This week I am answering some really great questions from BurdaStyle users regarding selling your goods online to selling consignment. Here are a couple more questions I’ve provided answers to and keep them coming!
I’ve been selling + consigning to boutiques for 2 years now & I’m kind of stuck in between being too small, but not big enough to hire some one. Where does a designer go from here???
I completely understand how you feel, I was in this exact situation when I was living in Los Angeles selling my mini-collections to boutiques. I discovered a couple of ways to grow without taking too much of a financial risk.
1. Industry Experience. I freelanced for a designer where I went to his studio a couple of days a week and made patterns, swatched, watched over the shop, and hepled with fashion shows. This not only provided me with more knowledge about the inner-workings of a fashion house, it provided me with valuable resources: I found out where to get great fabric at wholesale prices and was introduced to the designer’s sewers and pattern-makers, whom he was willing to share with me.
2. Hire Help. I hired a seamstress to come to my studio one day a week. At this point I figured I could hire someone for at least one day a week, or maybe one day a month. I planned to have each piece which I needed sewn up pre-cut- so when the seamstress arrived all there was to do is sew them right up. We got so much more done that day than I could have done in a week…I placed an ad on Craigslist for a seamstress and named my day rate, what I could afford and what I thought was fair. This gave me more time to begin new designs and fabric source.
All of these questions are very relevant to me— I’m starting up my own Etsy shop but don’t have a lot of capital to build up an initial stock. How do I market so that I sell items very quickly to allow me to buy supplies to create more?
I would recommend, before you start making more, going over your inventory of fabric, notions, and pieces of clothing that you would like to sell and and see what you’ve got. Then I would take editor-in-cheif of Etsy’s blog, Emily Bidwell’s advice and "Give your shop personality. Consider yourself a brand with a shop concept and “feel”. Cohesive product and items photographed in the same way can give a professional look. Think of your shop as a website…what would you want that to look like?". Nice clear, in-focus photographs are key. The buyer needs to see what they are getting and why it is so special.