A customer last time I set up a table for a day in front of the art gallery where I am a member popped the question: Have you ever been sold in a store? "Of course," I answered, "several over the years. But it was HARD to get into stores."
Well she purchased a nifty little Silk Mini Bag and said she'd be interested to have some for HER store. WOOOOOOO HOOOOOO. I set up a time and date to bring some in.
What's not to like?
I admire folks who take the risk and start their own business, especially if there is a monthly rent to meet. And, just like many many other crafters and designers, I dream to be sold in real live stores and have others represent me. It's definitely easier to be in front of customers every day instead of once in a while (weekly? seasonally?) at festivals and events.
I had only 5 of the bags in stock and in fact, 2 sold that day!! (See how much more attention they get in person than online??!! Frustrating!) Here is an example of one left online...
Daddy's Little Purse Strings - Yellow Paisley
Made from a fine retired men's silk tie, is the perfect way to carry your barest essentials. Fits a cell phone, gift card and more.
See more pics and details
Anyway I dashed off to produce a small batch of the items for a meeting with the owner the following weekend. It took a number of thrift store visits (jeez have the prices gone up in the last couple months??) but I persevered and successfully found a source of pure silk ties for no more than $1 each. Another trip to Michaels yielded a very good buy on a hefty spool of black suede string for the straps (enough for 25 bags). And I had trim enough from past sewing projects for decoration. It just remained to simply send my husband to our weekend house to retrieve the sewing machine!! (Not really, he was already there and I asked him to bring it back for a week).
On the appointed date, I drove to the shop and ...
... was somewhat let down on its condition. It is a mix of vintage, used and new stock. Which is ok with me. But the presentation needed alot of sprucing up. I am not sure this proprietor has the creative flair for retail. There was not enough to fill the place nor eye catching arrangements. Somewhat dowdy and dull. Poo.
In fact it located on the block of a very large city high school and she get hundreds and HUNDREDS of teens passing by. I made discreet comment to CAPITALIZE on that market. She does not have kids, so I'm not sure she is plugged into that demographic either.
Ah Well. The shop is only a few months old. Maybe it will come along. And maybe I will offer ideas (without her knowing!) how to improve.
No matter what happens, it can't be beat. I invest no costs (providing only inventory that might otherwise be stored for example), take no risk (other than shoplifting) and if something sells it's pure income.
SEND LUCK and may the 4th be with you all today!