Hi my name is Lesley Reid and have a jewellery business called Carla Barla Beads http://www.carlabarlabeads.co.uk/
My Business is a new business and it has been running since July 2010. I have been asked to give you some pointers on how to get your items into shops.
What I will do is tell you how it started for me, the first shop happened due to meeting someone at a fayre and they liked my stuff and they started to stock it, really it was as simple as that so the first thing I would advise is always network your fayres you just dont know who you will meet.
The next shop was a customer who advised me to visit her local boutique, she thought my jewellery would suit this shop. So popped in checked out their range, made some stuff to match there collection and phoned them. They asked me to come in brought in the range and they loved it. What i would advise if you can to start with offer sale and return so there is no initial outlay for the shops and they are more likely to stock it.
Another shop I was told about through facebook some people who liked my site, when they found out I was approaching shops told me about one near to them. So dont be affraid to ask people and use soical networks to your advantage.
Managing shops can take alot of work and alot of the time its builting on relationships formed and trust made. All my shops mark up my jewellery so dont undercut yourself, and always keep a copy of the stock they hold. In alot of the shops they wear my jewellery, people tend to finding it easier to visualise how it is going to look on if someone is modeling it.
The main points I would advise are:
1. Always network you dont know who you are going to meet
2. Use social networking to your advantage
3. To start with offer sale or return
4. Dont undercut yourself the shops can easily mark items up
5. Keep a note of stock held in the shops
6. Work on building up relationships and trust between you and the shops.
I am currently trying to get into department stores and magazines so i will keep u posted on how this goes in the future.