Author: Lela Barker

Build Your 2014 Buyer’s Packet & Get Ready for Wholesale!

Buyer's Packet Design, line sheets and order forms, Lucky Break Consulting

I’ve been a maker for ten years now and the things I’ve learned along this journey could fill enough volumes to start my own library. Upon reflection, I suppose I have started my own library of sorts via my consulting company. I like to think of it as an entrepreneurial toolbox: an answer to all the times I wish I had a program or service or mentor to help me jump business hurdles along the way. This week, I launched a new service which is designed to solve one of the biggest headaches for makers: the task of elegantly presenting your work to wholesale buyers.

Buyer's Packet Design, line sheets and order forms, Lucky Break ConsultingClick the infographic for a closer look!

Through my work as wholesale strategist with hundreds of makers over the past year, I’ve quickly come to understand how many of us struggle to understand what should be sent to wholesale buyers, whether they’re inquiring about our product collection or we’re introducing the collection to a shop we’d love to work with. No matter what creative products you make, if you plan to sell those products to shops, spas, galleries, department stores or online retailers, then you’ll benefit by having a sleek Buyer’s Packet in your entrepreneurial arsenal.

Don’t wait until you have a hot lead to begin putting one together. You know the old saying about the early bird and the worm? It rings true for makers, too. Those makers who can quickly fulfill requests for wholesale information from interested buyers are the ones who score the wholesale accounts. Invest some time this month developing your Buyer’s Packet to make 2014 the year you conquer the wholesale market!

Buyer’s Packets are comprised of 2 basic documents: line sheets and order forms. Today, I’m sharing a few tips which should prove helpful as you begin the process of developing your own swoon-worthy line sheets. Start by deciding how many products you want to feature on each page. I recommend 2-8 products per page- any less is a waste of paper and any more is so congested that it might discourage buyers from really exploring the line.

Use one crisp product image for each product featured. 

  • Choose neutral backgrounds which don’t distract from the product being featured.
  • Each image should focus on a single product or product family.
  • Product images should contain minimal props, keeping the emphasis on the product itself.
  • Consistency is key! Images should be consistently styled, framed and lit.
  • Utilize images which are high resolution (300 DPI+).

Beside or below each product image, include:

  • Name of the product
  • Item number
  • Wholesale price (expressed as “each”)
  • Recommended retail price
  • Minimum number of units
  • Available variants: As an example, t-shirts might be sized S, M, L, and XL. Candles or lip balms may have fragrance or flavor variants (strawberry lime, blood orange + honey). Jewelry, accessories and housewares will likely have products available in multiple colors.

Buyer's Packet Design, line sheets and order forms, Lucky Break Consulting

Wholesale buyers want to be led. If they’re smitten with your product collection, then they generally appreciate input + direction as they build an order. Help them help you! Do you have a new product? What’s your best seller? Does this coordinate with something else? Add banners to relevant product photos to highlight these special products.

The best examples of line sheets:

  • Are unambiguous and easy to follow.
  • Are stripped of extraneous “marketing chatter”- just the facts.
  • Contain all the information necessary to make an order. Buyers may have additional questions, but the essentials should be answered on your line sheet.
  • Feature a professional layout, uniform product photos, maximum of 2 fonts, font sizes which are highly legible.

Need some inspiration? Browse through my portfolio, which contains 41 pages of line sheets + order forms from some of the hottest makers around hustling today.

Or, you know… I just launched an amazing service which not only teaches you how to develop a successful wholesale program via my series of video workshops, it also puts your details in the hands of a professional designer who can build a knock-their-socks-off Buyer’s Packet to your specifications, at a fraction of the price you’d expect. Our very own Jessika Hepburn helped design the backbone of the service and I’m really excited about how this service will help makers boost their confidence, increase their efficiency and grow their business!

Through January 17th, use code OMH25 to enjoy $25 off your Buyer’s Packet. Watch the video introduction & learn more at the Lucky Break website

What do you think of Lucky Break’s new Buyer’s Packet design service? Are you ready to build your own 2014 line sheets + order forms and focus on wholesaling for your business this year? Share your thoughts & connect with other makers in the comments!

What is A Line Sheet + Secrets To Wholesale Success Giveaway

What is a line sheet anyway? Secrets to wholesale success, Lucky Break Consulting

Read on for an opportunity to win a seat in my LBU: Secrets to Wholesale Success mentoring program, worth $849!

If catalogs and order forms were to fall in love and have a baby, line sheets would be their love child. A line sheet is a sales tool designed to communicate virtually all of the information necessary for a buyer to make a decision about purchasing.  Creating a smartly-designed line sheet is one of the foundations of a successful wholesale program.

Each of your products should be individual showcased with either a color photo or drawing. This isn’t the time to use those fancy lifestyle shots!  Think: simple, professional-looking photos on either a white or neutral background. They should be taken “head on” and show virtually the entire product. Make certain that your photography style is consistent; as even small variances catch the eye once all of those products are aligned in tidy rows.

Beside or below each product, list the following:  the name of the product, its item number, the wholesale price (expressed as “each”), the suggested retail price, the minimum number of units required and any variants *such as sizes, colors, flavors, etc.)

It’s important to remember that buyers want to be led. If they’re smitten with your product collection, then they generally appreciate input + direction as they build an order. Help them help you!  Do you have a new product? What’s your best seller? Does this coordinate with something else? Add banners to relevant product photos to highlight these special products.

Lucky Break Consulting, what is a line sheet and why your creative business needs one

A fictitious line sheet created as an example for LBU students t-shirts & design by Jessika of OMHG

Don’t forget these line sheet essentials:

Your logo: front + center, loud + clear

Contact details: address, phone, website, email

Season: is this line sheet applicable for all of 2013? Fall of 2013? If you release seasonal products, discontinue products or raise prices mid-year, then you’ll need to update your line sheet accordingly.

Wholesale terms: uber-quick overview of payment and shipping methods, minimums, return policy, etc.

Call to action: what should the buyer do next?

The best examples of line sheets are…

Clear: Unambiguous and easy to follow.

Succinct: Stripped of extraneous “marketing chat”- just the facts.

Inclusive: Contain all the information necessary to make an order.

Tidy: Professional layout, uniform product photos, maximum of 2 fonts, font sizes which are easily legible.

Lucky Break Consulting, Secrets to Wholesale Success giveawayIf you’re looking to enter the wholesale market or are interested in upping your wholesale game, then I invite you to join me in the next semester of LBU: Secrets To Wholesale Success. My premier mentoring program is designed for beauty entrepreneurs, ceramic artists, stationary girls, jewelry makers, cupcake bakers and apparel designers who are ready to step up their game and crack the wholesale code. Over the course of seven short weeks, we’ll work together to transform your business via video curriculum units, dozens of worksheets and exercises, a series of Expert Interviews and 24/7 support at our private Facebook group.  I’ve spent a decade in the wholesale world, landing my products in 1000+ spas and shops worldwide and I’m sharing all my secrets with a select group of makers and creatives.

The spring semester of LBU sold out in just 5 days.  Registration for the summer semester opens today with a very limited number of seats.  I invite you to read more about the program here. You can reserve a seat or enter for a chance to win one seat which is reserved exclusively for OMHG readers.


*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!*  Giant congratulations to Erin McIntosh of Dear Edna AND Stephanie Tardy Duimstra of Your Phantom Limb! Lela in her infinite awesomeness loved all your entries so much she decided to offer two spaces to you lovelies. Buckle your seat belts ladies, she’s going to kick your wholesale skills up a bazillion notches, please email asap to get your party started!

Enter by sharing your big marketing question, fear, or learning experience with us in the comments!

Get extra entries by leaving a separate comment if you: 

Join the Lucky Break Consulting mailing list

Follow Lucky Break Consulting on Twitter

Like Lucky Break Consulting on Facebook

Share this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook

I’m ready to wholesale! Enter now to win a seat in LBU: Secrets to Wholesale Success worth $849 on #OMHG <–click to share!

This contest closes May 31st at 12:00am EST so get your entries in fast! Winner will be announced on this post June 1st.

Pruning Your Product Garden- time to trim the hedges!

Pruning Your Product Garden, Lucky Break Consulting, Oh My! Handmade

Spring has started to shine her lovely face upon us here in South Carolina, after a dreary winter that I am thrilled to be bidding adieu.  The warmer weather has me thinking not only of my physical garden, but of my proverbial product garden as well.  When was the last time you whipped out the pruning shears for a scrutinizing look at your offerings?

As with everything else, products have a life cycle. When they’re infants, each is the apple of our eye and we can’t wait to tell everyone about them.  Toddlers? Get out of town- everything they do is adorable and the pace of their growth is mind boggling.  As the teen years approach, things takes more work, a touch more patience, a bit of  negotiations. And poof! Before you know it, those babies are off to college and out the door.  So, too, are our products.  After a decade in business, I’ve discovered that the more mindful I can be of that life cycle, the greater clarity I have in knowing when to coddle and cajole, when to let things coast and when to pull back and refocus my energies elsewhere.


This stage encompasses product development, initial market debut and the early sales period.  I’m immersed in conception and branding and busy establishing intellectual property rights. The double whammy of advertising costs (traditionally a significant expense as I work to establish awareness) coupled with a low sales volume means I’m not yet banking any profit. The good news is that I’m building brand and product awareness.   If my product is especially innovative and I’m first on the scene, then I enjoy a particularly sweet spot until my competition rouses and enters the race.  My promotion efforts are aimed at early adopters and specialty retailers. At this point, I coo over my new baby and show it off to anyone who will sit still for sixty solid seconds.


Provided I’ve done my homework and launched a solid product, this stage ushers in the expansion of my distribution network beyond the early adopters and hipsters.  As customer awareness increases, demand follows and I’m able to attract a wider swath of wholesale buyers. Development costs are being recouped and I begin to ease off my promotion budget as visibility is raised. Those two factors result in increased revenue and tidy profits (hip, hip, hooray!). My pricing remains fairly high as the competitive landscape is just beginning to take shape and my foothold becomes more firm.


My bouncing baby has now skidded into her teen years, welcomed by hormone swings and a sniping group of peers. During this stage, the rapid growth period begins to wane. Competitors have now officially entered the race and the market begins to flood with choice. I switch gears and move into a slightly defensive posture, supporting my products with a more competitive price, added incentives, refreshed packaging, and additional support or by launching in new markets. You’ve seen this type of strategy before: Pangea Organics switching to a direct selling platform or Jason Wu and Todd Oldham at Target. Putting a twist on my game will breathe new life into my product.


The grey hairs are beginning to rear their heads. My sales decline as as the competitive landscape crowds.  My focus shifts from the promotion and support of this singular product to fortifying my brand image for sister products that aren’t in decline.  I have two options at this point:

• Stand my ground: reduce production costs and hold steady in hopes that my competitors will tire

• Call it a day: retire the product, exit this particular race and focus energies on my next big adventure

For years I struggled with product discontinuations, reflecting fondly on how each of them was my favorite child at one time or another. Eventually, I discovered that clinging to products in decline negatively impacted my company and my customers. Knowing when to cut those ties has been a valuable lesson in business (and in life). The freedom I enjoy from giving a product a good hard run and then sending it gently into that goodnight invigorates me, allowing me to focus my attention on growth and innovation while celebrating successes along the way.

I encourage us all to use this season as a time of renewal. Take a long, hard look at your product collection and identify where each of those products are in their life cycle. Shake things up where you can, lay to rest what you can’t and get on with the adventure of building something new!

How have you felt the life cycle in your own product line? What products or business offerings could use a pruning?