September 10, 2012
I recently read an article which described ways for boutique owners to find suppliers for their shops. The top 3 suggestions will come as no surprise: visit national and regional trade shows, search through vendor directories, and import product. What do these approaches all have in common? Time and money, money and time! Attending a trade show likely includes the following costs: show fee, airfare, gas, taxi, hotel, and meals out. All of these are costs assigned to the sourcing aspect of the business. Visiting regional shows, oftentimes held at convention centers, is a less costly approach, but there are still costs involved (how does a $50 parking fee suit your budget?). Online vendor directories do not offer a home run either. I searched through a few vendor directories, and was overwhelmed at the multitude of product categories and other “stuff” made available. One such example is ThomasNet.com. This was proffered as a directory for retail boutiques. However, it seems the site is more focused on industrial product sources (search “boutique clothing” and the results include safety apparel, scrubs, and uniforms…probably not something you’d select for your shop! ). Lastly, wholesale import sites include tons and tons of product. They are overwhelming on the face. It’s hard to find out exactly how and where the product is made (think child labor or unfair working conditions). Utilizing this method is a a strain on your pocketwatch…and your pocketbook. The point is, it’s time for a new option. An option that solely focuses on boutique retailers. An option that solely focuses on handmade product (plus some mom-invented products!). These narrow focuses make your sourcing job faster, easier, and less expensive. So, give us a try! Mention this blog post, and as an independent boutique owner, we will supply you with one complimentary wholesale line sheet for any vendor in our gallery. No obligations, just email us at info (at) sourcinghandmade (dot) com!