Wholesale In a Box
Wholesale In a Box
Emily and I began Wholesale In a Box by interviewing people who work for themselves and quickly zoomed in on handmade artisans that you might see selling on Etsy or in local craft fairs. The interviews were fascinating and we discovered that one of their biggest barriers to growth was not increasing their online sales directly to consumers but building their wholesale relationships with brick and mortar stores. They saw wholesale as a way to stabilize and grow their business in a more serious way. We kept hearing things like:
‘I make this beautiful thing, I have gotten a great response on Etsy, at craft fairs and from a handful of wholesale accounts but to have this be sustainable I absolutely must be in more stores.’
There were several intersecting problems which we were able to pinpoint after in-context immersion, speaking to store owners, and larger producers.
The three critical pieces:
- It’s difficult and time consuming to find stores that are a good fit for their brand and how they want to grow outside of the city or cities they know.
- They don’t always know how to follow up with prospective stores, what to say and they struggle to keep track of that sales process.
- It is challenging create a system to follow up and cultivate existing wholesale accounts about reorders to maintain those relationships.
We built a method and tool that makers use with our help to reach out consistently to brick and mortar stores which includes store leads that we handpick for them, an app and system where they can keep track of their outreach as well as training and support through ecourses, books and 1:1 training.
We initially prototyped the idea using a shared Google Spreadsheet that we sold to customers, and then over the next two years built and refined the offering. We have worked with over 350 businesses at this point and helped them grow their revenue by millions of dollars. Many of them have quit their day jobs, hired new people onto their teams and feel more in control of their businesses which makes us incredibly glad.