We believe the very best person
to sell your work to shops is YOU

We believe the very best person to sell your work to shops is YOU

We believe the very best person to sell your work to shops is YOU

As a maker, artist or designer, you have something unique to offer independent retailers like us.

And we're not just talking about your product. It might not feel like it right now, but you actually already have the raw ingredients you need to get stores (however many you want) saying "Yes!" to placing an order.

Even the best salesperson on the planet can't beat your knowledge of the lovely thing you make.

Blend that knowledge with your personality, strengths and values, and you'll create something that's irresistible to the right retailers. The result? A family of loyal buyers who actually ENJOY giving you money - now and for years to come.

So instead of paying someone with less expertise to do the talking for you, why not use your knowledge to fill up your inbox (and your bank account) with wholesale orders?

You know exactly how your product is made, who it's for and all the ways in which it makes people happy. And when retailers have specific questions about your lead time or packaging, the answers are at your fingertips.

But holy cow, wouldn't it be nice to have a little help?

But holy cow, wouldn't it be nice to have a little help?

But holy cow, wouldn't it be nice
to have a little help?

That's why we started Indie Retail Academy.

Wholesale can be life-changing for creative people. For starters, retailers pay you in big wodges of cash - and you get to say how big those wodges must be.

Unfortunately, artists traditionally learn to sell their work to shops through guesswork and trial and error. What should be a straightforward process is time-consuming, complex and completely terrifying.

And most of the time it simply doesn't work. Fear makes bright, funny, sensitive artists write TERRIBLE product submissions. Pitches that come across as awkward, pushy, timid, unprofessional, apologetic, obnoxious, vague, desperate, over-familiar, clueless or boring. We've got an inbox full of them. So does every other indie retailer we know.

We want to fix that.

Here's why artists love what we do.

Indie Retail Academy takes the fear out of selling your work to shops. We buy and sell lovely things like yours for a living, and we're artists too. That means we can guide you through the process, step by step, right up until you're making the kind of money you want to make.

You don't have to go it alone.

Ashley Rodgers

"When I succeed, it will be much owing to your spot-on, confidence-boosting guidance."

Ashley Rogers, Stationery Designer

Amy Chin

"I've never found anyone who can impart this information with such warmth, clarity and relevance. Plus, you’re empathetic to how I’m feeling. You understand."

Amy Chin, Graphic Artist


"I’m very, VERY pleased with your suggestions for improving my buyers' pack and the notes I made during our phone call. You’re my secret weapon!"

Julie Fountain, Lampworker


"I'm blown away by the level of detail and how much ground we covered. I'm encouraged, inspired and ready to complete what I started."

Linda Hasking, Wallpaper Designer

Clare Lloyd

"For the first time in ages I feel I'm actually going to make this work. I've got that nervous/excited feeling that I'm going to make some proper progress."

Clare Lloyd, Jewellery Designer

Cynthia Cortina

"I chose you because of your warm yet no-nonsense tone. I’m tired of coaches who claim to know what they’re talking about, but it’s really just fluff. I needed specific tactics and guidance."

Cynthia Cortina, Skincare Maker

Nicola Taylor

"What Retailers Want is the single-most useful course I’ve ever purchased for my business. It’s the best resource for artists who want to expand into shops and generally stop feeling rubbish about being rejected."

Nicola Taylor, Photographer

jo tinley

"You completely changed my outlook and gave me so much confidence. Within 6 months I increased my outlets from one to five and exhibited at the prestigious British Craft Trade Fair."

Joanne Tinley, Jewellery Designer

Jules Hogan

"With your help, I created my first persuasive catalogue. I exhibited at Design Junction last week - my catalogue got a great response and now I'm sending it out to potential stockists!"

Jules Hogan, Textile Designer

Natalie Ramsell

"I love your tone of voice and how simple you make things."

Natalie Ramsell, Stationery Designer

Retailers make up their minds in seconds. We help you make every second count.

Retailers make up their minds in seconds. We help you make every second count.

Retailers make up their minds in seconds. We help you make every second count.

Hello, I'm Clare Holliday.

I co-own Merry + Bright, a lifestyle store in the Scottish Borders, and I'm an actor working in TV, film and theatre. I'm also the wholesale consultant to hundreds of product-based creative businesses. My clients and students work in all disciplines, from fashion to furniture, and range from start-ups to established suppliers with dozens of domestic and international stockists. I've been teaching artists to sell their work to shops since 2012.

My clients' achievements include doubling their number of wholesale accounts, winning prestigious stockists such as The National Trust and Tate Modern, and exhibiting at Maison Et Objet, Autumn Fair, NY Now, Top Drawer and BCTF .

I've spoken about selling to shops for Mollie Makes, The Design Trust, Maker's Biz, Folksy, the London Jewellery School, Craft Scotland, Top Drawer and Home And Gift, and my programmes have helped over 20,000 artists sell their work to shops.

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Anthony Bowers Bio

Hi, I'm Anthony Holliday.

I co-own Merry + Bright with Clare and I'm an actor working in television and theatre. I'm also Indie Retail Academy's Client Concierge and Admin Whisperer.

That means that I’m your first port of call whenever you need to get in touch with us. If you’ve lost your class portal login, I’m your man. If you want to book some consulting with Clare, I’ve got her calendar at my fingertips. If your lobster souffle hasn’t risen…actually, I probably could have a stab at that one too.

I love to see artists making a comfortable living. As an actor, I’m all too familiar with the myth of the "starving artist" and quite frankly, I’d like it to sod off. Selling to indie retailers is a way to share the lovely thing you make with a bigger audience while enjoying more money, security and creative satisfaction. We’re here to help you get there.

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Wholesale success really is possible for you.

Wholesale success really is possible for you.

Wholesale success really is possible for you.

There's a Future You who has more money, confidence and stockists than you can imagine at this point.

That's because you're still in the process of becoming that person. You're in the oven but you're not done yet.

If you'd like the timer to ping sooner rather than later, we're the people you call when you want wholesale to feel do-able. When you want to be sure you've got the best chance of success. When you want to find and fix the places where you're shooting yourself in the foot.

We might even have a little fun while we're at it.

Start by downloading one of our helpful starter kits!

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Frequently Asked Questions


  • Free Updates

    Indie Retail Academy classes are regularly updated based on student feedback and what's new in wholesale. You'll never have to pay for the most recent version.

  • Lifetime Access

    You’ll never lose access to your training. If you have to take time off, pick right back up where you started. Your materials are always available.

  • Brilliant Support

    If you ever get stuck or need help, you can easily send me a message and get my support. I'm here to help.

Can you help me sell to major retailers?

Indie Retail Academy serves a particular niche of creative entrepreneurs very well, but it’s not for everyone. You won’t learn how to sell your work to big department stores or multiples, anything to do with licensing, sales reps, manufacturing or the magic formula for overnight wealth and success.

No leprechauns here, I’m afraid. But if you want to learn how to sell to independent boutiques and galleries, my classes were made for you.

What kind of artists do you help?

Stationery makers, ceramicists, painters, illustrators, furniture makers, skin care makers, jewellery designers, glass makers, fashion designers, lingerie designers, swimwear designers, photographers, papercut artists, book binders, leather workers, stone carvers and sculptors, weavers, textile designers, print makers and confectioners have all used my training to sell their work to shops.

If you sell a handmade product, Indie Retail Academy is for you.

Does your training apply where I live?

Yes. There are Indie Retail Academy students in the UK, the US and Canada, South America, India, Scandinavia, Australia, Indonesia and countries all around the world.

You may have to make small adjustments depending on your industry and location, but the principles you'll learn are universal.

What results do students typically achieve?

Indie Retail Academy students and clients snag their very first stockists, increase the number and value of the wholesale accounts they already have, find the confidence to exhibit at prestigious trade shows and pitch collaborations with retailers.

They make more money and feel less overwhelmed. Your mileage may vary, but if you put in the work, great things are likely to happen.

How long till I see results?

That depends on how you like to learn. There’s nothing to stop you cherry-picking the advice you need most and putting it into action immediately.

If you’ve chosen the right store and all your other elements are in place, you might get a positive response within a couple of days or even hours. Or it might take a bit longer than that.

The lessons in What Retailers Want and my other classes tend to stack. The more you put the things we talk about into practice, the more their effectiveness builds up and the quicker you start seeing results.

Which class should I take first?

What Retailers Want. It's my signature class in selling your work to shops. It guides you through the entire process, step by step.

What if I have a question that's not covered here?

Easy - just get in touch with me here, or at clare@indieretailacademy.com, and I'll get back to you personally.