Many people arrive at Bella and assume we are a co-op or a consignment store. While some of our artists operate on a consignment basis, many of our pieces are purchased directly from the designer, which makes us like the majority of other retail stores. And while it is totally true that we are always on the look-out for new and fabulous things to add to our space, there is no application process or wait list for “space.” We choose what ‘speaks’ to us and pride ourselves on having a unique selection of handmade items most likely not found anywhere else in Anchorage.

If you think you have a product Bella ready, or would like to pitch your line, emailing images to shop.bella(at)hotmail.com is your best bet. Or, if you’re the adventurous type, bring some samples of your work down to the shop during business hours and we’ll take a look! We get lots of requests via Facebook, which unfortunately cannot all be answered due to the onslaught of never ending LinkdIn requests we get. In short: don’t ask via Facebook!

Over the years we have worked with a lot of people just starting out. We know what it’s like to take a product out to the market (this shop was founded by makers) and have some tips for increasing your success rate in pitching your product to not only Bella, but any gallery/store you may choose:

  • Know your pricepoint! This is pretty key. If you don’t know what you are charging for the item, we can’t even begin a discussion.
  • Know the shop you are approaching! For instance: Bella does  not carry children’s items, artworks or most ‘home’ accessories.
  • Know your turnaround time! If your line is chosen, and it takes off (which is the hope for everyone, right?) we don’t want our customers waiting for ages to get another fix. If you are unable to keep up with demand or orders, or have extenuating circumstances, be up front.
  • Know what you want your line/tags/name to look like! Will it be tagged by you? The shop? Changing the name/font/appearance of your business once you’re off and running is counterproductive. Come up with something you like and stick to it…at least for a little while.
  • Don’t argue! I know, right? This seems so straight forward…..The shop you are approaching knows their clientele and the direction they want to go; if they say no thank you, that’s it. Arguing or trying to convince a store what you do is a fit will actually hurt any further chances of being called should the shop change direction. Be gracious and thank them for their time as it is indeed precious.

Hopefully this helps some of you out there. We love handmade and we want to see fellow artists and crafters succeed and want every interaction to be as productive and professional as possible.

 

bella

Viva handmade!

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