Every new (or even seasoned) designer can struggle with being able to locate the perfect clasp or chain or gemstone (for the right price).
At times it might seem that there are too many options but other times it might seem like you are walking through the woods at midnight with no flashlight trying to find the perfect kyanite or the right gage of jumpring.
You keep going back and forth between options, and second guess if you made the right choice in the end.
Time spent scrolling through Google searches ends up with you walking away from your computer, feeling frustrated and defeated!
I can totally relate.
Sourcing is actually something I still think is the worst thing in the world!
Luckily, we have Tamara on the show today and she is obsessed with sourcing!
Tamara Schafhauser of Guilded Grey collects and restores aged brass and gold plated pieces sourced from Paris and New York and then adds her own stylish point of view.
If you’ve checked out her collection, you can see she has a very unique style and her talent for sourcing has helped her out a ton.
Today she is going to share some of her sourcing genius with us so you can save your precious time and money on building your business.
So let’s get into the show!
3 Things People Get Wrong with Wholesale Accounts
Not starting with places like Etsy. This is a great place for new designers to get started finding low cost materials. If you don’t have your wholesale number yet, Etsy is going to be your best bet.
Assuming every wholesale account requires huge minimum quantities. This is not true! Some vendors have a minimum order quantity of zero, seriously! It pays to get your wholesale number and find some of these vendors.
Not having back up suppliers. Have you ever checked how much inventory a vendor has on hand, ordered a sample, then when you’re ready to buy…they’re sold out?! Trust me, we’ve all been there. This is why it’s necessary to have a few vendors who sell the same things so you have a back up.
Quick Tips to Avoid the Rabbit Hole
Get as specific as possible when Googling. The last thing you want is to find 4 million results and end up filtering through things you aren’t even interested in.
Tamara suggests going to a major retailer website for example, Fire Mountain Gems or something. Decide what you’re looking for and click through their chart and find exactly what description they use for it. Then throw that in Google.
Searching “6mm sterling silver 20 gauge” instead of “jump rings” to avoid being overwhelmed by all the options.
Which Comes First, the Design or the Materials?
Avoiding heartbreak helps your own sanity as a designer. If you’re designing first and then searching for materials, you’re putting the cart before the horse. You might not be able to find anything that fits your design.
Searching for materials can help speed up the design process. Sometimes I see something while sifting through that inspires me to create a piece designed around what I found.
You’re designing and sourcing at the same time, so you’re guaranteed to lock down the materials.
See you next time!