Why should I sign up for this service?
Our service represents the theory coined by Aristotle “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts .” By handmade vendors pooling together using our service, they benefit from economies of scale whereby as a whole, Sourcing Handmade can target a greater number of boutiques than any individual vendor could do alone…simply due to cost and resources. Also, by offering a comprehensive gallery of handmade and mom-invented items, which have already passed our quality testing, boutique owners can relax in the comfort of their home or office and peruse potential new products for their shop. Our pricing structure presents great savings for boutiques (think fees to attend a trade show, airfare, hotel, rental car, etc.). This comparison makes the cost-savings clear.
Are there limitations on the company type or size regarding handmade vendors with whom you work?
Yes. We cater to small operations…artisans crafting their handmade products in a small studio, home office, etc. We limit the number of people creating the products to 3. This allows an artisan / designer to enlist sewing / production help from 2 friends, family members, or workers. Handmade products created by factory labor are ineligible for our services.
What types of boutiques do you target?
We target all “boutique” shops which include, but are not limited to, the following specialties: accessories, jewelry, clothing, toys, gifts, baby & children’s products, home decor, bath & body products, candles, paper & stationery, and pet items. We will also target museum shops, zoos, aquariums, spas, yoga studios, and resorts. This targeting will be done strategically, and will be announced on our blog, in our newsletter, and on Facebook & Twitter…so make sure you are connected!
How do you market to boutiques?
We plan quarterly marketing campaigns to boutiques, on the national level. This includes, but is not limited to: direct mail, ads in national trade magazines, trunk show sponsorships, and online advertising. We also offer the add-on service of exhibiting at regional trade shows. Our first will be Beckman’s Handcrafted, part of The Chicago Market, in Chicago, July 2013.
Do you act as a sales rep for me?
We are not sales reps, per se, rather consultants. However, we may periodically take your samples to face-to-face meetings with boutique owners, and exhibit at wholesale trade shows (as an add-on service). Our goal is to bring quality, handmade and mom-invented products to brick-and-mortar boutiques, while helping the handmade artisan and indie designer grow his / her business. Another simultaneous goal is to provide a cost-effective alternative to the way boutiques traditionally source their merchandise, saving them valuable time and money.
Must my images be of the same product type?
No. If you specialize in 4 different product lines, you may submit images of 4 different product types. We believe a vendor should have a minimum of 2 images per product line to better showcase his/her talent and skills. The more images submitted, the greater exposure you will have to boutiques.
I can’t decide which of my items to submit, can you help?
Yes. At your request, we will give you suggestions on which items you should submit and what type of photos work best.
Will boutiques be informed of my skills, other than what is depicted in my photos?
Yes. Once you are matched with a boutique, they are provided with a comprehensive report which includes information on all your specialties and capabilities…provided these are communicated to us via your Product Submission Form. However, the general assumption is your best work will be depicted on the site, so a boutique’s primary emphasis would be on those items.
You charge vendors 2% commission on sales to boutiques in the first year, how & why?
This is a finder’s fee. We believe 2% is a nominal charge for the potential lifelong relationship you can gain from a boutique. We receive no monies from future sales to a boutique to which we match you, after the first year from your first sale. Other professional services charge fees or royalties for the life of the relationship, and some even charge an up-front royalty based on expected future earnings. We choose not to do this, and only charge 2% for the first year of sales. We will keep a running total of your sales via your Sales Notification Forms. We will send you a monthly invoice at month-end, for the total commission required. This way there is at most one monthly payment vs. several small ones.
Why aren’t vendors provided with boutiques’ contact information?
Boutique and shop owners are extremely busy, and generally perform several (if not all) functions of small business ownership. We simply want to respect their right to privacy by not sharing their names or contact information. When a vendor is matched with a boutique, we will notify the vendor and provide the name of the boutique alone.
What payment types do you accept?
Payment is accepted via Mastercard, Visa, AMEX, Discover, Paypal balance, or check made out to Sourcing Handmade, LLC.
Payment is made through Paypal’s payment portal and secure server. A Paypal account is not required. We never see your credit card information, and there are no transaction fees.