first wholesale show

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Posted by Luann Udell on September 27, 2000 at 14:40:37:

Okay, John, I'm doing as you suggested & posting to this board. It ended up being four or five questions......eek!

I've just been accepted in to my very first, really big wholesale show--and all of a sudden, all my year's preparations seem woefully inadequate. Let me focus on my catalog for now, which is due for an overhaul anyway, and the rest of my paper.

I have two connected and overlapping product lines--one-of-a-kind wall hangings and framed work ( fiber collage work, with my polymer clay embellishments) and a line of jewelry made from the same embellishments. The jewelry is sorta easy. I have a four-color sell sheet of my original 10 designs. I've augmented that with color photocopies as I've added designs, and am now ready to get a second four-color sell sheet to replace the color copies. This will cost me $400. It may look a little crowded on that second page, but I'm thinking I'll cull out some of the harder-to-mass-produce items for now. I print out the price list & ordering info on separate sheets of paper, off my computer printer.

Marketing the one-of-a-kind stuff is harder to figure out. My strategy, after talking with anyone I can snag, is 1) to create as much work as possible upfront to take to the show, and let buyers preselect the works they want; (but this is a lotta stuff to pack & ship...should I just take samples & tell them they can order something *like* that??) 2) since I'm undecided about straight wholesale prices for pieces that range from $400-$1,500, it's been suggested that I have some sort of pricing like buy 2, get a 25% discount off retail, buy 3, get 35% off retail, 4 or more, get 60% off retail. Does that make good business sense? It sort of sounds like if you buy 2, you might as well buy 4 for the same amount of money.... 3) I plan to produce a nice brochure with photos of me, my studio, samples of these high-end, one-of-a-kind works (but no order forms), artist statement, etc., and hope this is enough to remind buyers later of what they were looking at; 4) I have business cards with a photo of of one of my wall hangings on it. That way, if they lose *everything* else, at least they'll be able to see who I am and what I make. Should I order additional business cards with the jewelry on it?

Is this going to be sufficient information for someone to see my work, order it at the show, and to be able to order/reorder after the show? Am I missing anything crucial?

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