Folksy Ltd

Wholesale Orders - Advice Please!

I’ve been approached to make some small items for a retail outlet attached to a weaving mill, using their fabrics, but using my designs and other materials. I’m supplying products on a wholesale basis, paid in advance, and with minimum order amounts to make it worthwhile. So far, so good.

The problem I have is with the packaging/presentation of the products. The retailer/mill wants to use their packaging, display cards, logos etc on the products, but I also want to include mine somewhere. The items are all quite small and, without packaging, it’s hard to add my branding to them.

It’s the first time I’ve supplied goods on a wholesale basis, so I’m not sure what the usual ‘rules’ are with regard to branding. Because I’m using their fabrics, it’s an unusual scenario, and I’m really acting as a ‘maker’ for them, instead of selling my own work. Any suggestions on how to negotiate? It seems a shame to miss out on some potential advertising for my own designs.

Without knowing what items you are making it’s difficult to suggest anything but if they are items that open, such as a purse or bag. could you print off small cards to pop inside with ‘Made by’ and you business name, web address on etc. ? I have some small cards, about half the size of a business card, that I have done this with…
Kim
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Hi Kim, no, they’re mainly things like brooches, mirrors, pendants, key fobs etc - all quite small, too small for labels and cards.

I’ve thought about getting some stickers made and maybe asking them if they’ll add them to their packaging, but not sure how expensive that might be and whether it’s worth it.

I might just ask them if they’ll keep some of my business cards on show, as part of the deal.

There is a person I follow on Facebook who does personalised stickers from 60p per sheet…it may be worth sending them a message to see how much it would be.

Someone on Folksy may do something similar, I don’t know…

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What about having tiny fabric labels professionally made and sewing them into the products? Just your business name would be enough.

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Hi Aileen, thanks for the suggestion. I do have some fabric labels, but they’re much too big for these items. I’ll have a look and see whether anyone does smaller ones - I have a long name, which doesn’t help! It might work for the brooches and key fobs. The mirrors and pendants are harder - there’s nowhere to add a label on those.

I sell a few things wholesale to shops and not all of it has my name on. What the retailer could do is display a printed sign explaining the collaboration? Could be a good Unique Selling Point for them as supporting local, locally handmade etc are all very much ‘on trend’.

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I’ve had a chat with the retailer, and they’ve suggested having a stash of my business cards to either put inside their display packaging or to give to customers when they buy something. I also suggested the idea of stickers and they’d be happy with that too, so quite a good result. As you’ve pointed out, Aileen, it’s a good selling point if buyers can see they’re locally handmade too.

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That does sound like a good result. Well done.
If you’re acting as their maker they don’t have to advertise you all, so to speak. Depending on the contract you agree to that is.
Think about all the items you see in shops that are handmade yet they only contain the shops information. I know I’ve come across things like that before where they’re all clearly a bit different & someone has clearly made them all on a smaller scale but no mention of them.
As you’d be getting paid upfront for your work & they’d then be selling them for whatever price they want, I think that’s fair enough. As you say- especially with it being their fabric.

But as has been previously said- you’d think the whole ‘locally made’ thing would be a good selling point!

So hey- looks like you came to an agreement that both are happy with so well done. :slight_smile:
Good luck with it all! Sounds really good!

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Thanks Susannah, I’m hoping it will work out. It certainly wasn’t something I had planned to do, and I hope it won’t get in the way of my direct sales, but it sounded like an interesting project and it’s a bit quiet this time of year, so I thought it worth trying. If I can get a bit of advertising out of it too, well that might make it very worthwhile!

Yeah definitely! Sounds good for all of you! Well done! :smiley: