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Wibu to try approaching bridal shops to sell my work?

(13 Posts)
FedupofbeingtoldIcantusemyname Tue 11-Oct-16 12:35:48

I make jewellery as a hobby but I am thinking about trying to sell it.

Trouble is, as a very new 'seller', I have no access to a shop or anything of that sort. Also, I don't have a lot of money spare to put in to get things started. I'm planning to try and sell on ebay, etsy and so on when I have enough stock.

The kind of stuff I make really (I think), lends itself well to being bridal jewellery and I want to start making headpieces, tiaras, hair vines etc too. The nature of the jewellery means it looks much better IRL than it does in pictures although I do plan to have some pictures taken of the jewellery as well (I have access to a professional photographer who can take some decent pictures when I'm ready).

I'm thinking about making some sample pieces and approaching some bridal shops/hairdressers and asking if they would put them in their shops/salons as examples to brides. Wibu to do this? On the one hand it feels slightly out of order to do this (not sure why), but on the other I'm not sure how to get prospective customers/brides to see and try on the products in person without doing this.

Wibu to ask? Should I offer some sort of % for the shop/salon if I do? I know virtually nothing about business so have no idea how people usually do these things!

KC225 Tue 11-Oct-16 12:51:24

Local wedding fairs would be a good option. If you approach them, what is the worst that can happen they say no?

Portobelly Tue 11-Oct-16 12:56:41

"Should I offer them a % for the shop/salon?"
You should be very satisfied with 60% to you, 40% to the retailer, even on a sale and return basis.

AGruffaloCrumble Tue 11-Oct-16 12:58:20

Wedding Fayres are great for that kind of thing. Also, try small quirky independent stores.

Sonders Tue 11-Oct-16 12:58:47

I think it's a good idea to ask but you need to go in with more that the jewellery itself. Make sure you have the basics like business cards and/or leaflets with your details on - places like Moo do these really well and probably for less than you think (and there's always discount codes about).

You might not be able to afford a full website yet but they can cost as little as £100 for a diy-job based on a template. I'd go with something WordPress-based so that if you upgrade to a bigger site, you don't have to start from scratch again. I recommend a theme called Atelier by Swift Ideas (I promise I don't work for them) which I've used to make about 6 different sites for clients.

Social media will also have to be your best friend. I'd get on Instagram at least (as it lends itself really well for fashion and jewellery) and start following other brands to see what works for them. I'm not sure what you're style is but some of my favourite jewellers are @smallwildshop, @byangeline and @m.calvin which are all very different.

Only once you have an Instagram style in mind should you start posting. Later (formerly Latergramme) who offer an Instagram posting service, have a really helpful blog with loads of tips for absolute beginners and up.

I have probably written a long enough reply but PM me if you want a bit more advice (I'm a marketing consultant for small businesses!) as I'm always happy to point MNers in the right direction smile

missm0use Tue 11-Oct-16 13:16:53

What about try to sell it on Etsy?

ladybagpuss Tue 11-Oct-16 13:39:18

Great advice here already, but I'd agree with wedding fayres, Etsy and the quirky shop a PP suggested. My friend did this and got great results.

Sonders, can I PM you please?

DollyBarton Tue 11-Oct-16 13:44:15

You should sell online. Sell for cost price x 2 (including your time). As an example £20 in time and materials = £40 sales price.

If you sell to a shop, you need to sell to them at a price that they can the x3. So if you take a profit of cost price as above and sell to the shop for £40, then it needs to sell to the public for £120. If that seems doable then maybe selling via a shop is a possibility. But shops will look for x3 mark up on what you sell to them for.

Sonders Tue 11-Oct-16 13:47:26

ladybagpuss go ahead - and anyone else smile

I only check MN every few hours though so apologies if I'm slow to reply!

FedupofbeingtoldIcantusemyname Tue 11-Oct-16 20:29:48

I did think of wedding fayres! I was planning to go to independents rather than chains as I think they are more likely to sell stuff from 'outside' suppliers.

Sonders thats really helpful, thank you grin I would love more information! I did want to have the business cards and everything all ready to go before I approach them, I want to look like a professional rather than a hobbyist.

Didn't think about instagram, I don't use it at the moment - what's so good about it?

Sonders Thu 13-Oct-16 10:35:06

Hey fedup - wedding fayres are brilliant but in my experience (got married 3 weeks ago!) they're really expensive and not many brides are expecting to buy something on the day. I had another thought too - there's a magazine called Rock and Roll Bride which has been out since the end of last year, and is now the best selling wedding magazine in WH Smiths. Last week they were offering printed advertising space for £50 which is an absolute bargain!

Instagram is great because it focuses so much on the visual, meaning you don't have to spend loads of time writing sales messages or deep & meaningful posts. It's more forgiving too, you can keep a really casual style if that's your thing. The audience is predominantly young & female (great for the wedding market) and there's a massive wedding community.

It's also really easy to manage with the right tools - I mentioned Later before, it allows to you schedule up to 30 posts a month for free. For one of my old clients I would spend like 15 mins a day trying to wrack my brain for ideas - when I switched to Later is took me about 4 hours to do a whole month!

Instagram is owned by Facebook too and the two share a lot of functionality, Instagram's ad platform is actually controlled in Facebook so it's really easy to see the two working together.

With print stuff, I'd start by going to the Moo & VistaPrint websites & ordering the sample packs - these are free and give you a really good idea of the finishes & prices.

I'm happy to advise more but I'm rubbish at checking old threads, PM me if you want more info smile

BoJolly Thu 13-Oct-16 11:31:12

I agree with the pp advice on getting an online presence & business cards ready. Then, go to wedding fayres (as a customer) and look out for wedding planners. Have a few examples of your jewellery and leave them your business card. Look also online for wedding / event planners and send them links to your online account (when it is set up). You will find that a lot of small businesses in the wedding industry look after each other online so you need to start networking. Good luck smile

woowoowoo Thu 13-Oct-16 12:19:16

Following with interest

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