Selling Your Wares Online and In-Stores
I am ready to dive in were a diamond yeah all right lesson one ladies and gentlemen selling your wares so I'm starting out with this because this is probably probably the most accessible and probably the first thing that comes to mind when you are creating something of what you want to dio first so this picture right here is actually I took it from my friend taylor hearts store and she creates crush a taxidermy she actually she's doing really really well I didn't meet her in the craft industry though her brother in law used to be my next door neighbor so it was just one of those random one of those random things but I'm going to be talking I got a little quote from her later so we'll talk a little bit more about it but I just think I love her the presentation of her stuff it's clean it's simple and it's it looks cool you can tell that it's cool so I haven't done a ton of selling my products personally that hasn't been my gig really ever because of the way that I got started even though...
I did have those brands I had but I had mom around like I told you and then I had another company with my former sister in law were because retro we were producing stuff and turning them out but with knitting meaning in croatia is what I primarily takes a lot of time and for me to help you know, make the money that I need to for my family I never really because I needed to do all of these other things invested the time there that's just not where where my time went it's a big time investment but if you love doing it absolutely do it on debt could be super exciting so I did I have sold I've had I dabbled with stores but I've never really dove in I've I've sold a couple consignment stores but my primary my primary thing has always been able to has always been to empower other people to make stuff so writing patterns in that stuff but that's so this lesson all that to say this listen I reached out to a couple of friends who really have spent time selling their products so first before we even get started we're going to talk about setting up shop online and we're going tio go through just these really quick tips before what you need to know before you even get started okay, so first you should have at least ten products or variations of a product so that could just mean like if you're selling if you're selling a screen print that you've produced it could be the same screen print but it needs to be in different color ways or there needs to be a theme where you have several different pieces but then maybe maybe you have three different items like maybe you have a hat a scarf and reformers but then you need to have show them in multiple colors it needs to appear that you are really shop people like to have they like to feel like they have choices to make and if you want to know a store and you saw three things on a shelf would you take that store that seriously probably not. You might even think they're going out of business that's not the front that you want to put even on your web store right so you want to make sure that you have a good solid amount of items um photography well lit clear photography I just had to say it again well lit clear photography we're in a time now so when I got started as I was telling you and I'm you know taking pictures digital cameras scan them and great photography wasn't really expected now everybody can take amazing photography on their smartphones it's expected so you have to take the time to do it because you can have a beautiful item in person if it's not photographed well something itself vice versa you can have a vitamin isn't all that great but if there's a great shot of it styled on the right way it's going to sell right so it's a very, very base you want to have these clear photographs I always recommends right now I've found that I get more shares on pinterest and on instagram, if I dio a really clean white background or clean solid background and honestly, I just use poster board I just the phone core board, and I would also invest in a light kit, maybe a couple of umbrella lights in a couple of box lights, it's not that expensive and investment, specially if you're just using your phone to take a picture of all balances that balances out, but it will make a difference, it will make a huge difference on dh, then consider, you know, learning that there's all kinds of filters and aps that you can work with now. I use photo shop, not a ton I have, like, a kindergarten level of knowledge of photo shop, but all that I need to know is how to change the balance, so the shadows go away. I know how to do that really well and that's, really, that is a very base if you want to get, you know, if you're doing something that needs to be photographed with it, you know, as a lifestyle, then you see the higher photographer or you take a photography course here in creative life, but at the very base, and especially if you're working on online shop, they're going to get just a window. They're not going to get it's not going to be a big look book. They're getting a window, so you want your item to shine, all right, on down also, you clear written product blurbs, so this is really important knowing how to describe your your items is important, and you think, well, they have a visual representation like, what do they need to know? You'd be surprised people sometimes comprehend things in different ways. Some people need the written stuff or if somebody shopping for their mom or for if they're shopping a genre that they have they have no idea about. They might like a little information, so make sure that you do really clear descriptions if there's anything that they need to know, like, oh, this is made with cashmere or if it's hand wash on lee, or if this is, you know, one hundred percent gold or whatever it is, make sure that you include that and also include measurements if if there's a garment as much information as you can get, we'll give people a better shopping experience. If they have a better shopping experience, then they're going to come back right? So make sure you do that, and I always like tio if you can, depending on what shop you work with. Now you can add tags, and I'm not going to get into a ton of social media stuff, even though it kind of hurts my soul to say that. But that's a whole other class, but any time that you can either hashtag if you're talking about it or if you're setting up a shop and just tag the words, the key terms that people would search that's going to be huge that's going to be your best marketing buddy, because if you don't have a huge marketing budget, you are relying on people doing a search, right? So I'm one to give names of two projects using puns. Just what ideo I've recently stopped doing that so much because I realized how important search terms are like nobody's going toe, you know, nobody is going to search. I like to carty when they're looking for a card again, even though it's adorable, they're gonna look up baby card again, right? So I'll either still call it that and do a subtitle, or I make sure and that's in the tags, baby cardy cardigan, sweater, pullover, yarn washable, anything that you can that you think that somebody would search for tag tag, tag, tag, okay. And then last you need to have some kind of account that you can accept money for back when I when I started it was a big old thing you had to spend a couple hundred bucks and sign up with a bank and get a machine and the whole thing now it is super simple it's a small fee if you go through paypal who actually has their own there's a company called square that you could just stick it on your phone paypal has their own now, but a paypal account in general could square will actually transfer money to paypal or to your bank account I believe you need some way to be able to accept money and accept credit cards both online and if you decide to shop or if you decide to do craft shows which will be talking about later as well. It's really inexpensive to dio usually you don't have to pay for the little like device if you pay for the service the services usually you pay for it it's a percentage of sales or whatever but it's not so significant that it doesn't make it doesn't make a difference because people are paying in cash anymore they're paying with credit cards and so you don't want to limit your business on that way okay, all right so let's first talk about where you can sell your patterns or your products online I'm referring to patterns because like I said before, I don't I don't necessarily sell physical products, but I do so often patterns, patterns or instructions for how to make things so you could do this in in crush a but you could also sell how to projects as part of a kit for really anything for metal working for stencil ng for embroidery just any any kind of instructions the same if you think about it, you know people by kraft books well they're buying instructions there's no reason why you couldn't sew them as well you just have to be really smart that they're getting a lot of meat in that material otherwise they're just going to go look for something free there's got to be an incentive eso maybe they're just think about that when you're considering doing that so if you want to sell so the biggest place the place that you've probably all heard of for handmade wares is etc they are huge they have gotten huge I think they did something like um one point nine million and sales last year um and um they're just like it's crazy how much that they have grown they started as just you know, they were regular startup and everybody you know, you could start your own shops is everybody here in the studio? Are you familiar with that see yeah ok so just in case you aren't at home at sea is a handmade marketplace that's online and it really caters toe on ly handmade vintage and then supplies to make handmade things and so it's really over the past probably five years become a household name like when people whenever you're wearing something artisanal probably somebody probably said oh did you get that on etc it's they've really done a great job so it doesn't cost any money to set up a shop really they took a small percentage out of sales are listing fee I believe um and I've included in the bonus materials more of a breakdown on these places where I talk about them a little bit of the financials for this too so make sure and give those a look but so the pluses you can set it up you can have your shop you can link to it from your own web site if you want um it's gonna look great it's gonna look uniform it's going to look like everybody else is so that people will go there and they'll think oh she's established or he's established but it's really saturated so you have to hustle going to be saying that a lot today you have to hustle to get your stuff shown so do do some research if you if you go onto etc and you d'oh you go into the search box and you say howto have a successful store or how do you know advice for selling on etc? Tons of books come up. Um, e books come up on that subject, take a moment and look through those because there's a lot of tactical takeaways there just right there, having to do with when you upload how you upload descriptions, tagging take the time to do that because it's really saturated it used to be that is soon as somebody uploaded a photo of their project or their product, it would go up on the home page too well. Now, with his many products, as they have now, that's just completely impossible. So you have to you have to, you know, be willing to do the marketing, and I want to stop for a second and say it's really hard for crafters and artists to consider what they dio their art a product, it probably turns some artist stomachs, or if you are a personality to consider yourself a product, it feels a little gross. I know, but let's, just breathe through it because you have to think of it and yourself that way. If you're going to find any monetary success you just have tio, that doesn't mean you have when you're sitting in your in your studio and you're working on your art that doesn't mean that then you're like I'm creative problem product you still go with your you go with that zone vibe but when you're out there doing business sell it what people buy they buy products all right so we also there's also big cartel which is a it's not its own site they really pride themselves on working with artists and crafters tio create their own sites within so you can have your own your own you are all there they have a directory I put more in the bonus materials but really this it's another option but you have to do all your own marketing because somebody can't go to this general site and search like super awesome stripey scarf right? All right so the next thing there are community sites are fire rivalry if you're in the net and crush a world craftsy on dh calaveras they're all spaces where you can sell your stuff but their whole gig is community so there's a lot of boards databases that kind of thing again all this is in the bonus material general cites ebay what is there to say about it? Good luck with you you can do it you can join the eight hundred million listings on def you love you that you should you should go for it but they're really more known for the supplies versus the actual products so if you're going to buy grandma's awesome vintage buttons you can go there but that wouldn't be my recommendation although they do have a big creative outreach that they're they're doing right now so if you do like ebay look into that because they're looking into they're looking towards creative entrepreneurs because I think that they do want to end that part of their business up amazon handmade relatively new fairly limited right now look and do it yourself there's a big application process so you actually have to get approved for that there's also not a ton of categories now um but who knows where it'll go it also may or may not be financially worth it we don't know it's still pretty new shopify is like the big brother from another mother of big cartel it's the same idea but just doesn't host our doesn't cater tio specifically to artists and crafters all right um on your own site so if you decided that you wanted tio you just want the your own store within your own site and you don't want to use big cartels shopify there are options you should just discuss it with your web developer because it all depends on how your web sites built what format? What form? All right let's talk selling in stores what you need to get started again see the same here well it clear photography price your goods pricing your goods is this is a big challenge and I get asked about this all the time in the bonus materials I put there's an actual formula and that you continues we'll talk a little bit more about that in a second but you need to make sure that you are really solid with your pricing before you try and approach anyone you need to create a line sheet of products and I'll show you in the next slide what that is and then identify good fit boat boutiques so obviously you're not going to try and sell um you know you're not going to try and sell your soy candles tio a guns and ammo place right? Although arguably those then might be good for everyone. So really knowing your market knowing your product this is an example of a line sheet all it is is basically a clear photo gallery with the name of the item and the price this is just something that you can give future retailer said that they have an idea of what they can order from you. All right? So I talked to my friend kristen laying she's a jewelry designer and she she did a lot of wholesale work she creates really gorgeous jewelry on dh so I went I went to her and I wanted to talk to her about what her tips were for actually placing items and store and it's interesting because you know I spent a lot of time and more time on online that I am in stores because I think in stores is something that's been happening forever, and we're still sort of in the wild west of the internet, so I wanted to cover that, but really it was it's striking to me. It hasn't changed how you put your products to stores, the brick and mortar stores now from how it was twenty years ago, so you should definitely check out her gorgeous jewelry, and these are kristen's handmade wholesale tips. All right, so first you need to build a collection. You need to aim for at least twelve items like that's, a good, solid collection because shop owners tend to like toe by and sets or in seems so if you're selling jewelry, they'd like to buy the hearings that go with the bracelet that go with the necklace. If you're selling t shirts, they'd like to be able to buy the red, the green and the blue they just liketo have nice little because they think about it as not only being able tio upsell you get somebody to buy that other thing, but they also think of it how they're going to display it in their shop, right? So they like to have choices you might, if you want to really go that extra mile, consider a look book ah look book unlike a line sheet doesn't include all the prices it doesn't include, you know, just the static images it's laid out beautifully and styled and in the environment that you want your product um shown in that's really that is not a must it's obviously it's a home run now if you want to spend the money be proactive, eh? Any time you're anywhere seek out those boutiques that you think would be a good fit for you. Um I like to go whenever whenever I go you know to a different city, I'm always asking like, where the cool stores what's where the cute shops or that and you just can kind of walk and walk up and down the street and, you know, see what's a good fit even if you're not gonna pitch are you? You're not you know you might they have, you know, kids with you and you don't think it's professional pitch right now you can still go in, it doesn't have a picture of it, so you remember and pitch them later so act locally the stores that you're a fan of in your hometown go pitch them always keeps either a piece of your of your product with you or if it's too big like obviously, if you're doing well murals, you're not going to stick that in your bag but we've got we've all got these smart devices, right? You can have a great gallery, you can have a pinterest board set up so that you can say you can walk in as to speak to their buyer if they're there, you can say, hey, I have this this this this I would love to be able to set a point with you to show you my full collection, they'll either say yes or they'll song say no, but you did what you got to do right think globally so because of the wonderful internet, you don't have to just sell stuff right around your home town if you see a place, if you're even if you're not traveling, if you don't, you know if you're not able to travel places, you can still do searches online for stores like whatever the key term for your product is do that term, plus the city plus shop look for them and then go through their website and look for contact info and then send composed a really nice email pitch email that includes your line sheet and a really solid pitch, which includes the blurb you need to come up with a solid pitch for what your projects are or your overall brand is doesn't have to be long, in fact it's better if it's not long they it needs to be succinct and clear then this is a big one. This was a big one from kristen she said rejection is actually often a gift listen to that feedback the feedback that these shop owners give you is like free business advice because they're with these customers every single day, right? They see these people come in and out they know what sells, they know their own customer now that doesn't mean that you know, if they say your profits, your products terrible, get out, hopefully they're not going to say that that doesn't mean that you should like call it, call it a day, but it can give you some really great insight. So what if they say that it could just be something easy? Like, you know, this is not a great fit for my customer, but I think that so and so shop across the way might be great that's that's a bite great or they might say that this is an almost I just would really like to see a more modern palette or I think that my customers going really be turned off by the way that it's packaged or whatever it is, you need to be able to be open enough to take that in and see if you can fix it or come to grips and say modern color palette is not what my brand is about, so this isn't a good fit but listen to it, it's, good advice, all right? And this is really important do not bite the hand under kind of undercutting retail partners mad bad prices. So what that means is that you need to know what your retailers going to sell your product for, and that doesn't mean, um, so you need to know so that you don't then have your own shop to sell it on your own shot for less people don't like that. And you know what? People bad mouthing this bad? Nothing because it's very much like a word of mouth you want. You want your retailers to say, you know, I was just at this this show, this retail show, and I was telling my friend who owns a boutique and so on. So what a great business partner neuron, blah, blah, blah and go on and go on, go on, that's what she wants. Um, yeah, so oh, and also, when you're pricing, I wanted to just stop step out for herself in the second when you're basing, when you're working on pricing, your items do not use fc as your model because there's no guidelines for what people charged and sometimes people woefully under charge, women especially do not value their own work. Just the way it isthe. So don't use that as your model, really look at your competition and when I say your competition, I mean, people that have it placed in stores like the ones that you want to sell it and okay, and this is what I thought. This was a great question from kristen when pricing your products, it's important to know what the market can bear look at the competition before you set your prices, so I just said, look at your competition, but I think the key here is for me knitwear, which is why since I couldn't make this formula work, I can never make it. The formula for pricing has something to do with how many hours the cost of your materials plus profit equals wholesale times to equal in this I'll be in the book, it will be kind in the book and the bonus materials that's not gonna work if it takes me. If it's going to take me twenty hours to knit a scarf, I can't I can't charge hourly for that the market won't bear that, which for me is why that particular model for what I need to make for my family didn't work, so what I need to do is I need to look and say, ok, I think this is what the market khun bear here on dh that's. How we price. All right, we have a call to action. At the end of each lesson, I'm going to give you a little call to action. Um, in studio guests and also at home, take a minute, and if you can, you don't have your left house with you. So this is where for you at home, but you accepted to do when you get home. If you can do a search for the terms that fall in your genre and see who your competition is, see if you're filling in a gap, and even if you see that there are a bunch of other ways, see how you can make yours different. How you could make it stand out on, then you can decide when and where to sell online.