Ok, so probably not in a shop near anyone except me, but in a shop none the less!
I've been telling myself for a while now that I need to go and talk to gift shop owners about stocking some of my work, but I actually went and did it today. I packed a box of my favourite pieces, sat down and decided how much I could charge for wholesale and went into the world of retail. There's a little town down the road from me called Winslow. Pretty, old, picturesque and has about 3 gift shops.
On the drive over I started fantasising to myself about how the shop owner would comment on my necklace (I was wearing my Pearl Ruche) and say how lovely it was so I could say 'oh, well I made it, actually...' and things would go from there. I hate striking up conversations with strangers...I think it's something to do with being British!
I went into the first one and had a nose around and didn't really like it. The owner didn't seem interested in her customers and the stock was all mass made, factory produced stuff.
So I left.
I didn't even go into the next one - I was getting fairly nervous and it seemed to all be clothes. The third one looked beautiful from the outside, so I crept in and had a look.
Lots of different, beautiful creations by several different artists and designers. It was such a comfortable shop and the woman who owned it seemed friendly and apologised for not noticing me right away.
I was just screwing my courage up to ask her 'would you be interested in seeing some samples of my handmade jewellery?' when I heard...
'Oooh, I like your necklace! Where did you get that from?'
With a slight stammer from shock and nerves, the reply came:
'Well, I made it myself, actually. I'm a jewellery designer. I actually came in to see if you'd be interested in stocking some of my pieces on a trial basis. I brought some samples with me, if you'd like to see.'
'Yes, yes I would, actually.'
I was actually shaking by this point, it's a miracle I managed to get my storage box out of my bag! So, I showed her the pieces I'd bought and told her the prices. To my absolute shock, she ended up taking 5 necklaces and 1 bracelet. I have instructions to go back in a few weeks so she can pay me and see more designs!
I cannot believe how easy that seemed to be. I've been worrying about it for weeks, but it happened in just one day! Admittedly, wholesale prices aren't great compared to the retail I can charge on Etsy, but it's still money.
My dream of having my work in the Waddesdon Manor gift shop in time for Christmas seems slightly more attainable now.
I think that's going to keep me smiling for a few weeks :D
2 months ago