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January 28, 2006



Alicia: Part 2 was SO informative. Thank you for being so generous in sharing your knowledge and experience with the rest of us. You're the best!


Thanks again for another well written piece of advice. Much appreciated! xo


Thank you again, Alicia, for sharing your experience. You write so well!


I'll repeat what's already been said, thank you again for such good advice!


You were recommended by a friend, and I stopped by right as you posted Part 1, and I just wanted to tell you: I don't even MAKE handmade things, much less want to sell them, and I was blown away by your honesty, creativity, and excellent writing in this 2-part advice post. Nicely done!


I just heard there was an earthquake in Portland, a minor one it seems.
Just checking in to see if you're okay.


What? An earthquake? I hate those! Didn't even feel it, though. Thanks for checking on me, E! And thanks for the nice comments, everyone. Glad it is helpful for you!

Update: Looks like the epicenter was actually on my street! Just a mile up. But I think it was only 2.8 or something like that -- and I think I was driving at the time.

Dacia Ray

Wow... thanks for all of the information and honesty.

Jen Leheny

Alicia, again this is so brilliant and so helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to give us all some insider knowledge and straight forward advice. Many thanks! Jen :)


Most of the time I don't feel earthquakes here, either. I seem to be driving when they hit, too.

So I went yarn shopping today and bought this sock yarn and it kept bugging me why it seemed so familiar.
Turns out it was your "Brachs" sock yarn! It stuck in my consciousness!


Thank you again. And thank you for including insights into the sometimes harsh reality of buying and selling. It is information like that that you don't get from books.


Bless yer cotton socks! Thanks for sharing. You truly are an inspiration.


Wow - I know all of the other commenters have already said it, but this is so helpful and so amazingly gracious of you to share your knowledge and experience with the rest of us. These two posts have really given me a lot to think about.


Thanks so much for sharing these invaluable insights. I've read Barbara Brabec's work and I've just fulfilled my first wholesale order. 50% off is still a bit painful to me, but it's for a more high-end store. So, like all things in life, we'll see!


That was a veritable treasure trove, thank you for your generosity.


could I just ask you something please ?
I read everything but I still have a question and plus I've been asked today if I do wholesale.
Wholesale means selling at half price but the the buyer (store) pays right away ?
Sorry for asking I'm in France and the question was made by someone from usa so I don't really know what to say.
Sorry and thank you


Hi Sofia,
Yes, that's right. If someone asks if you sell your products wholesale, they are wondering if you sell them to stores at 50% off the retail price. You can and should, of course, say that you have a minimum order amount, meaning they have to order $100 or $200 (or whatever you decide) worth of merchandise in order to make it worth your while. And yes, you can request that they pay you right away (some will want to pay in 30 days, but that is entirely up to you; unless they have established credit with you and have given you references, etc., it is typical that they would write you a check immediately upon delivery). Hope that helps!


hi Alicia, it really shows that you have been on both sides of the fence! as a designer trying to get into the mindframe to start approaching retail stores-yet again!- i found your posts inspiring and so so true :) thanks!


In my current research on the subject, I just ran across this post with your advice on getting my handmade items into stores. It was by far one of the most helpful pieces I have found thus far. I am attempting to get my handmade baby clothing and gifts into stores and my question is this: I have many products; is it better to show everything to stores and hope they like something? or should I narrow it down in the hopes that it's not overload? I am currently working on putting together my sample pieces and literature and just want to be sure that it's got the best chance of catching a buyers eye...
Thanks so much for your advice and for posting your experiences for others. I would love to someday open a boutique of my own--it's great to see that it can be done successfully!


Thanks for posting these 2 articles! I've been on both sides too-and I'm currently back on the "artist" side. I'm a great seller of others peoples work, but not my own. I am currently 'stuck' and your blog has helped "kick me in the pants".

Thanks for doing this.


As a manufacturer, I appreoiated your paragraph reminding me that a response not to buy or a lack of a buy reponse isn't a slam against me or my products. That will help me as I hit this next trade show. Thanks!


just came across your blog and it's just what I was looking for. You are the best and now I'm not confused but prepared to get out there. Thank you for your honest and candid advice.


o found my way over here from the forums at etsy :)
This is a great article, with a real down to earth and honest descriptions of all the ins and outs of retailing in shops. Thanks for this!
I sell in just one boutique so far, and am planning to "spread my wings" a little to giving it a shot in small boutiques in other areas of the city. I've found your advice extremely useful and you've given a lot of good pointers and gard truths :) Thanks again!


bad typos there... apologies :(


Thank you! This is super helpful. I just started a greeting card business and I'm at the tentatively approaching stores phase. So far it's going really well and I have four stores carrying my line now, but I was wondering about the Net 30 terms and you just answered my question.

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