So I stumbled upon this about a week ago, and thought the need to share/keep on file for future reference. This great shop owner on etsy has some great ideas about getting your work into stores, she give key to get those store owner noticing your goodies!! So here you are, enjoy!
1) Looked through Local fashion magazines to get label names to look up (I picked jewelry pieces with my same price points and style). Once on their website, I saved all of their retail store info to contact later.
2) I got a line sheet template from an etsy seller (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6866404) and in my opinion was the best $60 I ever spent. I drop all of the images and words in myself but the look of it makes things really pop and people are really impressed with it.
3) I emailed all of those retailers I had saved (I googled their names and looked for a website where I got the emails) with the same blurb:
--> An opening line about why I'd be well suited for their customers
--> A short bio about who I am, where I'm located, my accomplishments (mostly etsy related but if you have not had a lot of etsy success yet, talk about the local work you've done, helped brides etc.).
--> A line about what's included in the email (my wholesale line sheet with pricing, order form with terms and pictures of my best sellers).
I attach about 1-4 photos of my best selling pieces or stuff I think they would like and that's it.
(Out of 80 emails, I've gotten about 10 replies. Some wanted more information, some placed an order right away, some wanted to meet in person (the local stores) and some said I wasn't right for them.)
4) For stores without email addresses/websites, I would call and ask for their email address or to speak to the person in charge of buying. Most times they would give me the email address and those are good because they are expecting your email and are not considering it too spammy.
5) Certain stores that were really important to me (ones I really wanted to get in with) I called myself and asked to speak to the buyer so I could introduce myself and get to talk them up a bit. At first they are like "who are you? why are you special" but then at least when you send over your info, they may remember you more than someone who just sent it without talking to them first.
~~~IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER~~~
-> Although I got some replies within a day, others I'd hear back from a week after I originally hit sent so if you don't hear anything at first, don't fret!
-> Some may consider this spam, but I do not because it's business to business (not business to person) so they expect it.
-> Don't sit around waiting for replies! Keep making new pieces, phoning/emailing new stores and working on the orders you have gotten (reorders are a big hope).
*** Regarding the chain store for those who are curious: I called the head office, asked for the jewelry buyer's name and number. I called him up and got the voicemail a few times but DID NOT leave a message. I finally got him to answer, asked if I could email my work (and did so RIGHT AWAY since he was at his desk). Although he seemed uninterested, he wrote back within 10 minutes asking for a meeting.***