LumberJocks

Reaching Out to Gift Shops

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Blog entry by VanDesignWoodworkin posted 12-15-2021 01:59 PM 501 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As I remain productive with my clock making, I come back to my wife’s question: “What do you plan to do with all of these clocks?”

They will likely eventually be family & friends gifts, but my first instinct is to try to sell them. On that front, there are so many options. Business website, social media, Etsy, craft fairs, art fairs, etc.

Each come with their challenges. I’ll probably eventually have some kind of web presence (maybe) but the idea of shipping clocks… I don’t know. Plus, everyone wants a cut but, short of selling to people directly, every sales opportunity comes with a cut. Etsy wants a cut, PayPal wants a cut, art fairs charge for a table.

One of the venues some LJs suggested to me was reaching out to gift shops in Michigan to see if they would like to carry the clocks. Sure, they will take a commission… probably 30 to 40%. But, they know their audience so they can help me determine the right price, and they will get multiple eyes on the product. I don’t mind a road trip, so if I could get several shops to bite, I’d make a swing through towns like Traverse City, Suttons Bay and Petoskey and then visit with friends up there.

In any case, on a lark, I reached out to five shops by email this morning. I sent the following email:

Dear [Name of Shop],

I am a Michigan woodworker running a shop called VanDesign Woodworking. I make clocks from Michigan burl and gall woods, and I was curious as to whether or not you might like to carry one or two of my clocks in your store. Currently I have desk, shelf, and mantel clocks. Please find examples of my work attached to this email.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,

Jeff “Van”

I then attached three pictures of various clocks.

Truthfully, it’s a terrible time of year for me to send such an email. Shop owners are busy with Christmas shoppers (at least that’s what I’ll tell myself when I get zero responses :) )

In any case, for those interested, I’ll post a follow-up blog if I get any bites or learn anything.

-- "What do you mean, 'Give me some wild cherry gall?' What do you think, this stuff grows on trees or something?"



2 comments so far

View mtnwild's profile

mtnwild

4861 posts in 4980 days


#1 posted 12-15-2021 03:22 PM

I, of course, think that’s a great idea…However I agree it’s a pretty bad time of year to start…So close to Christmas and the rush the shop owners are up against…

May be you will have to be patient and wait for a better time…

Best of luck on this…

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View VanDesignWoodworkin's profile

VanDesignWoodworkin

1006 posts in 252 days


#2 posted 12-15-2021 03:44 PM

Impatience is an issue with me… both in my woodworking and my marketing. I’ll see if I get anything out of these first 5 emails, but if I don’t I will reach out to stores again into the new year… including giving these initial 5 stores a “second chance.”

I, of course, think that s a great idea…However I agree it s a pretty bad time of year to start…So close to Christmas and the rush the shop owners are up against… May be you will have to be patient and wait for a better time… Best of luck on this…

- mtnwild


-- "What do you mean, 'Give me some wild cherry gall?' What do you think, this stuff grows on trees or something?"

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