January 14, 2015

Getting Product (Weatherwood) into Stores

 I loved playing legos when I was a kid. I used to build the tallest buildings and the longest bridges. When I see buildings and bridges like these, I always think of those days with hundreds of lego blocks surrounding me. Or maybe the reason I'm thinking like this is because I just saw "The Lego Movie" over Christmas. "Everything is Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!" We've been super busy working on building up Weatherwood, from an online store to training sales reps. We've actually had success in getting WW on the shelf in retail stores. Let's talk about how that happens- k?

It took considerable time to figure these things out. In fact, now that it's written in black and white, it seems so simple, but it took eight months to get these things together. Anyway, first, you need to locate your target retailers. Maybe that's the town you live in, but for us- it means traveling to coastal cities. Which is cool, because you get to see beautiful things like clouds resting on the mountains in San Louis Obispo--or that scene from San Fran up above.

This is my serious business face. I practice this before I get out and pitch our product. (OK, maybe this is my I just drove 10 hours and I'm exhausted but still "getting to work" face, but that's just between me and you)

Second, you have to bring a few things with you: you need to have a credit application, order form, and LINE SHEET. I didn't know what any of these things were when I first started. a line sheet is how you show a retailer what you're selling them. It should have basic product info, size, quantity and basic terms. This is an example, some of the terms are missing, but that's because the paints and coatings industry isn't standardized, meaning each product will offer different margins for retailers and also meaning, I only tell potential retailers my terms.

Once you arrive at your retailer, you want to meet with the DECISION MAKER. That will most likely be someone who carries the title buyer or store manager. 

From there, you will have to show your actual item. Perhaps that's just handing it over to the buyer, but in my case, that's a product demonstration. I have the company cut their own wood, and then I apply Weatherwood to it. That way they know exactly what the tannins will do in each wood species from their specific region.    

This is the best part of the selling process, because I get a good feel for the retailer. I walk around the wood selection, get to see how the staff works together, what the size of their operation is, how successful the store is, and of course, the clientele. This tells me whether or not I want to work with the retailer. 

We line up all the different wood species, and apply stain to most of the wood. We can show how Weatherwood looks on all the different species and leave them samples for their customers to look at. I like to leave the samples behind so that the clients can see what the finished product will look like. 

Generally, you would be selling a product display to the retailer. But we use these samples instead. One day, we will have cute Weatherwood displays, but until then, we stain the wood on location and leave the samples.  As you can see, Weatherwood on birch and beech is absolutely lovely. When we sold to Aura Lumber, it was the first time we had stained those two species and, man, were we pleasantly surprised. 

By the end of this last trip, we had secured 4 out of 5 Aura Hardwoods locations! You can thank WW Instagram for all these pics- or else, we'd have nothing pretty to look at! 
We constantly update our progress here. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment. Thanks for tuning in and tuning out.  

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, lady! Appreciate all your support on here and FB! You're such a great friend! xo


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