Taking Risks and Accepting Failure
Last year, I took a break from traditional wholesale orders. It might have been the wrong move in terms of momentum and growth but it was very much needed. Running a one-woman small business, I have a very challenging relationship with wholesale. I tried something new and only offered ready-to-ship pieces to retailers. It was semi-successful for different reasons. There’s timing: some were not ready to order at the time I offered the pieces for sale. Then there was the fact that I created a new collection that had a lukewarm response. My process is time-consuming and very labor intensive so I created pieces that were more wholesale friendly. And at the same time, I didn’t produce in multiples which is how a lot of retailers like to order. Most were one- or two-of-a-kind designs. I was burnt out from replicating the same piece over and over and it was killing my love for the medium. I wanted to experiment and play and create different iterations of a palette or design or feel. In hindsight, I should have created more “art” pieces so that the “one-of-a-kind” aspect would have been more understood. I was trying to find a business model that was more sustainable for me. With all that said, I have gone back to traditional wholesale. This time around, I have limited the number of orders I accept so that I can play more. I also understand that wholesale truly works if you can scale your business larger--churn out more pieces. Since my move to the Bay Area, I’ve been trying to create a more productive studio and hope to grow here.
Spotlight on some stockists: