A question I am constantly asked is … How do you find all of these amazing things?” Well as I go on my blogging journey, I will give some of the background on WHY and HOW we choose what we do.
Andrew & I attend the 2 major trade fairs… Sydney in February and Melbourne in August. We spend at least 4 days across 3 different fairs that run simultaneously. We start most days at 9pm and go until 6pm, we walk km’s and km’s … and we love it!
We see hundreds and hundreds of exhibitors selling the widest range of products that you can imagine! We talk to wholesalers as small as 1 person… the person who designs, makes and then sells and distributes their product. These tend to be wholly Australian made and also slightly more expensive. The other extreme is a large company (that can be family owned) with many employees, who source their ranges from all over the world.
Before we go we have an idea of the sort of things we are looking for, we personally have to like it ( preferably love it), but we try to cater to a variety of tastes. It has to be the right price for what it is, we have to feel there is a market for it in our shop, it has to work with the style of products we already carry. THEN we find out if we have to order a minimum amount, sometimes getting too many of something isn’t good no matter how great it is. How much do we have to spend as a minimum per wholesaler? If they want us to spend a lot for only a few items we are interested in, then it isn’t worth it either. FINALLY… we need exclusivity, if we are going to take the risk, spend part of our budget and stock a wholesalers products, then they need to back us too…. we have to have sole access to their products with a reasonable range of the shop…. no one wants to see the same thing over and over again… we need to try to stay unique, while stocking products customers want.
Sometimes we find the most beautiful, most amazing things we would love…. what stops us usually first is the price. Sometimes we feel things can be too expensive, not that customers won’t love it, but will they pay for it? (There is currently nothing in the shop over a thousand dollars, the cheapest new item is $0.80) In these instances we pass and try to find something more sell-able. We do stock some expensive and quite exclusive items, but they are few and we think worth having. Sometimes we make the wrong choices, sometimes we chose things that become so popular they are gone within a fortnight! (Wish we knew what they would always be!)
Aside from this I also spend at least another 30 – 40 hours a week at home (at night) scouring the internet, looking at new products, trying to see trends, finding new wholesalers that might not go to the fairs, placing orders, chasing that new next best thing…as well as keeping on top of social media and now I have the blog!
We are off to the trade fair in Sydney in 3 weeks, this time for 5 days….. we can’t wait!
So much to choose, so little time!