How to con your way into a boutique
A great way to break into stores is to offer your products on consignment. I did this when I first started my handbag line, and again when I launched Simply Sarah. I wanted to be in Jennifer Kaufman, Lisa Klein and Fred Segal (hip stores in Los Angeles) so badly that I offered them consignment and it worked! They were totally on board since they didn't have to lay out the cash for my bags, and when they started to sell like hotcakes, they became lifelong paying clients. When launching Simply Sarah with my Handy Hold All, I had a lot of explaining to do about the product so sometimes it was just easier to send 6 units and let them see what their customers had to say – worked every time.
If you are willing to stand behind your product, and really believe in it, so will the buyers.
- Here are a few things to be aware of to be sure you get paid when doing consignment:
- Be certain of the stores target market and give them the proper items so they sell well – not all designs sell well in every store.
- Be sure to make a real invoice for your items so it is clear what you expect to be paid.
- Make arrangements to follow up after 30 days and that you expect to be paid at that time for what has sold.
- If sales are going well, then restock the store and start again with a clean invoice each time.
- Only con is that they can be slow to pay, or that the items are all returned to you because they didn’t sell.
All in all, I see it as a win win – if they do sell, you have a lifelong customer, and if they don't you, you probably got eyes on it anyhow which will pay off eventually!
What are your dream stores?