Friday, October 21, 2016

Do you have something to sell?

It is nice t know that there are still big guys out there willing to help the little guy get ahead in business. I am not talking about the stature of men but the small business owner who needs a larger venue to sell their products. Yes there is that popular show called Shark Tank where 5 super rich people are willing to take large percentages of your company in an instant in exchange for an endcap in Walmart. Then there is another place called Etsy where start -up companies with their home grown remedies and crafting ideas can get a boost into the large retail stores. Of course a beauty pageant of sorts is required where you present your stuff at a venue and hope to be chosen for the help.
Etsy is in bed with Macy’s and Whole Foods. Most participants are taking their garage created creations cross country to New York to show off their home grown successful creations. Dana Mauriello is the Senior Director of Etsy who has the job of choosing the best new product to be mass produced and marketed. They narrow down the applicants to 100 people and then narrow it down to only 36 people come in person and describe and preset their stuff. Etsy is the home to 1.7 Million active sellers with over 35 million items for sale.  Etsy Wholesale’s mantra is “Where retailers connect with wholesale-ready independent designers. There are success stories that simply list their products with Etsy. A woman sold 6,000 doormats there. Someone else sold 19,000 of his art prints at $395 each. Not such a bad hobby anymore. This is business.
A contract with one of the mega stores can take your business even further. Everything is being sold from cheese boards to children’s costumes.  Amy Mescal is the lifestyle buyer for Whole Food Stores Market in the Northeast region and she sees stuff every day for consideration to be sold in their stores. They love to meet with the creators of the new product. A one on one with the buyer and putting a face on a name is extremely valuable in a new partnership.  So, don’t be shy with your stuff. One person who thinks she is the new Hallmarks includes note paper with the card with the same designs in case you want to write more in the card. Nice idea all for $7 dollars. Prices for any product usually starts at about 7 or 8 dollars.
Claudia Pearson draws designs at her home studio in Brooklyn and is an Etsy success story that has moved on to selling in Whole Foods. It is now her full time job to illustrate buildings for herself. Some hopefuls are as young as 16 years old. At least you know that the people at Etsy will not say you are dead to them or that you have to agree to large percentages of your company taken away from you. Ake something and sell it. You never know.  

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