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Help setting up supplier relationships


I’ve been designing sterling silver bridal tiaras etc for about a
year now, and am gradually gearing up to running it as a full-time
business rather than just in my spare time. I need to start getting
my tiaras stocked by bridal shops etc to bump up my orders, but need
some advise on how to go about this. The bridal shops would
basically have sample tiaras for customers to try and they would
then order from me, so each tiara would be custom-made.

  1. What is a reasonable rate of commission to pay the Bridal shops
    per order?

  2. If the shop is going to have sample tiaras for people to try on,
    do I treat it like a stock-loan, or should they buy the tiara’s

  3. Also, does anybody have any other advise/experience of this kind
    of thing?

Thanks for the help!

Hi there! Firstly “congratulations” on taking your hobby to the next
level, and to a full time operation situation.

It should be a very successful venture. I would sell the samples to
the bridal shop then take it from there. In my experience of
Galleries and I’m not talking Bridal Galleries,usually in my
experience, your work is treated just like any other stock supplied
to that venue.

It is not fair to the maker, but usually its business as usual, the
retailer puts their mark up 100% or what ever on top. It doesn’t
matter if you’re making specially commissioned pieces or not.

I have not dealt with Bridal shops, but maybe you could try
this… Sell your regular sample styles with them, and allow
them the 100% mark-up,on any sales there after, then on your special
commissioned pieces do your pricing add their mark up, so`s the item
is selling at around the same price as the regular stock , but in
this case only give the retailer 50%. Customers may well just go for
regular styles most of the time, so at least when you put that extra
time and detail into the specially commissioned pieces you will have
an added incentive.

Its a matter of talking to each individual retailer, some may have a
set policy, but if your strong and make it clear to the retailer the
way “you” do business, and are business like in your approach, you
may very well get things running just the way you want them to.

Hope this was helpful,
Best wishes to you
Tina Ashmore
Dublin, Ireland

Mary, I sell some of my jewelry on consignment, and the split is
usually 60/40 , though some give 66/33. At my most
professionally-run location, they give a larger percentage to me for
special orders, 70/30. In my case, I own what is in the shops.

You may find that some folks will want to buy the samples right off
the rack. If you can be flexible about that, it might be to your
advantage. Good luck with your work!

– M’lou Brubaker, Jeweler
Goodland, MN