Posts Tagged: pretty paper please

biz tips :: consignment vs. wholesale

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I am thrilled to introduce Mélanie Kimmett from Pretty Paper Please to the blog to talk to us about her experience with consignment / wholesale and creating your own product line. Mélanie has been a great help while I put together a catalogue and as I prepare to expand my own line of handmade goods to retail shops. She’ll be covering a lot of information, so make sure to follow along! – Andrea

When I first explored the idea of developing my own stationery line, I found most information about how to approach wholesale opportunities strangely allusive. Over these next several posts I’ll cover all relevant topics I wish I had been privy to before venturing into the world of consignment and wholesale myself.

Now, I also want to preface this by saying I’m really not an expert, but I’ve certainly gained some real life insight from my own trial and error ways. Hopefully you can all benefit from those lessons. Feel free to add your own points or comments in the comment section below. I’d love to treat this as an ongoing conversation!

Here’s the outline of what I’d like to touch on over the next coming weeks:

1. Consignment or Wholesale?
2. How to Brand and Package Yourself
3. Create your own Line Sheets + Product Catalogue
4. The Business of Running your own Product Line

First things first, let’s understand the top-level difference between selling goods on consignment vs. wholesale. Here are the dictionary’s definitions for selling on consignment or wholesale.

Consignment – With the provision that payment is expected ONLY on completed sales and that unsold items may be returned to the one consigning.

Wholesale – The sale of goods in large quantities, as for resale by a retailer.

In simpler terms, one option provides you with monetary compensation now (wholesale) vs. later (consignment). Either way you look at it, someone (whether it’s you or the retailer) is taking a gamble on your product, especially if you’re just starting out and haven’t made much of a name for yourself yet.

Where wholesale seems like the favourable choice when you’re first starting out, I’d like to mention that consignment is often times easier to come by, but it should also be recognized as a personal investment in yourself and product line. While it exposes your product to the marketplace, it also provides a testing ground for items you were maybe questioning and could help you streamline things in the future. Another strong point is that you sometimes profit more (per item) from selling on consignment. Most consignment shops offer you a 60/40 split on all goods sold, whereas in wholesale you have to find that magic wholesale price point that works for both you AND the retailer, which can get tricky. I’ll delve deeper into that in my ‘Create your own Line Sheets + Product Catalogue’ blog post in the next coming weeks.

Most shops make a clear distinction on whether they are consignment or wholesale-based, but some will entertain both options. Some wholesale-based shops may want to try you on a consignment basis to minimize some risk on their end. Be open to this as an option, as this flexibility can strengthen your work relationship with the shop owners. If after a trial period of a few months on consignment you’ve proven to be a good fit and your product is selling well, you should then think about approaching the shop about wholesaling with them.

Check back as we cover topics such as ‘How to Approach Prospective Shops’ and ‘the Follow Up’!

shop tour :: Brick & Mortar Living

shop tour: brick and mortar 1shop tour: brick and mortar 2shop tour brick and mortar collage1shop tour: brick and mortar 3shop tour: brick and mortar 4shop tour: brick and mortarshop tour: brick and mortar 7shop tour: brick and mortar 5We visited with the lovely ladies from Brick & Mortar Living last weekend, a beautiful shop that carries a selection of locally handmade and vintage / reimagined goods. Located in one of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods, the shop is a part of the Arundel Mansions, a building built in 1912 and chock block full of the character details that I love.

With a keen eye for styling and displays, sisters Julia and Emma (with the help of their mom!) fill their shop with plenty of inspiration from repurposed mason jar pendant lamps and tennis racket cork boards to handmade goods by Pretty Paper Please, The Beautiful Project, Belvedere, and more. They pride themselves in providing a memorable face-to-face customer experience so make sure to stop in and say hello!

Brick & Mortar Living
42 Begbie Street, New Westminster
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giveaway :: Pretty Paper Please

Oh hi! Mélanie Kimmett here. I’m incredibly proud to have the opportunity to introduce you to my new stationery line Pretty Paper Please. I’ve lovingly created this line over the course of a year. Its evolution has been such a joy, as I’ve explored my life-long love for animals (if I had been good at science and slightly less emotional, I’d be a vet today). Along with animals I’m a sucker for simple shapes and design dressed in vibrant colour, often influenced by the seasons. You’ll notice these recurrent themes throughout most of my work.

I’d like to think letter and card writing is making a bit of a comeback lately. The ease and speed of email, e-cards, Facebook and Twitter are appreciated but there’s no denying the magic of receiving a handwritten note in the mail, right? Who wants it to be about bills and junk mail all the time!? Not me! Which is why Pretty Paper Please came to be!

Allowing yourself a bit of quiet time just before the holidays to sit back and write the heart-felt words you’ve wanted to share with family and friends can be such an incredible treat! Now imagine being on the receiving end and experiencing the joy of opening and reading that personal note… Regardless of writing or receiving the love notes this year, I’m eager to get started!

Thanks to lotus events, I’d like to gift you this same experience and offer a Pretty Paper Please holiday card giveaway! If chosen at random, you will win 12 cards (total) in 2 styles (your choice) from the holiday collection – that’s a lot of love to send around this holiday season!

There are four chances to enter:

  1. Leave a comment below telling us who you’re excited to write this holiday! = one entry
  2. Follow @melaniekimmett on twitter and retweet “RT to enter to win holiday cards by @melaniekimmett to handwrite some joy courtesy of @lotusevents http://bitly.com/XgF4Fb #prettypaperplease = one entry
  3. Become a fan of the Melanie Kimmett | Designer & Illustrator Faceboook page = 1 entry
  4. Blog about the giveaway + post a link in the comment form = 1 entry

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o Each person has the opportunity to have a maximum of 4 entries.
o Contest is open to North America only.
o Contest closes Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 3 p.m. (PST)

Good luck!