Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A Touch of Rebejoo

There are lots of us making arts and crafts out there - and lots of opportunities to meet and chat about materials, techniques and creative ideas (at least that's how it feels to me), but less about the thornier topic of 'going pro' - making money from what we do. There are some excellent bits of advice if you look for them (like here) which I have found mooooost useful, along with hints and tips from fellow makers. So, with this in mind, I thought I'd share a few musings as I add 'selling via shops' to sales online and face-to-face (stalls etc).

Bishopstoke is a village-in-a-town and after having a stall at this excellent craft fair featuring local makers and organisers, it seemed right to try to sell through a local business. The question was 'where?' However, Rachel (one of the landladies in my local pub) had a fine suggestion - a nearby beauty salon had a large gift shop and might be interested in selling my shiny wares. As manicures, spa treatments and so on do not form a large part of my life, I hadn't even registered that the premises existed. So, newly informed, I took some items along to 'Touch' in Bishopstoke and after a natter or three with the owner, Abbie, I now have a small selection of Rebejoo goodies on sale.

Rebejoo shinies on sale in 'Touch'
So, why am I writing about this, apart from proclaiming 'yay!' at getting my first batch of pieces into a shop? Well, as this was being discussed, all sorts of little things popped up that I hadn't thought of before, mainly from Abbie who (unlike me) is a full-time retailer:

  • How much do I want to earn from each piece? This isn't the same as the list price as the shop will obviously need some income too. So, there needs to be some careful admin - numbered items and a list to the shop-owner including my required earnings plus an 'RRP'. I'm perfectly happy with sale-or-return so no problem there.
  • How should they be displayed? I really hadn't thought about this (despite having done so for my craft stall) and had to quickly come up with something - reworked tags (so the shop could add price labels to them, each numbered to keep track of sales), neater ear-ring cards, pendants all pre-strung, a new facebook album for items being sold elsewhere, and a sign explaining what I make, my locally handmade and recycled/reused ethos etc.
  • How to compete against cheap mass-produced-and-imported tat from Primark etc. This can be difficult - Abbie is interested in encouraging more local makers and hand-made goods, but has trouble selling items that are seen as 'expensive'. So, pieces were selected that were a little bit different but still within her customers' stylistic comfort zone - though there has already been one enquiry about more 'gothy' items as gifts for teenagers, so this could change. Much is made of the fact that each piece is unique - a one-off, so no chance of bumping into anyone else wearing it! And lastly, for now, I selected from the more affordable end of my range - as the more expensive pieces are also the more unusual and elaborate, this was pretty straightforward.
Overall, nothing especially challenging, but lots of little things that needed to be considered, and a chunk of extra time to be put aside. However it is also another nugget of experience in going pro, and well worth it - it's currently a small selection in one shop but still most satisfying and a very pleasing starting point. Now, I do believe there's a tattoo & piercing shop in Eastleigh...

And here it is - 'Touch' Health & Beauty where my jewellery awaits...

1 comment:

  1. Well done Dave, they look great, I'm sure once word gets around they'll be 'flying' off the shelves. Small step to a greater goal. :)