Craft Tango Connects Crafters and RetailersBusiness Profiles — By Susan Post on December 23, 2013 at 8:00 am
For a handmade crafter, finding wholesale locations to sell their goods is precious time away from their creative space. An artisan herself, Stinkybomb Soap founder Megan Green has crafted an idea to bring crafters and retailers together. Craft Tango will build a database of handmade crafters and their wholesale contacts, making it easier for vendors and retailers to connect.
Craft Tango will serve two main functions for handmade crafters – representation and retail.
Handmade crafters are often Jack-(or Jills)-of-all-trades, doing everything themselves from production to marketing to finance to finding places to sell their goods. Finding representation can be a challenge when one person is doing it all. Green hopes Craft Tango can at least take one thing off a crafter’s plate.
“We will be the middle man between the store and the crafter,” she says. Craft Tango’s representation will function much as a traditional sales rep, but for smaller companies. Retailers will request goods, Craft Tango will let the artisans know and make the connection.
The retail portion of Craft Tango operates as a wholesale outlet. From a directory of goods, retailers will directly order what they need from individual artisans.
“At the end of the day, we just want to make things,” Green says of herself and other local crafters. The ultimate goal is to keep artisans in their space and creating.
Green is hoping to make the setup familiar for handmade crafters. There will be a signing fee to join Craft Tango, much like a traditional craft show. From there, a crafter’s information will be entered into a database along with two wholesale accounts they already have set up.
“It just takes two,” Green says, using this as inspiration for the name Tango.
The concept for Craft Tango is built around the partnership and sharing of resources Green was already seeing int the handmade craft community.
“The more I started talking to colleagues in the handmade craft community in Columbus, we were willing to share information with one another,” Green says.
Many crafters were in the same spot – finding representation was difficult and they were faced with the task of building wholesale relationships. Even with references for wholesale options though, individuals would still have to call to see if the location was a good fit for their product.
The organized database of wholesalers and handmade crafters will provide easier and better matches between the two groups.
Craft Tango is aiming for a late winter or early spring launch. Green says spring is about the time when retailers replenish and reinvest in their stock.
Green has already received positive reception to the idea, finding it fills a gap in the handmade craft market. And, interest is already extending beyond Central Ohio.
“I can really see this being a national representation,” Green says.