perishables sadly like if things fell and broke like that was on you know or melted or was bad you know, that was things that we had to eat the cost of so I'm not sure of like whole foods like as faras expiration dates and stuff like that they have their own wave the terminology is I feel like it's still good to have your own terms but again like a little wiggle room sometimes and there's people that are going to strong arm you unfortunately that are just going to like, well, this is how we want to do it I mean, if you want to work with us, you're going to have to play by our rules but you know again like you know do you have I mean, obviously your stuff expires at a certain date and again, I mean, if you're a newer you know, in this world and just getting your self out there and the shopping you know, it's a wholesaler then I feel like, you know, having less smaller terms as faras like how many units they have to by being able to exchange stuff if it does expire, those are things that you might want to do just to like, especially if you're not doing the farmer's markets because I feel like to me the reason why I love craft shows is because I feel like it really gives you more knowledge about what people are willing to pay for your work, how they're going to respond to your brand, you know, and often times like I think pricing your work hands down the hardest thing to dio and I still don't know how to price my work very well but you know, and sometimes I'll ask my friends like, how much this b and they threw out a number that I would have never thought of and, like that's crazy and then they do and they're like, ok, this is so that's why I feel like farmers markets in your case, you know, could be a really valuable tool to, like get your stuff out there more but you know, and then I know I mean, just like crashes, people go to those looking for vendors and I have a friend that does farmers market she makes ice cream and that's how she found tons of wholesalers by just doing a farmer's market and people that, you know, wanted to either sell her work or like do events and all that kind of stuff too, so I feel like that's the best way to get yourself out there and then you know those terms again some you know, everyone's going to have their own terms and I imagine like the bigger stores and grocery stores and stuff they have their own set of rules does that help at all yes, that question about like packaging so I imagine when you send a wholesale order it would be you would maybe have it with your packaging but pricing like item numbers you leave all that stuff off what do you expect as a store owner? I mean, I am totally cool with people leaving their own stickers or business cards or little tags like those new cars a lot of people use those as they're kind of hanging tags on the stuff that I saw and I'm totally fine with that I know that some stores I do not want that kind of information on their stuff, so I feel like I mean, if you're making like a perishable obviously you're gonna have like, a jar and it's gonna have your brand or whatever it is or I don't know like a body care product, but I mean I saw a plush toys primarily and so a lot of those things can be taken off, but I'm fine keeping them on, but I've you know, I talked to a lot of retailers that don't want that stuff on but you obviously are coming up with your retail price and then knowing that you're going to take, you know, that fifty percent or whatever it is cut, and so you're going to do that. A lot of people will ask for item numbers, and they'll actually some people want the tag left on, so when I'm a jewelry, they're like, ok, here's, your number, you put this number on your work and then the price, and then it's, like they can just put it out, and it made their lives a lot easier. So I mean, everyone is going to ask for different things, so I think, you know, making your life easier would just to, you know, have, like, a very simple thing that can kind of be altered per shop that makes sense. So, yeah, that kind of tags on to that. How what's a good way for sellers to show their story. I know it's in a lot of small stores, tio sometimes you'll see, like a photo of the buyer of the cellar, and a little bit about their product is there, anyway, because I imagine that also helps sell the product when you know the story behind it, is there anything like you recommend for sellers to do to show off their story or something to provide the buyer with I mean, I feel like some people even at the you know, they'll have, like, a whole line sheet packet and so the first one will be about themselves and, you know, are on your website like, when you send I always like, you know, putting many links and there is you can like, if you want to know more about me, here's my about paige and I like knowing about my vendors because I want to tell their stories and it's also, I mean, a lot of people are going to ask you questions about the work that you sell, so having that really accessible is awesome. I know on at sea you can have, like, your whole story, teo, I love seeing a picture because I don't like, oh, there's so and so so I think that love is great, I think we do interviews at my stores, so we interview are just start doing that again, so he interview our vendors and then put it on our block. And so, you know, and that's, another thing I tell people like, we need help tio so, you know, I'm always telling like, my vendors, when you sent me a new order, like, take a picture of it and put it on instagram and tag me or, you know, just like to get people to come to my store and vice versa and that's what I do, you know, when I get a new order I'll put it on instagram like so and so stuff just got in or whatever so you know, stuff like that can be really helpful on is very much appreciated but you know and then obviously if it's like an instagram situation, then I'm probably going to start following you on instagram and then I feel like I start learning more about the vendors tio but I mean, I really do think it's hard for people to talk about themselves and I totally get it but, um I think that's what makes it more special on especially in the handmade world? I mean, you're not a big box store and you know, a soulless human being so you might as well talk up your stories, which is a little up yeah going back to retail packaging, so I know that during the event so our saturday and sunday event I make brass geometrics likes and when I would give it to a customer I would just put it in a bag and then handed to them but for the wholesale event for the cash and carry specifically, I do have retail packaging for my wholesale orders that go out into the rest the world would you recommend me bring boxes yeah, it could be stacked on shelves if you're willing to do cashing care than yes and I mean there's a lot of people that will give me boxes for their work and sometimes I keep them and sometimes it is like literally just a brown paper box that doesn't say anything about you then I'm not keep it so but I feel like, you know, if you can provide that you're just giving them extra tools to make it easier to sell your work so the more you can do that, the better and if you are willing to do cash and carry, I would definitely bring boxes because no one's gonna want to like, piecemeal it. Yeah, um, I'm wondering if you could talk about using an art rep and as a shop owner if there's a certain professionalism that comes along with having someone representing your work or if you would prefer the artist or the maker him or herself to come in just talk a little bit about that. I feel like it's really based on people's personalities. I think some people are really introverted and they aren't very good at selling their work, and so if you can have a rep than I think you should do your research and make sure you have a really good working relationship with, um like I said, I had a rap and it was kind of a horrible experience and she eventually like just told me because I couldn't make like four hundred units one week that she would get my stuff made in china and then she did and I never heard from her again so but I worked with rob and I think some of my reps were awesome and somewhere like weird, so I think you know, you want to pick the right wrapped for you and I think sometimes you can get really excited if someone approaches you and like, ok, this is you know how I'm gonna build my business and this is a but you know, you should make sure they're doing their work and you know, what shops are you working with? And you know, if you can go out to tea or whatever with them like, really vibe them out because you know, there are some people that would come to the book store and just like I kind of dreaded seeing and then somewhere so awesome being like here's a sweater what e don't know that we're just like really pleasant people to work with. So but again it's also your personality like I don't work with rocks at all and my store and maybe it's because of what I do too but yeah it's just if it works for you then that's awesome because it gives you more time to make stuff which is generally what people want and a lot of work I mean I would say like fifty of your percent of your time is a maker and then fifty percent of your time is the or more is a business person so if that is not your cup of tea and you can find the right rep for you than you know kudos for you do you really I didn't you like to see new work from artists so let's say I send your line she when do you want to see something new I feel I'm generally speaking people really try to do it like twice a year I feel like that's practical you know if you're going to do it like every four weeks that would be weird in bombarding but twice a year and it's like kind of like your spring collection and you're you know, winter collection or whatever like that so and you know I am not always the typical buyer I mean, I've I stopped like in november for christmas but a lot of people obviously like even at our show will be there buying for the winter so it's kind of weird mindset so you would definitely I think it might seem weird to have holidays stuff if that's what you do but for monday it's not but yeah I mean I like to see new work and maybe you don't have that much new stuff all the time but I think it's nice to see how an artist maker evolves and did you just see the same stuff than most likely I'm not going to really b is interested because you know something I feel like there's often waves at my store where it's like this item was like the hot seller for six weeks and I couldn't keep it in store and then all the senate trickles out and I haven't seen a new work and you know people want to see new york shoppers want to see new york we want to see any work at urban graft so how often do you reach do you reach out if something is selling well then do you reach out to that vendor and re stalker like how what is the ratio that were there they're reaching out are you reaching out I mean I definitely have and but it's also I mean certain times in my life like right now it's totally crazy but you know when it's more mellow for me than you know if something's moving my store does a lot better and the summer because of tourism uh in christmas is like the holiday season is fine but yeah I mean it kind of I do reach out quite often especially if it's like you know a week where they just like sold like crazy then I'm like oh you gotta remember toe you know, email so and so and tell them but there's often times where I'm just like too busy and I just forget and then they send me an email and I'm like oh my gosh thank you I've been meaning to email you myself so again I think people really get kind of heady about that I don't want to be a nag but I don't think it's nagy at all it's awesome so you know or call anybody else yeah, you can probably tell some of my questions they're kind of the business back in business related so in terms of as ah a za buyer or rather I should say as ah as a manufacturer do you have to carry certain type of insurance when you're selling your gear goods to a store? Do you have experience in that and can you give us some suggestions or because my thought is on son items that someone wears that could have some type of allergic reaction or something so or the product somehow affects them in some way can you give us an suggestions on that? You know, I've never had anyone at like have insurance for my stuff that I saw when the whole lead poisoning thing happened a lot of makers I got really paranoid about uh making toys and so a lot of the makers I worked with just really explicitly sat on their work that this was for adults and kind of got past that a little bit and it's mellowed out a little bit but I've never worked with anyone that has insurance if anything I mean when I sold stuff I started going to the university bookstore myself and at one point they're like ok, so you know if he plays one more order with you we have to send your name to fire I rest and let them know that even selling here and so those are things to think about, you know, after a certain amount of money you have tio obviously tell them that you're making that so but I've never I mean from all my buying experience I've never had anybody if anything I feel like it's my responsibility to if someone comes into my store and they're looking for like a baby president which isn't really my forte but you know I'll say like don't buy anything with buttons you know? But I mean I think that's my responsibility and I you know like it's your responsibility it give it so if that's what you want to dio maybe just like a little decoration for awhile but yeah, I've never worked with anyone that had to deal with that stuff I mean, obviously as a maker, you might want insurance especially for like, perishable stuff and if you do shows you can get like show insurance and all that stuff, but generally speaking I've never worked with anyone that has what about the liability in terms of if someone were to put a product in your store or if you were to put your product in the store that was just under consignment? I mean my thing is if your stuff is in my shop you know often like the other day I got those flaming idols and one was like shattered and so I just sent her you know, a picture and said, hey, this one's that she got reimbursed through usps but in my store when your work is in my store I'm responsible so if it's stolen, I'm going to pay you for it and if it's I don't know broken in my store then I'm going to pay for it so I mean that should be the terms for every store owner thank you, yeah oh and failed that I feel like sales like some stores will say like there was a store I used to sell to that did sales and they said like we do stale every may I think it wass and so we're gonna put but I took the cut for that so that was kind of I don't know I wasn't into that so that's what I mean when I do it, they'll at my store I take the cut yeah um do you typically provide a consignment agreement for your shop or do you expect the maker to provide their own I am happy to give you one and I've had people give me their own I mean some vendors they come in and they have signed their little thing and they have you know, their order form and there's two of them and I have to sign one and they get one and I get one and that you know, I have had people like bring their work into me and then they move and they changed her email and I e mailed them a million times and I'm like, hey, I want to send your work back and never hear from them over again and then like it's going to come home eventually or whatever so I feel like it's again like I'm surprised that vendors don't think toe like really keep that line of communication open so and don't check in and I don't know it's weird to me but people do it and people also get busy and you know, life happens so yeah, but I just I mean it's gone both ways for me but generally if they're providing one it's the same terms that I'm providing anyway so I don't mind getting one you briefly touched on getting liability insurance for a shows would you actually recommend that? Is that a mandatory thing from for cities or shows we don't met like it's not for urban craft but I've heard one that showed did that um you guys have experienced anybody ok, so I mean, yeah, I mean, we have insurance for urban craft, but and I think it would, like, cover some stuff, but it's kind of a craft show basis, I know I did a show and they made us get insurance, we had to, like, show proof, and then if you're like going out of state or someone's coming into state to do our show, then you know, you have to get your city license, we have an umbrella so you can pay ten dollars, to be under our umbrella, and then we send your name out there, you know? And then you have to file with the city of seattle after our show with what you made. So, you know, it's all very legit when we've done some of these buyer talks before, a lot of people are curious until where you find so you talked about finding new products on etc do you look anywhere else, like instagram or pinterest or all of the all of us? I mean, sometimes you just have, like, something weird stuck in my head like burgers, and then I'll just like, look up on dh that happens a lot on dh, then, like golden girls or whatever, I mean, my stores really weird, so I look up with a bit, but I think a lot of buyers look in those same avenues I mean I think it's just like your choice when I started fancy there wasn't all these facebook's in no I don't like the family but the instagram and all that stuff but I definitely have started using instagram or as a tool and pinterest for sure um but again, like I think that he's just like super easy to just like have a word that pops in your head because I think filtering out all that other stuff in figuring out like what's handmade and what someone's actually going toe be willing to sell you on instagram was a lot harder to find so I think yeah, I still use that to you the most for all that stuff and are there specific times? But you look like are you sort of as a buyer always looking for new products or do you set aside like wednesday's or when you look for new things or is it just a constant? My life is so insane and not normal that no it's more like, oh, I have an hour before I close and I'd like exhausted doing urban craft stuff or whatever and now look so I mean and then sometimes when it's a little bit more mellow, I'll be like, you know to say it's my looking day and then it also depends on the season because I do a big plus show at my store in october, and so that kind of carries me through the holidays. So I don't really look as much in that time of year. So but, I mean, I know a lot of buyers. They like, literally look every single day and, you know, again, because, like you're inspired by something different all the time, and I don't know, so, yeah, I mean, some people are like on it with that stuff. I'm just like, you know, free flowing kind of girl if there's, no more questions, thank you so much.

Class Description

Spend an hour getting your wholesale house in order with Kristen Rask. Kristen is the president of Urban Craft Uprising, owns the adorable Seattle toy shop Schmancy, and is a veteran expert on the wholesale game.

In Get Ready to Wholesale, Kristen will teach you exactly what you need to know to get a wholesale business up-and-running. 

You’ll learn about:

  • Creating and organizing line sheets
  • What info to have on your website 
  • Product photography essentials
  • How to work with and approach store owners


Audrey Wrobel

Thank you so much! Inspiration all around, and I took notes on it.


I listened to this with an open mind and I'm totalllllly green to it all. I truly felt as though this was not for the "newbie" I personally needed something that brought me from a-z. Sorry, I thought the speaker was interesting but I prefer a step 1,2,3...... to get a newbie started