Maker Applications

4 levels of white shelves are shown with sunlight streaming in behind the shelf. There are ceramic mugs of different colours, sizes and colours on the shelves.

Hello!

Are you making whimsical, practical and awesome goods in Canada? We would love to hear from you!

Fall 2021: Please note, we finalize our holiday ordering by October 31.  Applications received in November-December will be looked at with 2022 in mind. 

While it is always nice meeting in person, please email applications (details below!) rather than dropping by the shop with your goods. Your work deserves thoughtful consideration and that is difficult to give in the midst of a busy workday, and we have lots of questions for you!

We’ve complied a whole bunch of resources and tips for applying to sell in stores, or at markets in the following Information For Makers.

Please check out our the rest of our website and social media before applying to ensure we’re a good fit, and to get a feel for our approach to business. We’re a little unconventional as far as retail stores go, and it’s important you know that going in! Find us on Instagram and Facebook. 

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

 

Kimberley & The Trainyard Team

THINGS TO NOTE

 To cover our operating costs, our ideal wholesale pricing is 50/50. If that is realistically not possible for your business please explain in your application. Our rent and utilities, packaging, staff costs, breakage & loss & payment processing fees have continued to increase and this pricing allows us to cover these expenses, continue our community giving, and be adaptable to the continued changes. 

We are committed to holding space for youth (21 & under), folks living with a disability and those who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ and/or BIPOC. We recognize there are often increased barriers to creating for a living and would be happy to work collaboratively to find ways to help your businesses grow. Please self identify if you feel comfortable, and share any barriers or challenges to retail readiness that you may face. 

We are no longer accepting applications for non-medical face masks or screen printed t-shirts; We are nearing capacity for candles, soap, earrings, greeting cards and art prints. 

We do not carry fancy jewelry (over $45 retail), fine art paintings, photography prints or cards, large furniture or larger signage/decor. Not sure if your work is the right fit? Our social media is a great way to get a feel for what we carry! Find us on Instagram and Facebook.

Still not sure about wholesale? Just hearing the word often scares people off, we understand that! It is more straightforward than consignment – you’re paid upfront for goods rather than waiting until they’ve sold. With the volume of businesses we work with, supporting our staff, two tiny humans and an online storefront, consignment takes more energy and time than we have to give. There’s information below on wholesale, and we are now hosting Maker Meet Ups and 1:1 appointments to go over questions and provide support (details below).

How To Apply

, persThis is your friendly reminder to check out the rest of our website, and to visit us on social media if you haven’t already! It is important that our approach is the right fit for you and your business. 

Please email, hello@trainyardstore.com with answers to the following questions, using the email subject line: Maker Application 

Your Name, Business Name & Location:

Brief Description Of Your Goods & What Makes You Awesome:

Tags or Packaging: If you would like customers to have your branding information this is your responsibility to include on each item, or to attach tags. We handle bagging/wrapping items when purchased. 

Retail & Wholesale Pricing:  If you have a line sheet, catalog or information sheet available, please attach that as well. 

Social Media or Website (If Applicable!): 

Community Connections, Charitable Giving, etc: 

Any Other Shops In Dartmouth or Halifax (HRM) that you work with or have applied to: 

Please feel free to share any barriers or challenges related to applying, pricing or retail readiness that you may face: If you have questions not answered in the above document, or face barriers in pricing or packaging please let us know and we will do what we can to support you. 

Self-Identify (If comfortable): We are committed to holding space for youth (21 & under), folks living with a disability, and those who identify as BIPOC and/or 2SLGBTQIA+. Please see our values page for more information on our commitment to inclusion. 

Please attach no more than TWO photos (they take up so much storage space in our inbox!), instead of sending extra include a link to view additional photos if desired.

How Goods Are Selected

 Please note: Applications are reviewed once monthly. All applications will receive a response, though it may take up to 6 weeks depending on when your application is received, there is no need to follow up.  We do not place orders after October 31 for the Holiday Season, applications received in Nov-December may not receive a response until the new year.

How would the goods work with our current inventory? Past success or requests for similar goods? Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much we love a product line it may not fit with our current inventory or may have proven not to be a product that we can effectively sell, which is ultimately an important part of this for both our businesses.

Are the goods of retail quality? We want your goods to be successful in our shop, if your goods just aren’t ready for life in the shop we will let you know. We can work with you to offer suggestions (if requested!) to help your business grow this year. 

Will the packaging hold up? Is there enough information included? We are committed to reducing packaging whenever possible, but do require goods be tagged with the Makers information before arriving at the store. Materials, care and/or use instructions are encouraged. 

Is the wholesale pricing workable? We are rarely able to accept new goods at a wholesale price less than 50% off the retail pricing. We know margins are tight for everyone, and are open to working with you on solutions (slight price adjustments, bulk orders, carrying only select items, etc) but want to be upfront about the reality.

Are goods being sold elsewhere in Downtown Dartmouth or HRM? There are so many incredible shops in our community, and it doesn’t help any of us if we all carry the same goods. If you’re already working with one of our neighbours in Downtown Dartmouth, or with many retailers in HRM it’s possible we aren’t the right fit. Everyone benefits when we spread the love! 

Are we a good fit? Of all the things we’ve learned in business over the past 5 years, the one that stands out the most is that working relationships have to be the right fit. That is what it comes down to when we’re making these decisions. 

We take time to consider and review each and every application we receive, we know how much courage it can take to put yourself out there! Every effort is made to offer thoughtful responses to all applications received whenever time permits although, it may take us several weeks to review emails. I promise you will get a response and that I will consider all aspects of your application when it’s received. If you’d like specific feedback on the decision please let me know when you apply. 

Maker Meet Ups

Meet Ups will be a safe space where we can meet new people to connect with and learn how to grow together. Everyone is welcome we just ask that you select the event that matches where you are in your Maker journey. 

We are offering group meet ups for Makers new to selling their work (Intro), and also for more established Makers looking to reconnect. 

Dates returning in early 2022!

If you’d prefer to chat 1:1, please email us with the specific topic, or questions you’d like to discuss and whenever possible we will set up a 1:1 meeting. To arrange a meeting, email Rachel (Manager) & Kimberley (Owner) at events@trainyardstore.com subject 1:1 Meeting.

 

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