Over the next few weeks, I made several little dolls and each time, they looked a little better. They still did not have the "look" of my sister's dolls, but they were improving. After making several more, I finally was satisfied they were presentable for sale. So I took them to my friend's shop and asked if she would be interested in selling them on consignment. She said she would try them and see how they would do.
"Consignment" is an easy way to start marketing your crafts. This way, you can see if the customers like your product enough to purchase it, and the shop owner is not out any money if they don't sell. If, after a month or so, your product doesn't move, it's time to go back to trying something else.
Well, the dolls did sell and this gave me the encouragement to continue on this journey. I then started to visit other local shops and show them my creations. Most of the time, I put the dolls in their shops on consignment. Not many shops turned me down cold. A few did, though, and when that happened, I would have to regroup and tell myself that my dolls would not appeal to everyone. Over the years, I have read lots of "how to" books and one thing that helps keep me going is a positive attitude. It is easy to get discouraged when venturing out like this and your product doesn't sell, especially if you are not a born sales person, which I am not. I am timid and not a very self-assured person by nature. I have to pray a lot for courage and the incentive to keep going when things get tough.
Another attribute you need is patience. If you are going to do the same task over and over, you have to enjoy doing it and you cannot quit. Have set goals. When making the dolls, I would break the tasks up into repetitive little steps andwould make one dozen of one step and then go on to the next step. Don't look at the big picture--it will be mind-boggling and very discouraging.
As I made the dolls over the next few months, I kept branching out looking for new shops. I have always enjoyed browsing in gift shops, so, in our travels, I would look for new and unique shops. On one of our little trips, we went to Stone Mountain, Georgia and I found a shop there that I enjoyed. It was owned by a very talented and smart woman who had many wonderful items in her shop. I would always pray before I showed my dolls. That way, I felt the Lord would give me that extra strength I need to deliver my "sales pitch." I had bought a nice large Wedgewood blue basket to display my dolls, and I would carry this around in our car trunk just in cae we came upon a shop.
I walked into her shop, looked around and felt really comfortable there. When the owner asked me if she could help me, I told her that I had some unique little dolls with me that I had made and asked her if she would like to see them. She said, "yes", so I went back to the car to get my basket. I never would take my basket in at first, because I wanted to use the "soft" approach. That way, if the owner or manager was not in, I would not be embarrassed with all the dolls--I would just give them my business card and leave. But this day, I took my basket in and she immediately liked them. She ordered some for consignment and I left a few with her that day. I mailed her the rest that next week. Over the next six weeks, I continued to contact her and my dolls were selling. I sold to her for the remaining time I was in the wholesale business and made a good friend as well.