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This is a guest post from Andrea Rosenfeld,  who is jewelry designer and, coach, and mentor to creatives.

Today’s Question is from a jewelry designer and instead of “Ask Jane”, we are asking Andrea…

“Hi Jane, I am a jewelry designer. How do designers sell their jewelry to luxury online boutiques? For example, Net-a-Porter, ShopStyle and many more that are out there. Do you need to work with a PR agency? Do you contact the company on your own> Is there a certain percentage of sales that you end up giving?”

Hi  Meghna,
First make sure the quality, style and price points are similar to the merchandise the online shop sells. That doesn’t mean your work has to be identical, but typically the buyers stay within a particular style and price structure.
They probably won’t have their buyer information online so call or write to the consumer contact, telling them that you are a jewelry vendor and ask them who to contact. You don’t “sell” them, you just ask for the buyer info.
Once they respond, then you sell. Write your introduction letter to the buyer and ask how to submit your work for review.  Make sure you tell them how you became aware of their site; through a friend or because you shop there.  Describe what you admire about their site and why your work would be a good fit. Describe the benefits of your art.  Add your website address because they may want to see your work, quickly, before sending you the application. Once they send you their forms, fill them out or follow their instructions to the letter.
These buyers get tons of requests from potential vendors and they don’t waste time. They also want a professional vendor account so be thorough and not too wordy with your e-mails.
This process may take a week or so but don’t get discouraged or frustrated. Send out the requests and move on to other things while you wait.  If you receive a “no, thank you”, you can respond with a “thank you for your time” to show professionalism. You never know when your paths will cross again. You can also continue to send requests if your line design changes drastically. They may be looking for the exact designs you’ve moved into!
When you receive a “yes”, look over the contract and make sure it works for you: inventory and shipping rules, payment percentages, length of payment time… You can try to negotiate certain regulations, but the response you receive depends on the store.
I cover a lot more in my sessions but this is a great start.
kinetic artist
Art Mentor

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4 Responses

  1. Great advice Andrea.

    Often when companies initially say no it may be because they’ve had a hard week financially. If you take the rejection well and reply to their ‘NO’ in a professional, friendly manner you’ve got a chance of staying at the front of the mind so when times are better they know who to call.

  2. Hi Andrea,
    Great info. Do you have any idea what’s the margin of those companies? I work with the handbags field.

    Thanks

    Pau.

  3. This response was informative. But how do I sell my jewelry? I have wholesale jewelry designed and manufactured in China. The jewelry mimics real designer jewelry, but none on my website has a trademark application on file with the US Trademark and Patent Office.

    What should I do that I haven’t done to promote my e-commerce store: http://superiorjewelryclub.com

    I have done email marketing, posted articles, sent letters traditionally, established social media profiles, and registered with free classifieds. What else can I do to increase visitor traffic, especially during the holiday season?

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