Last September, we gave you a peek into our vision for Etsy Wholesale: a private platform where professional buyers for boutiques and other retailers discover and connect with juried artists, designers, and vintage vendors who offer wholesale. Since then, we’ve been working behind the scenes on the site, doing in-depth research, and meeting with industry experts. In the coming weeks, we’ll be launching our invitation-only beta of Etsy Wholesale, during which we’ll test the site features and make adjustments based on feedback. Soon, our team will be migrating over a selection of Trunkt lifetime members and inviting selected vendors who are experienced in wholesale. We’ll be proceeding carefully to make sure the site works smoothly and that we’ve properly seeded the marketplace with a diverse array of quality finished goods from independent creative businesses around the world.
In addition to working on the nuts and bolts of the site, we’ve also been developing relationships with buyers of all sizes, including many independent boutiques. We’re also talking with some other types of buyers, for example, Erin Fergusson from UncommonGoods, Kathryn Kuntz from ModCloth, and museum store buyers such as Michele Tobin from the Walker Art Center shop.
We’ve also been collaborating with select major retailers who appreciate independent designers and craft. Our “Etsy for west elm” partnership (read more about that collaboration here) debuted the way local Etsy vendors can be brought into a major retail setting — all the while taking care to feature them for their individual talents and stories.
We’re really excited to announce our next major retail partner, Nordstrom, to sign on to be a buyer on Etsy Wholesale. I’ve been working closely with Tanner Moxcey from Nordstrom’s At Home department to feature selected Etsy vendors in their retail stores. This “Etsy & Nordstrom Present” collaboration is an exciting opportunity for these sellers, and it gives us — and you — a peek into what it takes to do wholesale with a major retailer. At the same time, Nordstrom gets to bring fresh, unique products to their shoppers. It’s a win-win-win!
The long-term goal is for professionals like Tanner (and buyers from retailers of all sizes) to be able to have our Etsy Wholesale platform at their fingertips, for an unmatched variety of unique products, hard to find anywhere else.
How did all this work? For the past few months, Tanner has been my “retail pen pal,” if you will. Tanner is a buyer for Nordstrom; his job is to source new products for their At Home department. We settled on their Seattle location first (where Nordstrom is headquartered) and then Chicago, with our sights on San Francisco or Washington, D.C. next. Tanner and I collaborated on selecting the sellers, as well as outreach, signage and hang-tag branding. (Each artist is credited on the back of the hang-tags.) These vendors made proper wholesale deals with Nordstrom, and went through all the ins and outs of doing a large order with a major retailer. (Long story short: there’s a lot involved!)
You can now find neighborhood mugs by Sarah D. Woodson of Downing Pottery showcased in Seattle.
Lisa Jones of Tiny Terrains has been able to take the opportunity even further and her marimo terrariums are in all Nordstrom locations with At Home departments across the country.
The Chicago Nordstrom At Home location now features a grouping of porcelainware by Nancy Pizarro and Andy Witt of Circa Ceramics. These stellar Etsy products will also be sold for a limited time on Nordstrom’s website, with links back to their Etsy shops as well.
We’re absolutely thrilled for these artists and excited to broaden the exposure of our Etsy Wholesale vendors! Please check out their Related Items below and in person at Nordstrom!
If you’re a wholesale vendor or a professional buyer for a boutique or other retailer, please sign up to learn more. We’ll notify you when we’re ready to accept applications for Etsy Wholesale. You can also follow us @etsywholesale.
Vanessa Bertozzi is a Senior Manager for Etsy Wholesale, a private, juried section of the Etsy marketplace. Since starting at Etsy in 2007, she has launched the Etsy Blog and led teams focused on seller education and community.