Frequently Asked Questions
And the answers you're looking for.
About Indie Retail Academy
Indie Retail Academy is where makers, artists and designers learn to sell their work to independent retailers.
It's run by me, Clare Yuille. I've been an independent retailer since 2009 and have been teaching creative people about wholesale since 2012. More about me here.
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, this place is for you.
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 chocolatières have all used my resources, classes and consulting to sell their work to shops.
If you make a lovely thing and you want to sell it to independent retailers, Indie Retail Academy is for you.
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.
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 suggest collaborations with retailers.
They make more money and feel less overwhelmed - have a look at the testimonials sections on this page for specific examples. Your mileage may vary, and of course no results are guaranteed, but if you put in the work, you're making it more likely that good things will happen.
That depends on what how you like to learn, the time you have available to work on your wholesale business and where you're starting from.
If you’ve chosen the right stores and all your other elements are in place, you might get a positive response fairly quickly. Or it might take much longer than that.
But the things we talk about in advice calls, my articles and books, tend to stack. The more you put them into practice, the more their effectiveness builds up and the quicker you start seeing results.
The Knowledge Hub is the section of the Indie Retail Academy website containing all my free articles on selling your work to shops. Have a look here.
Yes, I have weekly newsletter for makers who are interested in selling their work to shops. Find out more here.
Indie Retail Academy makes monthly donations to organisations working to make the world better. More on that here.
Booking an advice call
Over the years I've discovered that advice calls work best when we start with one simple question. When you book, I'll ask you to answer a short questionnaire to help you figure out what that question might be.
It's okay if you're not sure. Makers often come to me because their wholesale business (and their feelings about their wholesale business) = a big ball of snakes.
That's fine. All you have to do is pick one snake. As we go along, you might find the others start to untangle themselves.
In terms of the general topics we can talk about, have a look at the "What can I help you do?" section on the Book An Advice Call page.
We'll talk via Zoom for 45 minutes. You'll receive instructions on how to join our call using your computer when you book.
Choose to chat via audio-only if you prefer - that's completely fine by me.
Advice calls happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When you book your call, you'll see the next available slot in your local time zone.
If our time zones conflict or you're in a hurry to talk, just let Anthony know when you book and he'll do his best to accommodate you.
If you're preparing for a trade show, you can book a package of two advice calls here.
But otherwise, let's keep it simple and start with one. If you'd like to book more calls, Anthony will send you the link to do that after we talk.
Yes! I'm an introvert too and I know how hard it can be to call up someone you don't know.
Here's how we fix that:
We'll talk via Zoom - just click a link to join my meeting room.
Choose audio-only if you like - that's fine with me.
You get to say "Here's what would help me get the most out of our call." There's a space for that on your client questionnaire.
I've worked with hundreds of creative people and I am one myself. I'll take good care of you.
Yes. We only ask that you use your call within 18 months of purchase.
Yes - there's a link to cancel your call and choose another time slot at the bottom of your invitation email.
Or shoot Anthony a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll take care of you.
You have 18 months to use your advice call.
Occasionally, the tech gremlins come out and cause trouble when it's time for us to talk.
You'll receive step-by-step instructions on how to log into my Zoom meeting room when you book. If something isn't working, try closing Zoom and start again by clicking the link in your invitation email. That often does the trick.
If not, no need to panic. Just email me at email@example.com, let me know what's happening and we'll figure it out.
If you don't show up for our advice call and I don't hear from you, I'll wait in our Zoom meeting room for 30 minutes. I know unexpected situations can come up, especially when you're juggling lots of responsibilities.
If you miss our call completely but would still like to talk later, we can rearrange one new appointment - please email Anthony at anthony@indieretailacademy to set this up.
No. I'm not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. An advice call is not a substitute for the legal or professional advice provided by your own lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. More on that here.
Sure. If that's the main thing you want to accomplish with your advice call, you can tell me that in your client questionnaire.
I'll get it up on my screen and we'll talk it all through.
Just your computer or phone. It's pretty simple and intuitive - all you have to do is click the invitation link in your booking email and follow the steps.
If you'd like a walkthrough, find one here.
Yes. I'll check it's okay with you to record the call at the start. If you'd like a copy of the recording, Anthony will whizz it over after we wrap up.
If you're nervous because you have a question that isn't covered here... email me or open the chatbox and we'll take care of it.
If you're nervous because you feel like you're in a big mess... I can help you clear it up.
Also I've seen (and been in) some big messes in my time. They ALL got fixed by doing one small thing at a time.
If you're nervous because you're worried you'll get bad feedback about your linesheet, catalogue, pitch email or website... I'll tell you what I think could use some work, but I'll also tell you what you're doing brilliantly.
I'll be straight with you about areas for improvement, for sure, but I'll be just as straight about what's already good.
If you're nervous about spending money on consulting... you know your financial situation. If now's not the time, bookmark this page. I'll be here when you're ready.
If spending the money is possible, however, remember this is about helping you make more money from selling to shops. There are no guarantees, of course, but that's my goal for you.
Purchasing from the store
Yes. It's always safe to give Indie Retail Academy a try.
If for any reason you decide a purchase you make from the Indie Retail Academy store isn’t right for you, you can get your money back with no quibbles or hoops to jump through.
Email us within 30 days of purchase and you’ll get your full purchase price back – no questions asked.
All Indie Retail Academy products are digital. You'll receive them in two ways.
First, you'll see download links when you complete your checkout.
And second, you'll receive a confirmation email containing your download links a few moments later.
You have lifetime access. If you're having trouble accessing a purchase, email Anthony and he'll sort it out for you.
The confirmation email containing your download links should go to the email address you entered during checkout.
Sometimes, however, those emails either accidentally go to spam, or they take their sweet time to show up in your inbox.
If you've given it 20 minutes and checked your spam or promotions folder with no joy, email Anthony right here.
He'll take good care of you.
No problem. Email Anthony and he'll sort it out for you.
Indie Retail Academy students live in countries all over the world. We can't yet offer transactions in every currency, although that's something we'd like to introduce in the future.
In the meantime, we picked US dollars to be our default currency. If USD isn't your local currency, your bank may charge you a small fee for processing the transaction.
Anthony's standing by to help you. Email him right here.
Questions for Clare
Anthony and I have been running Merry + Bright, our bricks-and-mortar store, since 2009. Have a look round here.
I've been teaching makers to sell to independent retailers at Indie Retail Academy since 2012.
You might've seen me at or on Tizzit, the London Jewellery School, the Design Trust, Folksy, Top Drawer, Home & Gift, BBC Radio 4, Mollie Makes, Stockabl, Emergents, Craft Scotland or the Scottish Glass Society.
Maybe - I'd certainly like to hear your idea.
Tell me about it here or open the chat box at the foot of this page and let me know what you're thinking.
I love doing interviews. There's a whole page about how to get in touch about that here.
Maybe - please get in touch here, tell me what you're picturing and I'll gladly get back to you.
Maybe - please get in touch here, tell me what kind of article you'd like and I'll gladly get back to you.
We don't but thanks for thinking of us.
Questions about wholesale
1. You need at least one product which is completely ready for sale (it's certified if that's required, you have the right kinds of insurance and legal permissions to trade, it does what it's supposed to do and so on.)
2. You need an understanding of how buying and selling happens between independent retailers and makers.
3. You need a robust wholesale price that allows both you and the shopkeeper to make a profit.
4. You need wholesale terms and conditions.
5. You need a pitch email that makes retailers want to give you their attention.
6. You need a persuasive wholesale catalogue or linesheet that shows off your work and answers retailers' questions.
If you're here and you're already selling to the public, you've got the first one. The other five are a combination of simple wholesale know-how, a PDF and an email script that's only a couple of hundred words long.
One of the great things about wholesale is how little new stuff you need.
A linesheet is simply a document, either physical or digital, that tells retailers about your work. More details and an example here.
Don't see your question?
Drop Anthony a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for friendly assistance.
Don't see your question?
Drop Anthony a line at email@example.com for friendly assistance.
My trade show orders quintupled after working with Clare. She's my secret weapon.
Lampworker, Beach Art Glass
I could cry for how good and helpful this is. You've saved me from trying to find bandwidth I don't have.
You give feedback in a way that doesn't even pinch. It's magic, truly!
Just had a call from a store on my wishlist. The owner said my catalogue was the best he's seen in a long time. Clare made a real difference for me.
Clare's classes are very real-life. I now understand why my products perform better in some stores than others. It's had a huge impact on my strategy.
Textile Designer, Fabulous Goose
You make wholesale actionable and understandable. Having a real retailer tell me what they expect is so confidence-boosting.
I found your guide so helpful when I was figuring out my pricing.
Embroiderer + Fibre Artist
Clare's course is the best resource for artists who want to expand into shops and stop feeling rubbish about being rejected.
Photographer, Nicola Taylor Photography