Posts tagged ‘boutique sourcing’
September 10, 2012
I recently read an article which described ways for boutique owners to find suppliers for their shops. The top 3 suggestions will come as no surprise: visit national and regional trade shows, search through vendor directories, and import product. What do these approaches all have in common? Time and money, money and time! Attending a trade show likely includes the following costs: show fee, airfare, gas, taxi, hotel, and meals out. All of these are costs assigned to the sourcing aspect of the business. Visiting regional shows, oftentimes held at convention centers, is a less costly approach, but there are still costs involved (how does a $50 parking fee suit your budget?). Online vendor directories do not offer a home run either. I searched through a few vendor directories, and was overwhelmed at the multitude of product categories and other “stuff” made available. One such example is ThomasNet.com. This was proffered as a directory for retail boutiques. However, it seems the site is more focused on industrial product sources (search “boutique clothing” and the results include safety apparel, scrubs, and uniforms…probably not something you’d select for your shop! ). Lastly, wholesale import sites include tons and tons of product. They are overwhelming on the face. It’s hard to find out exactly how and where the product is made (think child labor or unfair working conditions). Utilizing this method is a a strain on your pocketwatch…and your pocketbook. The point is, it’s time for a new option. An option that solely focuses on boutique retailers. An option that solely focuses on handmade product (plus some mom-invented products!). These narrow focuses make your sourcing job faster, easier, and less expensive. So, give us a try! Mention this blog post, and as an independent boutique owner, we will supply you with one complimentary wholesale line sheet for any vendor in our gallery. No obligations, just email us at info (at) sourcinghandmade (dot) com!
February 16, 2012
When you hear the word “wholesale”, does it make you think of a production line creating hundreds of the same item, over and over again? Perhaps in the historical sense, but not with handmade, and not here. Handmade items are different. By definition, they are unique, some are OOAK (one-of-a-kind). This means precisely that…one…of…a…kind. Do these items have a place in a boutique? Absolutely! Here is a quote from the Glancer magazine about a local brick-and-mortar boutique “Many of the pieces in the store are one-of-a-kind because they are handpicked from independent artists or designed by (the owner) herself.”
The article also touts how they sell products designed and crafted by local and national artists. This exclusivity is a selling point. It makes the consumer feel she is getting something special…and she is. Made with love by someone’s hands. It portrays the boutique as a place that carefully selects their items, not as one simply placing large orders with precarious wholesale websites sourcing products from overseas.
If you create OOAK items, boutiques can be for you. Many are willing to place orders for a variety of styles…and find consumers crave OOAK pieces. Afterall, the boutique is unique in itself…it is not a big box store. It caters to a particular clientele. If their customers wanted the same necklace every Sue, Barb, and Sally were wearing…they would be shopping elsewhere.