How to Sell on Faire

How to sell on faire

If you want to know how to sell on Faire, then you’ve come to the right place! This blog is part of an ongoing, deeply researched series about selling on Faire (formerly Indigo Fair). The first post, What is Faire?, detailed how Faire works, how much Faire charges, and what kinds of products Faire sells.

 

HOW TO SELL ON FAIRE

 

 

How to sell on Faire

 

In this installment of the series, I’m unpacking some of the nuances of the platform. Because Indigo Fair/ Faire is a rapidly evolving marketplace, it’s important to recognize that this data is accurate as of the time of publication. The Faire executive team is pioneering in spirit and ambitious in scope, so their efforts are an ever-changing experiment. It’s akin to building the runway as you fly the plane, but that’s to be expected when you’re- quite literally- trying to “reinvent wholesale.”

 

Getting started with Faire is deliciously straightforward. Whenever I speak to artisans within the Lucky Break community, the onboarding process is something that earns rave reviews. Co-founder Max Rhodes has often boasted about how easy it is to use Faire.

 

“Makers can apply to join Indigo Fair, and once accepted, they just send us their product catalogue to get their profile up and running. Most makers receive an order within a week, and they get paid as soon as they ship the goods.”

 

HOW ARE ORDERS RECEIVED THROUGH FAIRE?

 

Buyers shop through the Faire interface from a seamlessly curated selection of products that are chosen for them based on an algorithm that considers numerous factors. While only the Faire executives and the software development team fully understand the mechanics of the algorithm, we do have some clues about how the system works. The aesthetics of the shop and the frequency with which any particular brand is ordered factor into which products are displayed for any specific buyer.

 

Faire dispatches an email notification to the brand once a buyer places an order. Brand owners then log into the system to discover several options at their fingertips, including:

  • Accepting the order and selecting a ship date.
  • Editing the item availability to backorder an item.
  • Canceling the order.

 

Payment for orders is settled upon shipment. Because buyers often enjoy trade credit (commonly known as “net terms”) via Faire, brand owners can pay an additional 3% fee for immediate payment. If they choose to agree to net 30 terms to settle the invoice, then they can forego the additional 3% fee. In all instances, Faire guarantees payment even if the buyer defaults on their obligation.

 

HOW DOES SHIPPING WORK ON FAIRE?

Shopkeepers often enjoy free shipping on Faire, and I can confirm that there’s almost nothing that they cherish more than zero shipping fees. But who pays for that?

  • When you notify Faire that an order has shipped, you attach the tracking number for the parcel and notate the shipping cost. This has been the process since Faire’s launch.
  • Faire reimburses for the shipping fees alongside the settlement for the merchandise, according to the schedule you’ve selected. (Immediate payment for an additional 3% or settling the invoice according to the trade credit arrangement for no additional fee)
  • Faire passes the shipping charges on to the buyer unless the shopkeeper is taking advantage of a free shipping special. In that case, Faire absorbs the cost of shipping.
  • In February 2019, Faire rolled out an optional, automated process for printing shipping labels within the program.  This eliminates the need to manually input shipping costs and tracking numbers.  Swing by the Faire FAQ to read more about Faire’s new shipping program.

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#LBCWantsToKnow >> January 2019: Product Development Planning for Makers

product development planning for makers

breaking business bad habits

 

We’re wrapping up our #LBCWantsToKnow series for January with a quick meditation on timing around product development planning for makers. Each month, I ask my Instagram community to join me in a focused, crowd-sourced discussion on a specific subject. For the month of January, we’ve been rolling up our sleeves to chat about the beginning of the year planning. And no discussion about strategic planning would be complete without thinking about product development and how to time product launch cycles.

 

Product Development Planning for Makers

Jan-3

 

THE LUCKY BREAK COMMUNITY SAID…

  • rockcreeksoaps: We are super excited about a launch we’re putting out in about 2 weeks!

 

  • stellachroma: We released a hand cream and coffee body polish at the end of last year. We’re going to sit on those for a while. We’re focusing on GMP this year.

 

  • zhibathandbody: I’m helping my kiddos launch their line of natural pet products. They say the dog deserves better…yay for them! And as for me…FINALLY working on natural deodorant.

 

  • shopmilked: I want to release home fragrances. Wax melts and/or candles. I’m kinda freaking out about it because there is just so much to learn about waxes + wicks.

 

  • gavinluxe: We’re launching a Love candle in about 2 weeks.

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Meet the Maker: Hana Brewster of Quiet Clementine

Hana Brewster of Quiet Clementine

For several years, Lucky Break hosted a “Meet the Maker” series featuring inspiring makers and product designers we though you should know. We were honored to host dozens of artisans, from Kristen Pumphrey of PF Candle Co to Meg Sutton of Belle & Union. Each one graciously offered inside peeks of their entrepreneurial journeys, while sharing some of their favorite resources, and dishing advice for what they wish they’d known when launching their own brands.  After an extended hiatus, we’re excited to reignite the “Meet the Maker” series, and we hope it helps you stay engaged, empowered, and inspired.

 

We’re kicking things off with Hana Brewster of Quiet Clementine. Hana creates whimsical and playful pieces from ceramics that include sculpted jewelry pieces and statement dishes. Thanks so much for joining us, Hana… we’re thrilled to share your story!

 

Hana Brewster of Quiet Clementine

 

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LBC: What inspired you to take the leap as an entrepreneur?

Hana: Prior to Quiet Clementine, I had two polymer clay focused businesses, one for jewelry and one for decor. I wanted to be a part of the handmade world, making something, and being able to work from home. I started with jewelry, because I had made some ceramic necklaces for my bridesmaids and enjoyed the process. Living in a small apartment with no space to make messes or to put a kiln made the choice to work with polymer fairly obvious.

Also, when I was in 6th grade, I went through a macrame jewelry making phase where I stayed in from recess to craft and try to sell necklaces to my teachers, so jewelry just felt like a natural fit to me. A few years into those businesses, my dad (who is a retired art teacher and amazing potter) encouraged me to make some ceramic pieces. I resisted for a while because I didn’t feel I had the skill to work in ceramics, but when I finally gave in, I was hooked.

Once I saw the first finished pieces, I think I knew I was done with polymer clay. I started making more pieces and posting them to Instagram. Then I started figuring out a plan for transitioning my business and how I was going to buy my own kiln. My business officially became Quiet Clementine in the spring of 2015 and I haven’t looked back since.

 

MEET THE QUIET CLEMENTINE COLLECTION

LBC: How would you describe what you create?

Hana: I create playful ceramics for color enthusiasts. I make small items, such as ring dishes, earring holders, mini planters, statement earrings, and necklaces. Each piece is inspired by vibrant color palettes and playful patterns and is handcrafted to bring fun and happiness to everyday life.

 

LBC: Where can we find your products?

Hana: You can find my products on my website, my Etsy shop, and at some amazing shops around the country, as well a couple international, which you can see on my stockist page.

 

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LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?

Hana: Even though I had a couple of shops prior to Quiet Clementine, I still didn’t know that much about business, so I’m not sure if I really thought about how it would be defined. I just enjoyed making colorful, happy things out of a material that had so many possibilities and, as things went along, I started to understand my aesthetic more and more and what kinds of products I enjoyed making.

 

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A TYPICAL WORKDAY

LBC: Walk us through a typical workday.

Hana: I don’t have a typical workday. I’m not a morning person, so I usually sleep in and then check emails and Instagram on my phone, which I know is a bad way to start the day!  After that, I start the kiln if it’s a firing day and I might do some computer work or answer/send emails if I need to or do a little product work.

After lunch, I go back to whatever the task is for the day. Each day is so different, depending on what products I’m currently working on and which phase of the process they’re in, but there are 3 different phases my pieces go through to become a final product. Some days I’m in the making phase, where I work in wet clay, creating the forms of the products. After that, I move on to the glazing phase, where I hand paint 3 coats of multiple glaze colors on each piece. For some products, that would be the final step, but I also apply liquid 22k gold to most of my pieces, so some days I’m applying gold and firing the kiln for the 3rd time.

For jewelry, there is yet another phase, so some days I assemble earrings. In between each phase are firing days, where I fire the kiln and then wait for it to cool. On those days (or whenever I need to), I might photograph or list new products, do computer work, start making more products, finish up a wholesale order, or just take a day to rest. My husband is my unofficial shipping assistant, so any orders that need to be packed up will happen after he gets home. I spend time with my husband in the evening and end the day by watching TV or reading a book.

 

BEFORE YOU START YOUR BUSINESS

LBC: What are 3 things entrepreneurs should think through when they initially decide to start a business?

Hana:

Make sure no one else is making your specific product already and if they are, figure out how you can make it unique and different from what’s already out there. Obviously, there are already a ton of people making jewelry or greeting cards, but you can determine what sets you apart from the rest. Having an idea of the feeling and aesthetic you want for your products will be helpful in understanding what makes you different.

Figure out pricing at the start and if you’d like to eventually do wholesale. You won’t want to have to dramatically increase your prices when you start wholesale. Of course, your costs and process will probably change from when you start versus a year out. You’ll find more cost-effective suppliers and your process will become more efficient, but having an understanding of pricing, in the beginning, will be beneficial.

Be aware of all the other roles that come with owning a small business. You won’t just be making the products you’re passionate about everyday. You’ll be the photographer, packager, shipper, admin, and many other things. Make sure you’ll be able to perform all of those tasks, at least in the beginning until you can, or want, to outsource those roles.

 

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What is Faire?- Formerly Indigo Fair

Indigo Fair

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If you haven’t yet heard of the Faire (formerly Indigo Fair) wholesale marketplace, then chances are that you soon will. Over the past few months, it seems that every other ad in my Instagram feed was a sponsored post for this new wholesale platform for makers. The messages have permeated Facebook too, encouraging both shop owners and product designers alike to dive in. But something happened in December of 2018 that essentially threw a lit match onto a waiting puddle of gasoline: Faire secured $100 million in venture capital funding.

 

That princely sum brings the total investment to $116 million. This gives Faire’s mission to reinvent the methodologies of wholesale a lot of oxygen for the burn. If the volume of emails I’ve received asking about Faire is any indication, then there’s tremendous interest within the artisan community. I’ve been exhaustively studying this wholesale marketplace for weeks, and I’m eager to spill all the tea to help you make an informed decision about the pros and cons of working with Faire.

 

A BRIEF HISTORY OF FAIRE (FORMERLY INDIGO FAIR)

Daniele Perito, Marcelo Cortes, and Max Rhodes originally met through their work as executives at Square. In January of 2017, they struck out on their own to launch Indigo Fair. The name was simplified to “Faire” after the established brand Fair Indigo filed suit for trademark infringement. Surprisingly, Indigo Fair never submitted a trademark application for their name. It was unlikely to win federal approval in light of Fair Indigo’s long-registered mark.

 

Describing the company as “Amazon for local retailers,” Max and his teammates realized that the antiquated wholesale model was overdue for an upgrade. There’s little debate that the means by which retailers connect with new brands has scarcely evolved in the last few decades, and it’s exciting to see someone take the reins of such an ambitious project.

 

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Faire quickly became the darling of venture capitalists, securing funding from prestigious partners like Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Sequoia Capital. This latest round of financing valued the company at $535 million… not bad for a business on the cusp of its second birthday! Headquartered in San Francisco, the tech world seems confident that Faire is on to something big. In December of 2018, Max Rhodes confirmed that “5,000 stores are actively buying on the Faire platform and 2,000 makers are fulfilling orders.”

 

HOW DOES FAIRE’S WHOLESALE MARKETPLACE WORK?

Interested artisans can apply to sell on Faire via a simple online application. The Faire team reviews each applicant before beginning an onboarding process for those who win approval. That’s one of the things makers appreciate most about working with the platform. Faire handles the lion’s share of onboarding tasks, using the product images, descriptions, and pricing information provided by brand owners.

 

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Real World Stories from the GMP Trenches

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I recently threw open the doors on enrollment for my GMP (good manufacturing practices) class, designed especially for beauty brand owners. Yesterday, I offered a quick tutorial on the nature of GMP and highlighted some of the often overlooked benefits that entrepreneurs enjoy when implementing a cosmetic GMP program. Whether you create nail polish, body scrubs, handmade soap, hair care products, or bath goodies… GMP will be your new BFF if you’ll roll up your sleeves and dig in. I’ve had the privilege of teaching my GMP system to hundreds of artisan makers over the last five years, and I asked a few of them to share a few tales from the GMP trenches, highlighting how changing their manufacturing regiments has impacted their business.

 

gmp blog post_aubrey

What was the biggest surprise when you started digging into GMP regulations?

 

I didn’t realize how much headache could be saved in the event of a recall by having systems in place. Small businesses sometimes don’t think about that, but we have recalls and batch issues, too. I didn’t “appreciate” just what GMP could do for me even though I’m a smaller business.I always thought that was for the big guys!

– Kriste McNamara of Tilvee

 

Just HOW MUCH goes into that simple little “batch number” stamped on the side of a box. It is waaaay more than a fun fact of how many batches you’ve made since the beginning of time!

– Aubrey Miller of REDBUDSUDS

 

My biggest surprise was how detailed and specific GMP regulations are. In fact, looking at the regulations as a whole feels completely overwhelming and untouchable until you break them down into tiny bites.

-Cindy Hanson of Cindy’s Suds

 

It was a lot more work than I imagined, but Lela did a really great job of explaining it and providing forms to follow. As a creative this was one of the more difficult steps in my maker business, for me.

-Kara Book Brown of Waxing Kara

 

 

How has locking down your manufacturing protocols affected your
confidence in the business?

 

It’s something that we are proud of, everyone in my shop takes this process and their role in this process very seriously. It is a professional way to run a maker business. For us, it’s the only way.

-Kara Brook Brown of Waxing Kara

 

It has given me confidence that I’m doing the best for my customers and if there is ever a problem, I’ve got the necessary info at hand to make necessary decisions.

-Aubrey Miller of REDBUDSUDS

 

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I feel confident in not only the quality of my end product but in my ability to pull any batch and retained sample and know all about the inner workings of it.

-Kriste McNamara of Tilvee

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