If you haven’t read part 1, then click here to read it first .
To be honest we have been shocked at the speed of what happened next. Two shops came back to us very quickly after receiving our letters and two Steve followed up with a phone call. He got good feedback and appointments. All asked to see samples of the jewellery, so we put together a sample box to take around to all four.
The first two appointments were in the same town. This was good and bad. Great because it meant we had choice, bad, because it meant we had choices!!
We loved dealing with the first shop, not only had we been impressed on our first visit, but she didn’t disappoint on the second. She knew how to sell, she sold us on her business very quickly. She explained how she worked, the money side of it, ie what percentage she would take, how she would pay us and how often. But also she explained where she would display our jewellery, and how she would display it. She knew what her customers liked and she obviously valued that we picked up the glass ourselves and each piece was individual. She was impressed with our boxes and presentation, and inspected the quality of work. But most importantly for me, she obviously loved the jewellery herself.
At this point we realised we had made a mistake.…. She had obviously decided if she liked our things, she would take them and had expected us to leave the samples with her. Embarrassing really as we had another appointment to go to half an hour later. Coming out I was impressed, but she hadn’t been my first choice. We were going there next. I was very nervous and excited. I had adored this next place when we had first viewed it and was really keen to get it in there. The lady dealing with us was lovely and she chose a few items she liked. She had obviously been told by her manager to take a few items. She wasn’t really clear on where it would be displayed or on how it would be managed. I would have been really happy to go with them, had the first shop not been on offer. Both of us walked out and our instincts were to go with the first shop. So when we got home we rang and arranged to take in some stock. Another mistake, as it meant a second journey, but also a very good learning experience, which we took into the next towns. Steve had preferred our final choice from the beginning and I think I need to defer to his business instincts a bit more, I am a bit too emotional and that sometimes clouds my judgement. The next two shops went very smoothly and we even had a wholesale order instead of sale and return, which was a real bonus. We also have request from both of these shops, for more stock of a specific nature, so that’s a really good sign.
Luckily Steve is good with the money and figures, which has been an essential part of our planning. When adding up the amount of stock we have had to supply, it’s no small amount. All the stock that we are supplying is dead money to us, until it sells. This is something luckily Steve had prepared us for and kept money back for this eventuality.
So back to how busy our minds have been. We are excited but also slightly overwhelmed, by what we have had to do in the last few days. All the stock had to be prepared to go out. We had to have good coding and tracking. Also we have had to order in lots more materials to make up more items, to replace the missing stock in our shop. Luckily we are in a position again, through Steve’s good planning, to do this. Fortunately I had been making a lot of jewellery to prepare ready for the summer, so although, the amount of stock needed took us slightly by surprise, we had enough reserves. We also have lots of seaglass, both local and also from our visit in February to Seaham.
I said to a friend yesterday that it had been easier than I expected, but Steve corrected me on this and said, it had only been easy because we did our research and prepared correctly. And I totally agree. Had we not been on the ball, I don’t think we would have had the confidence in our product, approached the right people, and saved ourselves a lot of time and possible rejections, the money to do the research and to sustain a large amount of stock going out and just about have enough to restock our own shop.
Our plan was always to try and be in at least one shop before Easter, and I’m very happy to report as of today, we now have stock in 4 other retailers, in Cornwall. I cant tell you how chuffed I am with that.
I hope I haven’t bored you too much. In trying to research how to go about this then we found people were quite secretive about the whole process, I have no real idea why. We found very little information and so went on our instincts. Of course only time will tell, if that does actually work …….. I will let you know.