Tips for Going Retail

Kaela Designs Etsy Bag

Bag from Kaela Designs


How do you make that retail leap from selling your product on Etsy to having it carried in over a dozen boutiques? Ask the founders of Kaela Designs.

Two years after the mother-daughter team launched their line of handmade beach totes and hobo bags on Etsy, Kaela bags are now in 13 San Diego shops.

“Selling on Etsy helped us dial in on what designs sell best,” says Ritamarie Grindle, 33.

Then, the pair went old-school, meeting with local boutique owners, bags and line sheets in hand.

Hand-selling your product is smart, says Kari Chapin, author of the new Grow Your Handmade Business.

Some more tips for going retail:

1. Timing. If your Etsy fans keep asking what stores you sell in, it’s time to approach the buyers at shops you love.

2. Calculate wholesale costs. You want to earn a profit, while still keeping retail costs in line with what people will pay for your product online.

3. Offer something unique. Add something new to your retail products (e.g. a new color or fabric) that differ from the ones sold on Etsy.

4. Produce collateral. Create fact sheets (include photos, sales successes, and customer testimonials) that you can leave with buyers.

5. Be ready to roll out. Make sure you have the capacity to fulfill orders, on time.  

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