WHOLESALE ACCESSORY MARKET: THOUGHTS & TIPS FOR BUYERS
Hi everyone! This week we have a guest blogger, Raine Siegel, who is sharing her insights on the wholesale accessory market. Raine is a fabulous fashionista with many fruitful thoughts and helpful tips for fashion buyers. Her experience and dedication to the fashion industry is admirable, and I have been inspired by her wisdom since I can remember.
Raine's wonderful insight:
Purchasing fashion accessories and jewelry for a boutique may seem like an overwhelming task. People often say "oh that must be so much fun"! There is indeed some fun involved but it requires research, planning, organization and effort.
Here are some basic insights I gained over the years as a buyer.
1. ATTEND a live Fashion Trade Show or Expo.
There are many excellent online marketplace portals for wholesale buying such as Faire and Joor. (Thankful for this during the Pandemic). But attending a show provides a unique and valuable opportunity to observe the latest fashion trends, network with vendors, artists and designers, and see the quality and design of the merchandise "in person". Be prepared with a budget, map and a list of vendors you want to visit. And wear comfortable shoes!
2. VISUALIZE the display areas in the boutique.
Keep in mind the layout and design space and devise a plan for the display of the merchandise. If you are not the display artist, work closely with the visual merchandiser considering, color, design, texture and quantity of the items to be displayed.
3. RESEARCH current, past and future trends.
Research trends and purchase accordingly but maintain the store brand and identity. Timing is everything when it comes to purchasing trendy items. Balance the current trends with timeless classics.
4. KNOW your clientele.
Consider the target demographic when purchasing merchandise. Being aware and sensitive to the style preferences , tastes and socioeconomic status of the clientele is essential. Consider the lifestyle of your clients. Customer feedback and discussion is invaluable.
5. TELL A STORY through the merchandise.
Brands from vendors, artists and designers with an interesting background or purpose can provide an excellent selling point and provide a point of interest. Many brands donate a portion of their proceeds to charity and worthy causes. Be sure to provide visible
and informative signage to enhance awareness.
7. ESTABLISH a unique identity.
Be versatile but establish a strong identity and brand. Boutique shoppers are searching for interesting, unique, "one of a kind" jewelry pieces and accessories. Have an awareness of the style and brand of nearby boutiques and establish a unique and specific
"vibe" and identity. Always keep words in mind that describe the store when buying.
-shopping for your own taste and not the clients
-vendors who are not accessible
9. The "FUN" PART
As I mentioned earlier there is some "fun" involved in buying wholesale jewelry and accessories for a boutique. After careful planning, research, collaboration and coordination, it is very rewarding to experience the positive response from clients and
witness the enthusiasm for the merchandise. When there is a substantial financial profit and the customer is pleased with the purchase from a stylish and interesting boutique.... yes that is "FUN"!
-Raine Siegel (former fashion buyer)