Tracy Czech from Sourcing Handmade contacted me a little while back to tell me that she had just launched a business aiming to help bring handmade products to brick and mortar boutiques. Since you are her target audience and she is launching her first big campaign soon we wanted to share an interivew with her so you can learn more about her new venture!
Tell us a little about Sourcing Handmade?
Sourcing Handmade is a boutique sourcing consultancy which helps match handmade artisans / crafters with boutique owners looking to source handmade products for their stores. We save boutique owners time and money, as they can browse our gallery 24/7, rather than spending an exorbitant amount of money attending trade shows across the country.
What lead you to start this new business?
I have a Marketing degree, as well as several years’ of business and management experience in Corporate America. I resigned to raise my newborn son, then my daughter. After a few years, I was ready for “more.” I dabbled in my own handmade product, started a website, and made some sales. I was driven further, so I started a blog Mama-press where I provide free marketing advice for handmade businesses, as well as an online business directory. I met many like-minded women…mompreneurs, who create handmade and sell online. Through discussions with them, I realized there was a need for a service to help these creative, entrepreneurial women grow their businesses. Many expressed the dream of getting their handmade products into brick-and-mortar boutiques. That realization, along with my entrepreneurial spirit, my drive to support handmade and small businesses, and my business background, prompted me to start my own business, Sourcing Handmade.
What do handmade sellers need to know?
As long as they are committed, driven, have the desire to grow their business, and have the cost structure to support a wholesale discount, they can get their handmade products sold in boutiques. We help them do that, while greatly minimizing the stress and costs associated with it.
What to boutique owners need to know?
Traditional product sourcing costs a lot of time and money. Travel expenses incurred to attend trade shows could be in the thousands. Searching online for vendors takes a lot of time and too often results in dead-ends. We offer a revolutionary approach to boutique product sourcing by providing a virtual trade show, accessible 24/7. We search for and pre-screen handmade vendors, we inspect their products for quality and post reviews on our blog. We provide wholesale line sheets in a clear, consistent format, making your life easier. We do the legwork. We offer a la carte packages, as well as full consulting packages. Learn more here. Plus, for a limited time, we are offering a complimentary wholesale line sheet to any boutique who requests it. No obligations to buy. Just ask, and you will receive it same day.
Do you reach out to boutiques locally, around the country, the world?
We are national, and focus on U.S. brick-and-mortar boutiques. In the near future, we will begin targeting online retailers as well.
Can the handmade sellers be from anywhere?
Yes. Currently, the majority of our vendors are from the U.S. 2 are from Canada. We will open an “International” or “Fair Trade” category when the need arises.
Is wholesale experience required to join?
No. Although the majority of our vendors are experienced wholesalers, some have no, or very limited experience. We do provide resources to educate all our vendors, and write regular blog posts providing marketing tips and industry news. Recent articles can be seen here.
How are you getting the word out to boutiques about handmade products?
We plan quarterly marketing campaigns, targeting hundreds, if not thousands of boutiques. Our first big campaign goes live 6/26, and will have an audience of 20,000+ boutique and gallery owners in the U.S. (details here). We also schedule meetings with local boutique owners, and those we meet on our travels. We introduce our business, show our vendors’ samples, even offer a complimentary wholesale line sheet for the vendor of their choice (which, by the way, we create for our vendors).
How long have you been doing this?
We pre-launched to handmade vendors in Jan/Feb., and we launched to boutiques in April. We are new, but already represent 20 handmade vendors, have earned wholesale orders for 2 of our vendors, and have matched several more. We are just scratching the surface!
Do you have any testimonials?
When our vendors sign up, most, if not all, express genuine excitement at embarking on this journey with us. They express thanks for our efforts, and for providing them with a new avenue for growing their business. They see our passion and our commitment to helping them get their products into boutiques. Afterall, we are not successful unless they are successful.
Tracy has a Free Upgrade Promo ending 6/15 but she would like to extend it to 6/22 just for our readers! If any of you sign up by 6/22, you will receive a free upgrade to the next package. This has a $30 value (packages can be seen here). You simply need to use the coupon code HandmadeSuccess when signing up.
If you have any more questions please let Tracy know in the comments!
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