This blog post was first posted on the EtsyNy.com team website October 25, 2016
This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to host a two-day trunk show at Macy's on 34th street Herald Square in New York City to sell products from my Etsy store, Amberlee Isabella Home. Since 2012, I have sold bright, charming art, home decor and stationery. My products aim to empower women to be the best version of themselves by encouraging, supporting and reminding us not to take life too seriously.
I've received a lot of questions about this opportunity from other sellers so I wanted to use this space to share my experience and offer some insight into the process.
A few weeks ago, I was approached by Esty Wholesale and Macy's about an order for the holiday season in the existing Etsy shop-in-shop there. The space was established in January 2016 and the Etsy vendors inside rotate approximately every 2 months.
How did Macy's pick you for wholesale and trunk show opportunities?
Macy's found my products through the help of the Etsy Wholesale team. Etsy Wholesale searched shops for items that were unique and could be personalized. I was informed those were two important factors of the selection process.
What did you do at the Macy's trunk show?
I spoke to customers about my products and process. I also explained a lot about Etsy and handmade retail.Less than 1/4 of the shoppers I spoke to were familiar with Etsy. This was an eye-opening experience and not one I anticipated. A lot of the time spent at Macy's was educating international consumers about Etsy as a place to buy handmade and vintage goods from independent makers.
One of the things I enjoyed most about the show was offering customized prints in person for the first time. I had my laptop and portable printer to design artwork directly alongside customers. It was rewarding to help them bring their ideas to life in real time.
How many people were chosen for the Macy's trunk show?
A total of five Etsy sellers from across the US were selected to host trunk shows at five different Macy's stores this past weekend. I was the only trunk show vendor this weekend in New York City.
How much did Macy's order?
The wholesale order and trunk show request were large for my small business. It was as much of a logistical and planning puzzle as it was a strain on my time from a design and production standpoint. While having a full-time job and teaching put a lot of pressure on my time, my family helped support me through the process. I could not have done it without my patient and committed boyfriend, and his valuable SUV which is a blessing here in New York City.
What did you learn from working with Macy's?
You never know who is looking at your shop or what opportunity is just an email away. That's why it's always important for your shop and social media to be up to date, accurate, and professional.
What's your advice for someone who thinks their products are a good fit for Macy's?
Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, big or small, that's a good fit for your business. Smaller experiences play an important role in laying a foundation of knowledge for a bigger opportunity. I had invaluable experience as a smaller wholesale vendor by working with amazing retailers such as Story in Chelsea. That primed me to seize this opportunity.
What are your next steps after the Macy's trunk show?
Starting this week, you will be able to shop Amberlee Isabella Home products at Macy's in Herald Square! I look forward to developing a strong relationship with the entire Macy's and Etsy Wholesale team and working to grow the Etsy shop-in-shop in Herald Square.
If you have any questions or are curious about anything, feel free to comment below and I will respond. Thank you!