Reps, showrooms, retailers

Having spent the last year building up my portfolio, having a
website built, and photos taken, I’m finally ready to take the plunge
and try to get my work into some boutiques and stores. The only
trouble is I have no idea how to go about this! I’ve heard
conflicting things – some people say get a rep and just accept the
huge commission that they take out, some people say go to showrooms,
and some say that I might have success just hoofing it around on my
own and trying to approach the retailers directly. I have no idea
what the best approach is, and, even if I did know which to focus on,
I have no idea where to find an appropriate rep or showroom! (The
retailers and boutiques that would be appropriate is an easier
question, though I’m not entirely sure how I would go about getting
in touch with the buyers outside of cold calling and asking around
which may or may not be fruitful.) Does anyone have any advice??
Would love to hear what people’s experience has been - I’m eager to
get started but don’t even know where to begin! Thanks in advance for
all the generous knowledge -

Hilary Park