So you’ve been accepted as one of the artists in the Holiday Shop, but have more questions… read below for answers to some questions, and more information than you could ever possibly need. I am nothing if not thorough! – Alison
Last Edited 11/1/2023
- How much stock should I bring?
This is a really tricky one. First off, let me say that I am almost always open to a restock during the course of the shop. You can check with me, and I’ll let you know how the numbers are looking and tell you a good time for a drop-off. I don’t have room for backstock of items, so almost everything will be out on display. Here are some quantities off the top of my head: 1-2 pieces of unique jewelry, 6-12 cards, 4-6 art prints, 8-12 stickers, 8-12 books, 4-6 candles, 1-3 knit pieces.
- How many different items? What kind?
Our customers range in ages and styles, but typically the best answer is “bring your best sellers”. Our shop is definitely gift-focussed, so think about things that that are easy to give, or might remind a customer of someone they want to give a gift to. (Favorite animals, favorite colors, etc.) I’m also happy to narrow down items on your inventory sheet.
- Can I bring my own display pieces?
I’m happy to try out display pieces (especially for jewelry). Check out the “display” section below for more about the kind of furniture/space I’m working with. Please make sure your business name is on any pieces you leave with me.
PACKAGING + PRICING
- All items will need to be marked with their SKU/item# and price. This can be on your packaging, on a tag, or on the item itself. Pencil is OK- but make sure I can read it.
- Even if you don’t have a website yet, it’s great to include your name or business name on your items.
- Consider including your “story” on your packaging. It could be something very simple like “Handwoven in Issaquah, WA” or something a little longer. I talk about these details to customers when I can, but consider that most of your things will be given as gifts, and that story detail adds something special for the person who eventually receives it.
- Think about how the price is put on your item or packaging. As a gift, it will often need to be removed without removing your business name or other value labeling. I like to use pencil, a removable price tag on my packaging, or put it on a portion of a tag that can be cut off.
- Think about how items will be displayed…
Necklaces will likely be taken out of boxes, so they should have identifying tags on their chains.
Ornaments are often small or delicate- try to attach their tags to the other end of their hanging ribbon so that the ornament is still the most visible. Consider the size and style of your tagging on items like this. (Bold colors might distract from your item, as would tags that are too large.)
- Items in gift packaging often do quite well– for instance jewelry displayed in boxes– but make sure the packaging displays well and shows the value of your items.
- All things will get handled a little bit, so consider if you need to offer them some extra protection. Art prints do best with a firm backing board. You can usually find biodegradable sleeves for cards and prints and such if you’d like to avoid plastic packaging.
- Scented items can be OVERWHELMING when they are here in quantity. Consider using packaging that can be opened or closed closed, or give me a sample of each item with the rest in giftable packaging.
My favorite packaging tricks…
- Print on cardstock, and use a shape punch to make a tag. I am nuts about French Paper cardstocks.
- Avery® Return Address Labels, 5167, 1/2″ x 1 3/4″, <<These return labels – in removable or permanent– are a great size for many things!
- Write SKUs and Prices in pencil. I keep an eraser at the counter
- Get a business card printed that can work as your story packaging, then tie or safety pin it!
- Find packaging options at Clearbags (including compostable sleeve options), and EcoEnclose
- I mostly display things on shelves in the space. That means your items might be at eye level or lower. I move items around over the course of the shop. If you’d like to try to use your own display items, please keep in mind that I can’t use things that are overly tall, deep, or wide. I will definitely try to work with what you have, but I cannot guarantee it will work. I reserve the right to use your display pieces with other items as well.
- Most items are merchandised with similar, supporting items. (With the exception being jewelry. Each jewelry artist typically gets their own shelf.)
- I used a mix of traditional display pieces, and rustic pieces in creative ways. (Many of the pieces are mine, and I don’t have all the things, which is why I’m happy to try what you have!)
- Prints typically go in a “flip through” box, with samples pulled out and put on our “art wall”. (This works really well! People like to flip through.)
- Stickers and other small similar things usually go on pegboard sticker rack, so if you have hang tags on them that is AMAZING. Otherwise I will likely put a hang tag on a few to display them.
- Most cards go on a floating card wall at the front of the store.
My favorite display tricks…
- I move things around! People often come back more than once, and the number of times I’ve heard “Oh! I didn’t see this last time!”
- I like these little hang tags (although I wish they weren’t plastic.)
- I typically do not put business, post cards, or personal signage out with items. These extra bits get kind of cluttered when I merchandise items together. I’d rather have a conversation with people about what they are looking at, THEN give them a business card when it means more to them.
QUESTIONS I’VE RECEIVED
I would like to provide gift boxes with my items, like a jewelry box. Some artists choose to display their items in a giftable box– that’s fine as long as it looks nice, and I can accommodate it in my display. If you’d rather just have your items placed in a box at check-out, feel free to leave a small box or bag of your gift packaging with me (put your business name on it.) I’ll pack them up at the counter!
Either way, if an item might easily be removed from its box, make sure the ITEM is marked with its price and item number.