Barnes & Noble and all off our other major retail chains such as Hastings, Go the Game Store and Spencer Gifts have been a mixture of hard work, timing, the right contacts and the right market conditions. Two things have been very helpful for us. Trade shows and sales representation. We announced Sexy Slang and Naughty Charades at two of the most appropriate trade shows which help us gain exposure for our brand and helped us develop the connections we needed with the buyers and sales reps. Trade shows can be expensive for an entrepreneur who is just starting out. I recommend attending some shows beforehand to understand how a successful show is run. Perhaps even volunteer to help another exhibitor work their booth.
Place Your Product in Stores
I started doing some consignment in different small stores but I didn't really like it, it was hard to keep track of and because they didn't own the pieces they didn't take as great care of them so when I saw the Bendel's opening I decided to give it a try. It was a pretty crazy experience, I arrived at 7:30am and there was already a line around the block, some people had been there all night. I waited in line for 5 1/2 hours and finally was called in. I pulled out just a few of my pieces and they said, we love it, come in for a trunk show. I did my first show in January right after the holidays and didn't do very well, but my show in April was much more successful and sold a bunch.
I was asked to join a committee for an American Cancer Society Event and Martha Clara Vineyards was one of the sponsors. I always bring Fretzels with me to meetings and events so that people can try them, and the representative from Martha Clara Vineyards loved them and brought them back to the buyer and now they will be carrying them in the store and including them in their gift baskets.