With the closing of California Made Mercantile (formerly RAG SF) in Hayes Valley, I’ve started thinking about searching for more local shops to reach out to regarding carrying my items.
RAG SF was the first place I did consignment sale with and the second brick & mortar shop in San Francisco to find me on Etsy and ask if they could sell my items. The other place, Park & Pond, contacted me in 2011 to become a wholesale vendor for plush donuts, and that was the moment I applied for a business license.
Having been both a consignment vendor and a wholesale vendor, I actually prefer wholesale. Part of the reason, I realize, is because this is but a side project for me. As I explained to Brett of IAMTHELAB.com when I met him last year during his LAB Road Trip, my craftastic adventures are not something I want to turn into a full-time gig.
In being a consignment vendor, there’s more physical and mental effort needed for every action and transaction: constantly check-in with the shop, visit the shop more frequently, keep inventory, generate more invoices, and so on. While it’s always good to be deeply involved in the process and develop a relationship between maker and seller, it’s something I can easily fall behind in with a full-time (office) day job. With wholesale orders, the process is much more solid and quicker: an order comes in, an invoice is sent out, products are made and delivered.
I prefer sitting down and just creating a bulk order of products and delivering them all in one go, but with that said, I’m probably going to still be a consignment vendor to local shops since it seems there are more shop owners that develop consignment rather than wholesale relationships with makers. I guess in a sense this forces me to get out and socialize more often.