In case you missed it, Step One
Step 2. Make contact. I spent a bit of time going through the Chamber of Commerce for the 3 towns I am visiting. Unfortunately there are a lot of small boutiques and shops that are not in the Commerce database, and many of those who are don't have a web page or email address.
I did manage to send out 10 emails and made a list of shops to call (if and when I work up the nerve.)
Prior to this I made myself a simple Wholesale catalogue. Something with set prices, a few sample images and a lot of contact and ordering information. I imagine there is a standard format for these things but being the artist that I am, I tend to wing it a lot. I hosted the catalogue online, so I can email a link, instead of a file
Here is a sample of the email I am sent out- I adjusted each one to make it as personal as possible but you get the drift:
Portland Artist Looking for New Retail in .....
My name is Ryan and I am a Portland Artist, coming to the ---- area this week. I'd love to make an appointment with the buyer for your shop. I hand-make and retail a variety of products, including Jewelry and unique photography block sets. (see attached photos)
I am looking for an exclusive contract with the right shop in -----, my work is special and I don't want to over saturate the market. <-- I added this because most stores in small towns look for products other shops don't carry and I am hoping to get shops to buy outright by promising them exclusivity.
I've attached a copy of my wholesale catalogue and I have also included a link to my Etsy shop where many of my products can be found.
If you'd like to discuss an order in person feel free to call or reply to this email and I'll make sure to get you on my appointment calendar. I'll be in ----- Feb 17th and 18th.
Thanks so much for your time!
I included 2 photo samples in the email and sent these all out this morning. Now, I cross my fingers and wait.
Wish me LUCK and stay tuned!