Want to get your work into a store without exhausting yourself or hurting your soul?

Because you can have that.

I've been teaching artists all over the world to sell their work to independent retailers since 2012. If you want to do that, you're in the right place.

But first let's talk about why it’s so damn hard to get stuff done sometimes.

bookshop logo

Here's a question. What’s your goal for wholesale?

Why are you here right now?

It’s because you want a shopkeeper, or lots of them, to buy your work, right?

Okay, but there's almost certainly more to it than that.

You see, when we approach a new task or a project (like getting the lovely thing you make into a store) we tend to assume we’re a blank slate.

We THINK we want to make a hollandaise sauce or plant a flower garden, but that’s not strictly true because we're always working under invisible constraints.

What we REALLY want is to learn how to make a hollandaise sauce in the next 11 minutes, before Jean-Marc gets here.

Or we’d like to know how to grow tulips, but without spending lots on time on the ground because we dislocated a knee cap last year.

So although it looks like you simply want to get your work in a store, there's a good chance there are some secret conditions attached.

Maybe you actually want to do it without spending any money, even on basic tools.

But it still has to look super-professional. And not take too long. And not have any impact on your kids, or your day job.

And you don’t want to talk about yourself, or come across as too salesy, and everything has to be in place by next week.

You see?

It’s so easy to airily declare “I want to get my work into a store,” but it’s not the whole truth.

What you actually want is to get your work in a store while simultaneously preventing that process from affecting a range of things that matter to you.

And that’s like putting on a blindfold and stepping into a circle of upturned rakes.

Whichever way you move, something’s going to rise up and clonk you on the chin.

So it’s no wonder that, sometimes, it feels like you’ve been slogging away at a particular goal forever and making zero progress. I often work with artists who've wanted to get their work into shops for years.

On paper, it looks perfectly straightforward. So if you haven’t accomplished it yet... isn’t that your fault?

Isn’t it because you’re slow and disorganised and not cut out for running a business?

No. Trust me, I've taught thousands of creative people how to do this stuff.

It's because your goal is tangled up in a bird’s nest of unspoken, conflicting constraints, and they continually get in your way.

That’s why it can be so hard to get stuff done.

The solution?

Clearing out some of those rakes. Not all of them, but some. Here's a few that many artists struggle with.

You want to get your work into a store without:

  • Being pushy
  • Having to "sell yourself"
  • Getting rejected over and over and over
5-price-stickers

What kinds of independent stores do Indie Retail Academy students sell to?

Wholesale is a conveyor belt of rejection - at least, that's how it often feels to makers.

You screw up your courage, pitch your products and the shopkeeper almost always says "no" (or doesn't reply at all.)

This cheeses me off so I created Indie Retail Academy.

I believe it shouldn't be this hard to sell your work to shops.

Retailers shouldn't be turning people like you away - interesting new suppliers with a fresh point of view - without explanation (or education) so many times that you're left thinking "Maybe I'm just not cut out for this."

But then, I have a unique perspective.

artist badges 4

I'm a shopkeeper and an actor.

I've been an independent, bricks-and-mortar retailer since 2009 - my shop is called Merry + Bright. I spend thousands on stock from makers and designers like you every year, so I'm basically the person you need to impress.

But I also work in telly, theatre and film. You might have seen me in Emmerdale, Outlander or Calibre. After 20 years of auditions, I know what it feels like to put yourself out there, believe me.

Wholesale is a conveyor belt of rejection - at least, that's how it often feels to makers.

You screw up your courage, pitch your products and the shopkeeper almost always says "no" (or doesn't reply at all.)

This cheeses me off so I created Indie Retail Academy.

I believe it shouldn't be this hard to sell your work to shops.

Retailers shouldn't be turning people like you away - interesting new suppliers with a fresh point of view - without explanation (or education) so many times that you're left thinking "Maybe I'm just not cut out for this."

But then, I have a unique perspective.

I'm a shopkeeper and an actor.

I've been an independent, bricks-and-mortar retailer since 2009 - my shop is called Merry + Bright. I spend thousands on stock from makers and designers like you every year, so I'm basically the person you need to impress.

But I also work in telly, theatre and film. You might have seen me in Emmerdale, Outlander or Calibre. After 20 years of auditions, I know what it feels like to put yourself out there, believe me.

Wholesale is a conveyor belt of rejection - at least, that's how it often feels to makers.

You screw up your courage, pitch your products and the shopkeeper almost always says "no" (or doesn't reply at all.)

This cheeses me off so I created Indie Retail Academy.

I believe it shouldn't be this hard to sell your work to shops.

Retailers shouldn't be turning people like you away - interesting new suppliers with a fresh point of view - without explanation (or education) so many times that you're left thinking "Maybe I'm just not cut out for this."

But then, I have a unique perspective.

I'm a shopkeeper and an actor.

I've been an independent, bricks-and-mortar retailer since 2009 - my shop is called Merry + Bright. I spend thousands on stock from makers and designers like you every year, so I'm basically the person you need to impress.

But I also work in telly, theatre and film. You might have seen me in Emmerdale, Outlander or Calibre. After 20 years of auditions, I know what it feels like to put yourself out there, believe me.

Mollie magazine logo
bbc logo 2
TOP DRAWER LOGO BLACK
Craft Scotland Logo
design trust logo new
hgwhitebox

So I'm an unusual guide, if you want to sell to shops.

  • I'm a gatekeeper who wants to kick the gates wide open for you.
  • I'm your customer, so I can tell you exactly what your customers want.
  • I know how it feels to pitch your art (and yourself) to complete strangers.
clare-cooper-square-for-web

So I'm an unusual guide, if you want to sell to shops.

clare-cooper-square-for-web
  • I'm a gatekeeper who wants to kick the gates wide open for you.
  • I'm your customer, so I can tell you exactly what your customers want.
  • I know how it feels to pitch your art (and yourself) to complete strangers.

So I'm an unusual guide, if you want to sell to shops.

  • I'm a gatekeeper who wants to kick the gates wide open for you.
  • I'm your customer, so I can tell you exactly what your customers want.
  • I know how it feels to pitch your art (and yourself) to complete strangers.
clare-cooper-square-for-web
5-price-stickers

In other words, I'm in the ideal position to help you make the kind of money you want to make from wholesale.

And that's what I've been doing here at Indie Retail Academy for the last decade. I've taught thousands of artists, all over the world, how to get retailers saying "Yes."

Can I help you, though?

Try me. I've helped sock makers, candle makers, stationery designers, ceramicists, painters, illustrators, furniture makers, skincare makers and apothecaries, jewellery makers, bridal accessory designers, glass makers, fashion designers, lingerie designers, swimwear designers, photographers, papercut artists, book binders, leather workers, children's costume makers, stone carvers and sculptors, weavers, textile designers, toymakers, print makers and chocolatières sell their work to shops.

In other words, I'm in the ideal position to help you make the kind of money you want to make from wholesale.

And that's what I've been doing here at Indie Retail Academy for the last decade.

I've taught thousands of artists, all over the world, how to get retailers saying "Yes."

Can I help you, though?

Try me. I've helped sock makers, candle makers, stationery designers, ceramicists, painters, illustrators, furniture makers, skincare makers and apothecaries, jewellery makers, bridal accessory designers, glass makers, fashion designers, lingerie designers, swimwear designers, photographers, papercut artists, book binders, leather workers, children's costume makers, stone carvers and sculptors, weavers, textile designers, toymakers, print makers and chocolatières sell their work to shops.

In other words, I'm in the ideal position to help you make the kind of money you want to make from wholesale.

And that's what I've been doing here at Indie Retail Academy for the last decade. I've taught thousands of artists, all over the world, how to get retailers saying "Yes."

Can I help you, though?

Try me. I've helped sock makers, candle makers, stationery designers, ceramicists, painters, illustrators, furniture makers, skincare makers and apothecaries, jewellery makers, bridal accessory designers, glass makers, fashion designers, lingerie designers, swimwear designers, photographers, papercut artists, book binders, leather workers, children's costume makers, stone carvers and sculptors, weavers, textile designers, toymakers, print makers and chocolatières sell their work to shops.

Asset 5@2x

You can have your
happily ever after.

Selling to shops can unlock years of regular, repeat income for makers.
So if you dream of owning a flourishing creative business that takes care of you,
here's what I can help you do.

STARTING

Figure out if wholesale is right for you.

Understand pricing for wholesale.

Set your terms and conditions.

Design a linesheet or catalogue.

Identify the right stores for your work.

Decide how to approach stores.

Write a persuasive pitch email.

Feel prepared, whatever happens.

GROWING

Get more stores placing orders.

Get more stores placing repeat orders.

Optimise your terms and conditions.

Turn your line sheet into a catalogue.

Get better results from your catalogue.

Make stores increasingly loyal to you.

Maximise the benefits of a trade show.

Tailor your wholesale set-up to suit you.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Diagnose why stores aren't buying.

Fix your catalogue or linesheet.

Fix your pitch email.

Fix your website.

Improve your strategy for finding stores.

Reduce churn.

Handle tricky situations.

Boost your confidence.

You can have your
happily ever after.

Selling to shops can unlock years of regular, repeat income for makers.
So if you dream of owning a flourishing creative business that takes care of you, here's what I can help you do.

STARTING

Figure out if wholesale is right for you.

Understand pricing for wholesale.

Set your terms and conditions.

Design a line sheet or catalogue.

Identify the right stores for your work.

Learn how to read a shop.

Write a persuasive pitch email.

Feel prepared, whatever happens.

GROWING

Get more stores placing orders.

Switch to wholesale from sale or return.

Optimise your terms and conditions.

Turn your line sheet into a catalogue.

Get better results from your catalogue.

Make stores increasingly loyal to you.

Maximise the benefits of a trade show.

Tailor your wholesale set-up to suit you.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Review your pitch email.

Review your catalogue.

Review your line sheet.

Review your product photos

Review your website.

Handle tricky situations.

Boost your confidence.

Diagnose why stores aren't buying.

"I could cry for how good and helpful this is. You've saved me from trying to find bandwidth I don't have."

GILLIAN GAMBLE

Illustrator

You can have your happily ever after.

Selling to shops can unlock years of regular, repeat income for makers.
So if you dream of owning a flourishing creative business that takes care of you,
here's what I can help you do.

STARTING

Figure out if wholesale is right for you.

Understand pricing for wholesale.

Set your terms and conditions.

Design a line sheet or catalogue.

Identify the right stores for your work.

Learn how to read a shop.

Write a persuasive pitch email.

Feel prepared, whatever happens.

GROWING

Get more stores placing orders.

Switch to wholesale from sale or return.

Optimise your terms and conditions.

Turn your line sheet into a catalogue.

Get better results from your catalogue.

Make stores increasingly loyal to you.

Maximise the benefits of a trade show.

Tailor your wholesale set-up to suit you.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Review your pitch email.

Review your catalogue.

Review your line sheet.

Review your product photos

Review your website.

Handle tricky situations.

Boost your confidence.

Diagnose why stores aren't buying.

"I could cry for how good and helpful this is. You've saved me from trying to find bandwidth I don't have."

GILLIAN GAMBLE

Illustrator

Save 100+ hours of research.

Subscribe now and get six free Beginner's Guides, weekly wholesale tips and the occasional offer to help you sell your work to shops.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Your information will never be shared because I'm not a jerk | By subscribing you agree to my privacy policy.

I'm Scottish, raised on rugby, roasted cheese and books about dragons.

My acting credits include the BBC, ITV, Starz, The Royal Lyceum, the Tron, Vanishing Point, the Traverse Theatre, the Royal Exchange, Dundee Rep, Wellington Films, BBC Radio 4 and Lessons Of The Hour by film-maker and installation artist Isaac Julien. I'm also a founding member of Braw Clan, the Scots language theatre company.

My favourite acting jobs: playing a princess kidnapped by goblins, a detective hunting down a serial killer on Emmerdale and an intense site-specific piece that took place in the bedroom of a high-rise flat.

I've written and spoken about wholesale and independent retail for places like Mollie, Stockabl, The Design Trust, Home + Gift, Top Drawer, The London School of Jewellery, Tizzit, BBC Radio 4, Folksy, Craft Scotland and the Scottish Glass Society.

clare badges 7

The first few years of
Merry & Bright were hard.

We hired a marketing consultant. It didn't go well. Weirdly, being called names by her on Twitter changed everything.

Indie Retail Academy began training creative people to sell to shops in 2012. Previous classes and workshops include What Retailers Want, Create Your Own Catalogue, The Twenty Minute Line Sheet, Sell More Stress Less, Give Yourself A Raise, the About Page Repair Kit, Products That Sell, The Pivot Class, Pitch Perfect and Website Words.

Check out my FAQ or ask a question via my chat box. I monitor it personally.

I'm Scottish, raised on rugby, roasted cheese and books about dragons.

My acting credits include the BBC, ITV, Starz, The Royal Lyceum, the Tron, Vanishing Point, the Traverse Theatre, the Royal Exchange, Dundee Rep, Wellington Films, BBC Radio 4 and Lessons Of The Hour by film-maker and installation artist Isaac Julien. I'm also a founding member of Braw Clan, the Scots language theatre company.

My favourite acting jobs: playing a princess kidnapped by goblins, a detective hunting down a serial killer on Emmerdale and an intense site-specific piece that took place in the bedroom of a high-rise flat.

I've written and spoken about wholesale and independent retail for places like Mollie, Stockabl, The Design Trust, Home + Gift, Top Drawer, The London School of Jewellery, Tizzit, BBC Radio 4, Folksy, Craft Scotland and the Scottish Glass Society.

The first few years of
Merry & Bright were hard.

We hired a marketing consultant. It didn't go well. Weirdly, being called names by her on Twitter changed everything.

Indie Retail Academy began training creative people to sell to shops in 2012. Previous classes and workshops include What Retailers Want, Create Your Own Catalogue, The Twenty Minute Line Sheet, Sell More Stress Less, Give Yourself A Raise, the About Page Repair Kit, Products That Sell, The Pivot Class, Pitch Perfect and Website Words.

Check out my FAQ or ask a question via my chat box. I monitor it personally.

I'm Scottish, raised on rugby, roasted cheese and books about dragons.

My acting credits include the BBC, ITV, Starz, The Royal Lyceum, the Tron, Vanishing Point, the Traverse Theatre, the Royal Exchange, Dundee Rep, Wellington Films, BBC Radio 4 and Lessons Of The Hour by film-maker and installation artist Isaac Julien. I'm also a founding member of Braw Clan, the Scots language theatre company.

My favourite acting jobs: playing a princess kidnapped by goblins, a detective hunting down a serial killer on Emmerdale and an intense site-specific piece that took place in the bedroom of a high-rise flat.

I've written and spoken about wholesale and independent retail for places like Mollie, Stockabl, The Design Trust, Home + Gift, Top Drawer, The London School of Jewellery, Tizzit, BBC Radio 4, Folksy, Craft Scotland and the Scottish Glass Society.

The first few years of Merry & Bright were hard.

We hired a marketing consultant. It didn't go well. Weirdly, being called names by her on Twitter changed everything.

Indie Retail Academy began training creative people to sell to shops in 2012. Previous classes and workshops include What Retailers Want, Create Your Own Catalogue, The Twenty Minute Line Sheet, Sell More Stress Less, Give Yourself A Raise, the About Page Repair Kit, Products That Sell, The Pivot Class, Pitch Perfect and Website Words.

Check out my FAQ or ask a question via my chat box. I monitor it personally.

This is my store,
Merry & Bright.

We sell gifts, homeware and clothing with a relaxed and happy style. We've been trading in the market town of Biggar, on the edge of the Scottish Borders, since 2009. Have a look around here.

shop-clothes
dusters-web
cable-and-cottons
mb1square-web
ant-hands-web
salad-bowl
millie-cards-web
cards-on-pegs
merry-and-bright-exterior-web