Reaching out to retailers - They didn't say it would be easy
Posted on 04 February 2018
I can't believe how quick January came and went. It feels like only yesterday, I was wishing you all a Happy New Year and now we're in February.
Let's face it, it's been a hard month! As much as we are all so pumped at the start of the year, ready to face new challenges head-on, experience new things and make some hard and fast changes in our lives, by week two, reality quickly checks in to say 'Hello, did you really mean what you said on the 1st of January?'
December had us spending like no tomorrow and we may have been caught by the January sales so that January pay cheque couldn't have come any quicker.
Like many, I set some hardcore goals for January. The first was to launch a new product which came in the form of these fabulous 100% versatile canvas bags. The second was to grow my email subscription list (Welcome to the Special Touch Design Family) and the last one was to reach out to retailers. My vision is to have 15 retailers selling my cards and gift items by the end of the year, I already have four amazing stockists, so I figured securing one a month wouldn't be too hard - How wrong was I!
Now, the whole point of starting Special Touch Designs was to provide a buying option for people like me, who have a love and appreciation of Afrocentric culture and lifestyle. We already know that many high streets card retailers don't currently provide cards that reflect the diversity of the population they serve, leaving us to have to search online for ethnic or cultural greeting cards.
There is such a need for more diverse cards within the greeting card industry that reflect black and ethnic cultures. Still, in 2018, it’s rare to walk into a card shop and see imagery of ethnic families or ethnic characters. Such cards are greatly needed for the 3 million people of this demographic living within the U.K.
I naively sent email after email to potential retailers whom I believed were in areas that would benefit from having a selection of Special Touch Design cards. To cut a long story short - the main response was:
.......we don't feel your cards would fit with the rest of our card ranges.....we know what our customers want and whilst we can see that there’s real potential in your products, we don’t feel they’re right for us at this time.....
My word for January has most definitely been 'Resilience' - I almost felt like giving up before I had even started, but I remembered this quote by Michelle Obama:
I realised that I'm going to get a lot of 'no's' along this journey, some people just aren't going to get it or be aligned with my vision and if that's the case then it's true - we wouldn't make a good fit. There will, however, be some 'Yeses' and when they come I know I'll be closer to achieving my goals.
Well, that's all from me for now. I'm looking forward to February and the run up to Valentine's day, be sure to show appreciation and love to your nearest and dearest. I have a lovely selection of Valentines Day cards for you to choose from.
Take care all and have a great February.