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Want to know my secret recipe for getting more orders?

 

Happy Monday!

Are you still wondering how to get your product into retail stores or turn your creative product idea into a sustainable business?  This is not an easy task but one that can be learned — it’s a process of understanding the basic tools to honing assortments, maximizing sales opportunities, and understanding buyers’ open-to-buy system.

In all my years in retail, I can tell you there is no shortcut around the crucial steps for getting your product retail ready, but I believe in making things simple. What I am about to share with you is a brief introduction to my secret recipe to get a piece of the buyer’s Open-to-Buy (OBT). Are you ready?

1) Eat your veggies (the absolute must do things that you can’t survive without):

  • Do your homework! – Visit the store you want to be in (or at least check out their website) and see what their assortment is like before contacting the buyer. You’d be amazed how many people skip this simple step.
  • Share your story – Buyers want to connect with the person behind the brand and hear their story. Or else, it’s just another product.
  • Professional looking website & email – The first thing a buyer will do when he/she hears about a line is google their website. Make sure that your website is professionally put together, reflects your style and easy to navigate. Your presence on the web will show the buyer that you take your business seriously and ready for the next step. It’s also a great way for buyers to “preview” your collection before meeting with you. 
Also, no janky emails!
  • Have a linesheet – Buyers are inundated with product submissions every day. Stand out from the crowd by having a linesheet that has all the necessary components that buyers need to write a purchase order: product shot, style number, wholesale cost, suggested retail and delivery. If you have a clothing line, it helps to have a lookbook as well as a linesheet.
  • Know your competition – It helps to know who your competition is so that you can be competitive with what’s already out there, speak confidently about what makes your line different, and how it fills a void in the market.

2) Add a little sugar (the extra little things designers can do to sweeten the deal when trying to get in stores)

  • Send samples – Depending on the nature of your product, you can send product samples for the buyers to try. Top buyers like to see products in person so that they can see how the product feels in their hands and on retail shelves.
  • Give an incentive – With the nature of the current economy, every dollar helps the margin. Give a 10% discount for new accounts or free shipping with an opening order. This is the kind of incentive that might push a buyer from a “maybe” to a “yes!”
  • Be open to do consignment – This is a great way for stores to “test” your line without having to commit to buying the inventory upfront. It can be mutually beneficial if you’re starting out because it gives you an opportunity to sell your product in the store (that you want to be in) while gaining feedback and exposure.

3) Create a buzz (ways for designers to garner interest with public)

  • Stores want to know that you are doing your part in getting the word out about your line. The secret that many designers may not know is that buyers are looking for new vendors as much as you’re looking to be in stores. You need to get out there with your product line to increase their chances of getting picked up by a store or media.
  • Participate in local craft fairs and flea markets (ones that are relevant to your business). It is imperative for designers to get direct customer feedback on their line so that you can share this information with potential store buyers.
  • Use social media outlets to create your own posse – Be relevant to your customers and engage with them for feedback and support. Create a Facebook/twitter/instagram accounts and use them as if you are networking at a cocktail party.
  • Pitch to editors and bloggers to obtain press mentions – Customers, as well as stores, love press mentions. Post them on your website and have tear sheets to show to prospective stores.

Do you have a success story you want to share with others? I would love to hear your story, comment below.

 

xoxo,

Grace Kang
Your Retail Product Mentor

 

P.S. If you are looking to shake things up and propel your business to the next level,  be sure to check your inbox next week. I will be sharing something that has helped me to grow my little empire to unexpected heights and you can do the same! :) See you then. xoxo

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let’s do this!


Hey there,

In this age of go go go, it’s easy to forget or overlook the value of pause and reflection. Rather than being a waste of time, reflection can actually give you more clarity which then leads to more productivity. It doesn’t matter if you’re a wellness instructor or restaurant owner or designer/artist, it is important to set aside time each week to reflect on the week, month and year.  Are you ready to do this?

Here are 3 simple steps:

1) Spend a few minutes on Monday reflecting on what occurred the previous week –  the good and the bad.

2) Write down any missed opportunities and areas for growth. Nip those “not so good” ideas in the bud. Here are some questions to get your juices flowing – How were your sales for the week? What did you sell a lot of and need to replenish? What products maybe weren’t as popular as you expected? Were there any opportunities you missed? Were your marketing efforts successful? How was your web traffic?

3) Track your performance. Once you’ve answered these questions applicable to your business, you’ll be giving yourself a great way to track progress and ideas. Then, you can start making improvements! Even the most successful businesses are constantly evolving and improving. :)

What are you most excited for 2013?
I am most excited about inspiring other creative entrepreneurs to create the life they want and make it happen! We have so many exciting ideas in the works and can’t wait to share with you all in the New Year!

XOXO
grace

image: courtesy of tattly

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do you want my recommendation?

Happy Wednesday!

I have always been a huge proponent of building a community for yourself. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people, fans, fellow entrepreneurs, and knowledgeable members of your professional community can do wonders for yourself and your business. With limited resources and time, it is smarter to arm yourself with an arsenal of comprehensive tools to support you than to go at it blindly. From apps, to websites, to software there is so much out there to help save your time and money.

Much like the possible difficulties associated with finding the right people to surround yourself with, it can also be hard to find the right tools. Here’s where bestvendor.com comes in. I had the opportunity to chat with the founder Jeff  Giesea of BestVendor at a tech summit last month, and his team has figured out a way to make this oh so easy for us. Instead of spending hours, or even days, searching for software for everything from finance to sales to design only to hope you purchased the right one for your needs, take a few minutes to browse through bestvendor’s recommendations. You can search by popularity, by certain tags or by similarity to yourself. It’s worth taking the time to sign up to get customized recommendations, you can even sign up through facebook, twitter, or linkedin and find out what tools your community members use, bringing this philosophy full circle!  

Sounds cool right? Do you want to know what I use to run my retail business? Click here.

Want to create your own list? Check it out and let me know what you find! :)

 
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Go local and let’s connect! :)

Happy Thursday,

I feel very lucky to work together with many local, hand-made designers. However, I have come to realize that the real challenge has been translating the quality of the product into sales with customers.

Since local designers produce work on a much smaller scale than larger companies it makes sense that their prices would stay higher in order for everyone involved to make a profit. Communicating this to customers in a constructive way can be tricky. In this age of Walmart and mass-production customers are used to searching out the lowest price and expect everyone to match these prices. In an effort to defend our designers’ prices we have endeavored to promote the “quality over quantity” philosophy and explain what it is about this product that makes them worth the higher price tag. Whether it’s the expert craftsmanship, the much higher quality materials, or the mere fact that they’re supporting their local economy, the bottom line is that they’re investing in a product that will last much longer than many less expensive options.

In my other business, Pink Olive, we have also utilized frequent-buyer loyalty programs to reward customers for shopping with us. We also run promotions and found great success with 2-for deals that promote buying in bulk. At the end of the day, not everyone is going to understand the value of quality and craftsmanship, but your ideal customers will understand and come back.

Are you a hand-made designer? How do YOU translate the quality of your product with your customers? I would love to hear your thoughts below.

image via design is mine blog and yvestown shop

 Are you a crafty gal? Do you want to meet other creatives in NYC? You are in for a real treat! Come and mix with other creatives tonight, snack on whoopie pies and get ready to be inspired!

Erin Ozer from Knot & Bow is a great example of someone who started her paper & craft business out of her home and now sells to many retailers around the country, including Pink Olive and Terrain. You will hear her story and learn how to DIY for both your personal and business needs.

We still have a few spots left so be sure to RSVP here or email us at concierge@pinkolive.com if you want to attend. I look forward to meeting you! :)

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my next chapter for retail recipes… plus, my gift to you! :)

Hey there!

Today is a very special day for me. I am trilled to announce the launch of my newest Retail Recipes venture, one that I hope will be able to reach far more people than ever before! I’ve put together all of my best retail advice into…drum-roll please….my Retail Recipes book + DIY Kit!!

This book will provide indie-designers and artists from around the country with access to my advice on how to sell their products to retail stores and create a desirable brand. It will also cover my most popular business tips on starting, maintaining, and growing a product-based business.  In order to sell to retail stores “with ease” you need to make your product desirable to a retail buyer. Whether you’re just getting started or have are already on your way and just need an extra boost, we’ll formulate a simple retail recipe formula to help meet your unique goals and needs.

You will learn my retail recipes formula for getting more orders from your ideal stores, discover hidden opportunities to make you more money and create a buzz that will get buyers to call YOU! 

Whether you design baby onesies, paper goods, clothing, accessories, or home décor items, this interactive book will cover the basics of starting and maintaining a product-based business and garner the attention of your dream retail buyer, at a much lower cost than other coaching services.

So how much does this cost?

My private one-on-one clients pay thousands of dollars to work together with me. So now, for a fraction of what my clients pay, you can have me teach you these same strategies for just $147. This is your opportunity to get inside the mindset of a retail buyer and learn everything there is to know about making your product retail ready!

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the content that will be covered in the book.

It gets better! In celebration of my birthday week, I will be offering the following BONUSES:

1) If you sign up for this book during the month of July, you will also receive:

+ 10 step guide to writing an effective pitch letter to retail stores + sample letter {value $150}
+ Linesheet Template {value $150}
+ Store List of 600+ specialty stores around the country that carries paper goods, gifts, baby, fashion,beauty, and vintage vendors {value $500}

2. For the first 10 people who sign up, you will receive everything above PLUS, I will personally critique your website and product assortment and email you with at least five strategies you can implement right away to make your product retail ready! {This alone is worth $225}   SOLD OUT

SPECIAL BONUS #3:
If you place your order by Friday, July 13th and you will be invited to get on a group call with me for an hour of Q&A time. This is something that my private clients have found invaluable and would love to offer this personal time to you. You can ask anything that comes up for you as you go through the exercises or challenges you are facing with your business now. You will have 30 days to implement 3 things from the book before we get on the call. Sound good? SOLD OUT

Please click on the button below to sign up and you will receive all the materials right away!

Still unsure? Check out some of the testimonials from other designers just like YOU! Your product idea deserves to be presented in the right way to get a fair shot in the retail world!


 I want to point out that if this book + DIY kit doesn’t meet your expectation or return on your investment, you will receive 100% of your money back. You have nothing to lose!

Again, the special BONUS #1 is only good for the month of July, #2 is only for the first 10 people to sign up, and #3 is for everyone who signs up by Friday, July 13th.

Here’s to making your product retail ready!

xo,

Grace Kang
Your Retail Product Mentor