Get our FREE quarterly e-zine Seek Inspire Create
Search
Close this search box.
November 1, 2021 —

5 tips for growing your business through wholesale

Online retailer Sophie Dias of Sophie Home shares her advice on how to wholesale your products when running a small, independent business.
Sophie Dias
Product designer & wholesale specialist,
Sophie Home
Save & share

If you are running a product-based small business, whether you make your goods by hand or design them and have them manufactured, selling your range wholesale can be a very lucrative part of your business. Done in the right way, it can be a really quick way to grow your business and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your creations on display in a shop!

BUT, there is no denying if it’s not something you’ve done before, there is a lot to learn. From how to price your products for wholesale to how to approach retailers to understanding some of the jargon used in this industry.

Last year we had Sophie Dias of Sophie Home Ltd host a 90 minute online Creative Session covering everything wholesale, and I can truly say it is jam packed with LOTS of useful information to get your started wholesaling your products. The full workshop is still available – you can find it here: GETTING YOUR BUSINESS WHOLESALE-READY AND NOTICED BY RETAILERS – but today, Sophie is giving a little taster of the session by sharing five top tips to get your started…

A large cushion demonstrating great product photography
Photo: Sophie Home

TIP 1: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY

I highly recommend investing in the best photography you can afford. So, if you choose to do it yourself, either invest in a better iPhone or camera, or take a photography workshop. Even better – outsource your photography to a professional. I keep all our imagery on Google Drive, so if we get a new stockist or a shop places an order, we can easily share the link to our lifestyle and e-commerce photography for them to use. It’s also useful if you are contacted by a magazine, newspaper or online publication who want to showcase your work.

TIP 2: MANAGE YOUR STOCKISTS EXPECTATIONS

This is particularly in regards to lead times. It’s really tempting to offer a quick turnaround on orders, but I would advise adding at least an extra 24 hours, as sometimes orders take longer than you might have expected to get out. It’s better to tell a retailer it will be longer and you get it to them quicker, that the other way round. This is particularly relevant if your items are handmade and most retailers will be understanding of this.

the interior of an independent lifestyle store
Photo: Caroline Rowland

TIP 3: BE ORGANISED

When those wholesale orders start coming in, especially if you are on third party platforms, it can get a little chaotic! So it is worth keeping track, either on an Excel spreadsheet or we use Trello, where we can record incoming orders and the different stages they are at.

TIP 4: CONSIDER ONLINE TRADE FAIRS

As I just mentioned, third party platforms are a fairly new thing to the world of wholesale and there are a number of them around. In the UK you have Creoate , which is probably the biggest one. If you are keen to expand into the US and Europe, I would highly recommend Faire and Ankorstore, who also serve the UK as well. They take a commission on every order that is placed through them, but it is a great way to reach a wide network of retailers actively looking for products to stock. They are a surefire way to grow your business and have become an important part of the industry in the last year or two.

Interior of an independent lifestyle store
Photo: Caroline Rowland

TIP 5: BUILD GOOD RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR STOCKISTS

Wholesale is all about the repeat orders. You want a new stockist but you want that stockist to keep coming back and ordering again and again. So, it really is worth spending time on those relationships, by being in regular contact, emailing them personally, even if they have ordered through a third party platform. Also, interact with them on social media, giving them shout outs and liking and sharing their posts too.


There really is a lot to learn about getting your products stocked in shops, so if you’d like to hear more from Sophie then do check out the full 90 minute workshop:

Interior of a lifestyle store with pink sink and skincare products on display
GETTING YOUR BUSINESS WHOLESALE-READY AND NOTICED BY RETAILERSLearn how to get your products stocked in shops and grow your small business

VIEW WORKSHOP

For more small business tips, you can watch the short videos on our IGTV.

Sign up for more articles

Join the 91 Magazine mailing list and we’ll send you our favourite articles, updates from our shop, news on the magazine and select promotions & offers.

More stories like this one

how to prepare for an independent shop photoshoot
Photographer Anna Considine demystifies the process of having your independent shop photographed and what you can do to make sure it goes…

New in 91 Magazine

Inside the studio of British pattern maker and illustrator Ariana Martin
Joyful and lively with an elegant aesthetic, the work of pattern designer and illustrator Ariana Martin has a sophistication that stems from…

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Little Perth

Small Business Stories: Wood and Wire

91 is reading… A Home for all Seasons

Home tour: Julia Fiat

Meet the Maker: The Fabled Thread

Recipe: Strawberry Chia Jam

Love What You Do: Paulina Atkinson of Organic Zoo

Books to nourish your creativity

Shopkeeper Spotlight: AARVEN

Seek Create Inspire

Subscribe to the 91 Magazine mailing list

Subscribe for our free quarterly e-zine packed independent shops and cafes, interiors ideas, delicious recipes and DIY projects.

We’ll also send you regular articles, offers, shop promotions and competitions (but never spam).