The first time I set foot in a boutique, I was a BRAND NEW wreath maker!!! And I’m not gonna lie – I had no idea what I was looking for, how to pitch a boutique, or even how to get things started!!
Now, after being in 3 different boutiques and 4 years later… I have SO many things to teach you – the good, the bad, and what I learned along the way. I share it all in my eBook “How to be a Boutique Vendor: A Guide to Selling Your Handmade Items in a Boutique.” Here, I share an excerpt from my book – just a taste of the many pages JAM-PACKED with useful information on being a successful and PROFITABLE boutique vendor. And one of the most important ways to be successful and profitable is to get your beautiful products in the door!
Read on to learn how to pitch a boutique, what to say, what to bring, and where to go from here. When you learn how to pitch your product to a store, you’ll grow your business, get more brand recognition, and have your business be a bigger part of the community.
*This post contains affiliate links for companies we love. If you make a purchase through these links, we may make a small commission.
Benefits of Being a Vendor at a Boutique
Being a vendor at a local brick-and-mortar retailer can open many doors if you allow it! Typically, the brick and mortar retailers are involved in city plans and made aware of fun things going on around town. They can plan to participate and make their vendors aware of potential business opportunities! And your brand can get visibility, helping you and your products become more known in the community and beyond!
Here are a few other potential pros of being a boutique vendor:
- In-person holiday shopping can be AMAZING for small businesses.
- Having a permanent place to sell your products can help with storage space!
- A local retailer can also be the place you can offer deep discounts on “last year’s” designs.
- If the retailer is near the annual carnival, boat festival, music festival… ALL high traffic times for more eyeballs to be on your products!
- The retailer may be featured on the city’s social media accounts which attracts shoppers.
- More sales!
How to Pitch a Boutique
One of the things people want to know most about selling at a boutique is how to pitch to a boutique owner or manager to get your products in the door. What do you say? What’s the PITCH?!
I get it; this can be nerve-racking. You’re searching for a new way to branch out your business, potentially signing a financial contract, committing to a monthly fee, seeking a new revenue stream for your business… a lot is riding on this FIRST impression!
Boutique Vendor Pitch Tips
Here are a few tips to prepare you for your first contact!
Do your research FIRST!
Have a good idea of what type of business they are and the variety of products they sell. Use Google to find out their ratings and how long they have been in business.
BE CONFIDENT in YOU and your BUSINESS when you pitch a boutique!
You’ve worked hard to get to this point! You have perfected your skills, your wreaths/crafts are excellent, and the vendor would be LUCKY to have your products to sell!
Go INTO the store! Be Brave!
Your “pitch” may not be read or dealt with if you send a message or email… I know… here it comes… You should really go IN the store! Assess the situation. If they are crazy busy, ask a manager if there is a better time you come back to talk about being a vendor.
Make Your Pitch!
Here are a few things you may want to mention:
- What type of products you make
- How long YOU have been in business
- What your business mission statement is
- Why you think your products are a good fit to sell in their boutique
- How ACTIVE and/or how large your social media following is and how you can leverage that to bring the locals IN to THEIR business!
- The other places you sell your products (Etsy, Facebook, craft shows, etc.)
Keep in mind, this is like a job interview. The person you are talking to is totally sizing you up and they’re noticing everything about you. If they are a good business person, they’ll be checking up on all the things you mention above to make sure they are true, so don’t over-sell yourself! Be truthful and be proud of any little thing you have accomplished thus far in your journey!!
Be Ready for Anything
Lastly, I do have to say this – not all interactions are easy and smooth. This is especially true with a higher end boutique! These folks KNOW their business. They know what sells in their store and more importantly what doesn’t! So, IF the boutique/retailer chooses not to accept your application or suggests that your products may not be a good fit, do NOT be discouraged. They may have just saved you a ton of money in contract fees because your products may not match up with what sells in their shop.
What to Take with You
Here are a few things to bring with you:
- An easy to read pitch plan that includes your business name, mission statement, website or Etsy link, retail price RANGE of your products and how to contact you
- 1-3 examples of your designs (1-2 normal wreath designs and one showstopper)
- If you have a business license, take it with you – along with your tax ID number.
- Business cards
Example of a Coach Mel Pitch
Your initial pitch can be short and sweet. If you can turn it into a casual conversation rather than a hard sell pitch that’s even better. Try not to talk to fast and try to be calm. Most importantly, BE YOURSELF!!!!
Alright, so putting it all together, here’s an example of what I would say:
“Hi, I’m a local wreath maker looking to expand my business and bring it to a local market. I am successful with selling my products on Etsy on a regular basis, very successful with local craft shows and I have a fairly large and active social media following”
(as I look around, being totally honest of course)
“Your place is amazing and I’ve heard great things about it! It looks like the handmade products I would fit in perfectly here!!!
Do you buy wholesale or do you have local vendors under contract to sell their products here?
The reason for my visit is to inquire about being a vendor with your company and how we can work together!
Do you have a contract with all of the information required?”
Learn More About Becoming a Boutique Vendor and Selling to Retailers
There’s so much more to know about becoming a vendor than just how to pitch a boutique. My eBook covers ALLL the things! This is just one chapter from a book that covers how to find the right boutique, contracts, fees, licenses, taxes, pricing your products, setting up, and more. Not only will you get tips that lead to SUCCESS, you’ll also get invited to join an exclusive private group on Facebook!
Learn More Ways To Grow Your Business
There are SO many ways to grow your business, and I have several resources available to help! Along with creating eBooks, “how-to” blog articles, and YouTube video tutorials, I also offer creative coaching through a fantastic program, Makers University Creative Coaching. In this program, you’ll have access to live tutorials and more than 500 past recorded tutorials that teach you how to make wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces. There are also monthly live Q&As and critiques, discounts, challenges, and access to an incredible community of more than 3,000 talented creatives across the country!
Don’t forget, you can get my my eBook “How to be a Boutique Vendor: A Guide to Selling Your Handmade Items in a Boutique” on my Etsy shop. And share your own success in the Facebook group!