mixing wholesale merchandise into my handmade biz

Hello! I’m Alicia from Zeeuh!

As some of you know, we welcomed the newest addition to our family about 7 months ago. With change comes taking the time to adjust. Boy, have we overcame many changes! Not just having a new baby, but husband’s new job, him returning to night school and a decision to start homeschooling this upcoming school year.

There has been days that I felt I have been struggling to get through. Feeling as if I could not keep up with the never ending to do list. Some days I’d go to bed thinking “Where did my day go?” Yes, my children were fed, clean, happy and rested. The house, most days, was clean. So this is good right? Yes, some days my husband had to tell me that I was doing great! But it wasn’t good enough for me. I’d go weeks having a sinking feeling that my online business had been neglected. And in some instances, Zeeuh is another child to me. So I’d try a day or two to focus on my shop. Goal to get it stocked. As a result, the dishes were piled high to the ceiling, laundry overflowing and smelling the closets and my 5 year old would be snacking on the fastest thing I could find.

Inevitably, I came to a cross roads. The dreaded question “What am I going to do with my business?” As I had many heart to hearts with my husband, I over and over stated “I’m not ready to close this chapter!” I refused to lose Zeeuh. I wasn’t and still not ready! Finally, we had an answer! We decided to expand the merchandise offered. And what pairs well with handmade accessories? Made in America clothing!
Zeeuh is now taking a journey down new territory--- Wholesale! In previous months, I’ve released collections on the site. And for Zeeuh, it works great! So to keep the momentum I have chosen to do a total of four collections a year. One for every season (spring, summer, fall and winter.) With each season comes different styles, prints, and colors. Picking fabrics to make the accessories, and using that for the foundation and inspiration for the coordinating clothing.
When shopping wholesale these are the things I considered:

1.) Quality: The reason I am ordering clothing is because I am loosing my time to hand make my entire stock. So I want merchandise in my store that I am proud of and take ownership of. If you are considering mingling manufactured goods to your handmade business, do your research, it could be a long process but well worth it. If you can, ask around. Get a word of mouth referral. Also check the websites’ reviews. Maybe even BBB. 

Another big thing to consider to is made in the U.S. or overseas, and how they are manufactured. I am proud to say “Hey, though my new line is not hand made by me, it is made in America!”
2.) Your Image: What is your store’s style? I live in the Southern/East part of Texas. There is tons of Southern influence here. I am inspired by the country chic gals. But I also have a retro flare. With Zeeuh I have these influences into the fabrics I use. It isn't any different when choosing the clothing collections to add to my shop.

3.) Cohesive: Number two ties into number three. You don’t want to stock your shop "just because". Everything should flow. Zeeuh has always been a shop of colorful, feminine accessories. The clothing will be there so the two can go hand in hand. There will be choices to pair them together.

Zeeuh is on a new adventure, but a grand one! Our goal is to be a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience.

I hope if you too have thought of expanding your shop to include manufactured wares, that these tips helped you!

 Zeeuh's new line launches March 17th, 2014. Click the link below to visit her shop!

Let's discuss in the comments. How do you feel about makers incorporating mindfully manufactured goods into their brand? Do you actively purchase locally made or ecologically made clothing over other options?

1 comment:

  1. I think you did a great job! I make jewelry and I often come across incredible deals with already made wholesale items, but I pass bc I don't want to say to ppl, I made all these except for this and that. However, I've often thought about offering jewelry boxes, which is a different product, but goes with what I am making. Looking at your business model, I think I could make that work. Thanks!