Selling your product to a large scale retailer such as Pottery Barn takes a lot of time and planning but is not impossible. If you choose to go directly to Pottery Barn, they require a product submission package that will include a cover letter, a photo of the product and a pricing sheet. On top of contacting the desired retailer directly, there are also other directions available—for example, you could attend trade shows or contact a product licenser.
Know your audience. Pottery Barn is one of six divisions of Williams-Sonoma Inc. On top of retail outlets, they also have a catalogue and a web sales unit. They specialize in home decor and furnishings. Jackie Larson, author of "Landing a Spot in the Retail Big Leagues," suggests visiting the retail stores to see what's currently in stock and the kinds of products that are being sold.
Contact the retailer. Pottery Barn has a special "product submissions hotline": 415-421-7900 X3333. A recording announces when the company is ready to view unsolicited products. You can call that number at any time for a recording of the address of where to send your business plan, which should include a cover letter, a photo of your product and a pricing sheet.
Decide who'll put together the product submission package. Writing a cover letter, taking photographs of your product and producing a pricing sheet that is professional can be challenging. You could do it on your own or you could hire a local marketing agency. Should you decide to try this yourself, websites such as score.org are great places to find marketing information and education.
Submit your proposal and wait. Pottery Barn's recorded message is explicit: Do not try to contact Pottery Barn buyers directly.
- business charts with sell image by Andrew Brown from Fotolia.com