retail readiness – a giveaway to jump start your business.

Do you have a loyal following at Etsy, BigCartel or craft shows but want to see your work on the shelves of your favorite boutique? It takes more than having products ready to sell to earn a retailer’s interest, trust, and money. rena tom will help you get ready to approach stores and tell you how to make it easy for a store to buy from you.

For 6 years, rena owned and operated Rare Device in both New York and San Francisco. Rare Device was well-known for supporting the careers of small, innovative designers, and rena approaches her retail readiness workshops from the perspective of an independent retailer who was constantly reviewing product lines — and also a former jewelry and stationery designer who has been on the other side of the fence, selling her work in stores across the country.

we’d love to help you jumpstart your business and to do that we’re giving away one of rena’s retail readiness sessions in one of the following cities:

San Francisco: march 27 / march 28

Los Angeles: April 22

New York City: May 20

• Seattle: July 9

• Portland dates TBD.

to enter, simply:

• simply ‘like’ the retail readiness facebook page. that way, you can keep up to date on rena’s workshops as they take place around the country (and eventually, online).

• Choose from the dates/locations above and leave a comment below briefly share with us what your goals are. as always, please leave a way to contact you on twitter, facebook or email.

• Enter by march 16th to win a spot in one of these classes, and we’ll announce a winner on the retail readinessfacebook page on march 21st.

thanks and have fun! we look forward to reading about your goals!

56 Responses to “retail readiness – a giveaway to jump start your business.”
  1. Jen K says:

    Oh my! This is so perfect for me! I am a creative person who is starting a small children’s clothing line. (I’m now waiting for my private label to be produced for the line…in a holding pattern) While I feel confident that my clothing will be liked and well received, I am NOT a business person. Obviously I need to learn a lot in order to make this venture a success. I live in Boston (so the NY session would work for me) and have a goal of getting my line into several local children’s boutiques. Please consider me!! The name of my line is Mama’s Boy.

  2. Jen K says:

    Oops! You can reach me at Thank you!

  3. laura parke says:

    what an amazing giveaway! i could benefit greatly from rena’s workshop. i’m a crafter, a DIY fan and would love to learn more about how i can get the things i make into the stores and boutiques i love. the los angeles class would be great for me!

  4. Debbie says:

    I would love to take one of these classes! It would really help me broaden the places to sell my illustrations…and I’m in San Francisco!

  5. Jenn says:

    Would love to attend the Seattle workshop! Thank you for the contest Victoria!

  6. BT says:

    I would love to take the LA class in April. This is just what I need!

  7. Monna says:

    As an artist, hand maker of many things and skilled designer I would love to have this “boost” to re-start my business. I was a freelancer for years and have worked for years as a designer for a company and I really see this as an opportunity to do the self employed thing again, this time right, smarter, and with more direction. Seeing all the design now I am more excited than ever to be as soleprenuer and beyond again!

  8. Monika says:

    I would love to attend the TBD Portland workshop! I’ve entered the world of retail and wholesale, but I need some guidance about expansion.

  9. percentblog says:

    I would LOVE to attend one of these classes. I make handcrafted jewelry and am ready to move from craft shows to retail. My goal is to be selling in 3-5 stores by the end of the year so I need all the advice I can get! I’m in the Bay Area so would attend the SF class. Thanks!

    kat.mceachern at gmail dot com

  10. My says:

    Oh how I would LOVE to win this opportunity! The Los Angeles, April 22nd date would be perfect for me and my business.

    I own Springcart Boutique ( ) an online handbag & accessory boutique. My goal is to increase sales, revenue and overall presence and awareness among consumers. I know that there is a great market for our little affordable luxuries. I know that Rena’s retail expertise would be a great asset. I’ve been a fan of Rena’s since The Switchboards.

    You can reach me via email at my (at)
    Twitter at @shopspringcart
    Facebook at /SpringcartBoutique

  11. katie hart says:

    What a generous giveaway! I sell paper goods in my Etsy shop, but would love to learn more about selling wholesale!! The LA session would be best for me :)

  12. Julia says:

    what a great giveaway! i’ve been selling exclusively in my online store, but i’ve been contacted by boutiques interested in wholesale (even outside the US!). i’d love to know how to structure my next season of goods to manage wholesaling. i’d LOVE to attend these classes in SF!

  13. Caron Reeder says:

    What a great opportunity! I’m in Portland and would love to win, whatever the tbd dates may be! We launched a few collections of eco-friendly fabric wall decals in August of last year and could use some help getting into stores. We’ve been hard at work on more collections, which we were told would help!
    Facebook at /wallstories
    Twitter at /wallstories

  14. donna says:

    I’m a maker who wants to become a seller who is also mired down in self doubt and paralysis. I’ve made some recent strides to become unstuck – volunteered at a craft event, took on an internship with an experienced and successful seller – but I could definitely benefit with a more focused look at my own wares, interests, style, etc. I live in SF and would love to attend the Tuesday event here. Great opportunity. Thanks for including the local community. Cheers!

  15. Cathy says:

    I would love to attend the LA date!

    I am a successful graphic designer, running my own studio, but my heart is pulled in the direction of my fine art paintings and prints, and I just need that “something” to push me more into that part and less into the graphics. I don’t feel stuck as much as I feel bogged down with the regular day to day craziness of my work. I need clarity and courage!!!! And I promise to give back if given this wonderful opportunity. Thank you.

  16. Kathryn says:

    I have been approached by Christmas shops about my Steampunk Christmas decorations but don’t know how to wholesale or consign. I’m also designing laser cut jewelry and embellishments that would be suitable to retail as finished items or supplies. Since I’m in the South Bay,I’d like to attend the SF workshop.

  17. Suz says:

    I’d love to attend one of these. Not sure if I could make it to the on in SF, but at least I have family there.

  18. Karen says:

    What a great giveaway! I’ve heard great things about Rena’s class. I set up my online presence late last year and am eager to go to start selling in retail shops as well as increase my visibility and sales online.

  19. Karen says:

    Oh and btw, I would like to attend either date in SF

  20. Andrea says:

    I would love to attend the Los Angeles workshop! I am a quilter (in a long line of quilters), and can’t wait to begin selling my works of art! Thanks so much for this fantastic giveaway!

  21. Lilia Ahner says:

    Would love to attend Rena’s class in San Francisco on 3/28. :)

  22. I would love to be able to attend the SF workshop! I’m a graphic and paper goods designer just starting out and would love to get my products in tons of local stores in the bay area! No idea how to do that though, so this would be a big help to jumpstart my business! Thanks ladies!!

  23. san francisco: march 27/28

    I would love a class like this. I’m losing focus and want to become a warrior of craft!

  24. Erin says:

    I would love to attend the LA workshop! I would love to get some perspective on how to make my art and homegoods line as “retail ready” as possible, I’ve been working hard this year to boost my professionalism all around, and this would be a great help!

  25. christina says:

    This would be just perfect. I’m trying to get my own vintage/ design business off the ground. I’m in San Francisco and would benefit from either session. I can be contacted at

  26. Vanessa says:

    Woohoo! I’d love to participate in the Portland event!

  27. I’d really like to see my flowers in stores, but I’m hesitant to approach retailers. I’m not sure I can make my products for half what I’m now selling them for on Etsy and stay afloat. It’s fairly intimidating. I’d love to take this workshop and feel more prepared to approach stores.

  28. Keren says:

    I definitely think that wood -in various bark – is an underrated design material! It looks amazing as a frame, in a lamp, as a wall covering, and just as decorate cutting boards! Well done!

  29. Keren says:

    Also, I would love to go to the New York, May 20th session! I just started a blog and learning to monetize it or brand it as a retail outlet would be wonderful!

  30. I’m so excited this! I am pumped for the San Francisco dates. Expertise from maven Rena Tom? Perfect, and exactly what I need to take my business to the next step!

  31. Laurel says:

    Hey Rena,
    I REALLY need to attend your NYC workshop to get my start-up off the ground! I follow you on Twitter and FB. Your advice is always fantastic and it would be a dream come true to learn “from the master” in the Big Apple :)

  32. Wow, what a great giveaway (and resource that I didn’t know about!). I’d love to win a spot in the San Francisco class.

  33. Jaime says:

    As far as life changes go, I’m about to leap into a big one: accountant, turned crafty small business owner. Yep, I’m taking the jump from the left to the right brain and I need all the help I can get! My goal would be, simply put, to rock it as a creative start-up.
    San Francisco for me, please.

  34. lisa says:

    ooooh! i would love to win the workshop in san fran & boost my retail readiness!

  35. I’d love to attend the NYC workshop to learn how to market our Curious & Co. retail products to the retailers we’re interested in reaching. Thanks for the opportunity!

  36. Shana says:

    I’ve been designing and producing handbags for quite some time now. I’m in the process of starting up a new line of bags that are higher end and produced here in Brooklyn. I’m always open to learning and hearing advice from experts, especially you Rena (!), so I would love to attend the Brooklyn session in May.
    Thanks for hosting this!

  37. Marianne says:

    Hello! I live in Los Angeles, so the LA date is for me! Also, it’s the weekend of my 33rd birthday. :)

    I am in the process of setting up a webstore, I’m going to craftcation in March and will start selling my terrariums and terrarium supplies in May at craft fairs and hopefully the Echo Park Farmers Market. This is really just the first step to me owning my own boutique. I currently work at a boutique a block from where the LA session is being held, and I actually attended a SCORE class with the owner of Myrtle!

    Anyhow, I am FOR REAL opening a brick and mortar shop, hopefully in 2013, and could GREATLY benefit from this class! My shop will be a mix of vintage furniture and home goods, eco-home goods and gardening/planting supplies. It’s gonna be amazing.

    thanks so much!

  38. Steph Lloyd says:

    I would love to attend the LA session on April 22! I’ve been making soap for a few years and most recently started to grow my business (LUKA SOAP). I’m confident in my line of soaps and my packaging (for the most part) but need help learning how to approach stores to sell to them. I’m not sure what they need, want, expect, etc. and would love to know more so I don’t waste any chances I get! I would love to learn more about maintaining good relationships with the stores once I’ve sold to them as well. Honestly, your entire workshop is what I need right now: refining of what I currently have plus learning everything I need for the next step. Thanks for this chance to win a seat!

  39. brianne says:

    Awesome! A little birdie told me about the Seattle workshop last week and I’m definitely into going. We have 2 online shops now and have dabbled a teeny bit in consignment without much success. I have no idea what it even would really take to go the next step but would really love to see our stuff out there. Can’t wait for the opportunity to learn from Rena!

  40. such a great idea to help us all get to the next level. i would love to attend the sf classes. i just missed her workshopsf class and so happy to see you post about her new classes. thanks victoria!!!

  41. Lisa Ellis says:

    Drat, I really could use this class but I don’t do FB. Good luck to the test!

  42. Peggy says:

    even though I’ve been in the business for a while, it never hurts to continually learn and grow. I’d love to take Rena’s class in SF and get my business and line sheets up to par!


  43. Laura says:

    I recently became aware of Rena Tom and am hooked on her downloads and other business tips. Currently planning the next stages of my business development and would greatly benefit from a class like this; focusing on handmade kids clothes and patterns. Interested in NYC.

  44. Julia B says:

    I’m a fair trade importer who sells costume jewelry, personal accessories and textiles at outdoor markets, fairs and in select local boutiques ( I currently have a blog that is woefully underutilized and would like to grow that site into a full fledged retail website. But, alas, I don’t know how or even where to start.

    I am looking to grow the business into a wholesale/pop-up business and would LOVE to attend either SFO seminar.


  45. Bhavna says:

    I’d love to join you at the SF session! It it the right time for me to take the next step and get into retail.

  46. Hen says:

    Wow, wow, wow! What an awesome giveaway. I’d love to attend the Seattle workshop on July 9th to better understand the brick and mortar retail world. I currently have an online store and have been thinking about trying to get the products in some retail shops but don’t even know where to begin. Thanks for the putting together an excellent giveaway!

  47. Jenny says:

    I would love, love, love to get invited to attend the LA workshop. I’m in Phoenix but I can make the drive for sure. I just started set up my etsy shop a few weeks ago and have yet to list any items. I have a head for business and I love pushing my creative buttons to be sure, but I just don’t know how to market myself. Help me help myself! Thanks for giving away such a great gift!!

  48. rena says:

    Hi all, wow, I love reading everybody’s comments :) I am so happy to get to meet at least *some* of you this year in a workshop! If you aren’t near a big city or can’t afford the workshop, I wanted you to know that I’m working on the eBook version of Retail Readiness. It won’t be ready for a few months but you can keep up to date on developments here: Thank you for entering the giveaway and huge thanks to Victoria!


  49. I’d love, love, LOVE to attend Rena’s NYC mini-workshop. I’ve been eyeing this opportunity for quite some time + just stumbled on this giveaway. Recently, I’ve been diving into Rena’s resources and think her Retail Readiness workshop would be a great next step as I look to move my business into the product development + retail space.

  50. Starlet says:

    Great great giveaway, Rena & Victoria. Thank you.

    I just started a handbag collection and would really love to progress big, get feedback on my plans, learn, learn, learn.

    My shop can be found at | blog: | @starletstarlet |

    Oh, and I’d like to take the SF class :)

  51. My biz partner Lauren & I would love to attend this workshop on May 20 in NYC! We started a jewelry line called Aroc Urtu about a year and a half ago and while the design aspect of things is going great, we could use some help in the sales dept. I think this class could be the exact thing we need to whip us into shape!

  52. Hi,
    I’d love love love to go to the workshop in Seattle. My line of leather accessories has been building over the last five years. I feel like I’m at a point of transitioning and refocusing my business so that I can work more efficiently and focus on some new goals. Thank you!

  53. As Sarah said above, we would love to attend the NYC workshop! Coming from the creative side of things, I definitely need to hone in on some good business/sales strategies and your expertise sounds like the perfect prescription!

  54. I’d love to take Rena’s course in San Francisco because I know that it would fall in line with the other steps I’m taking to get my business into more stores. I’d love to be able to say to my customers “You can also pick my kits up locally here” – nationwide.

    Although that may be a ways off, it always starts with that first step – and I’d love it if that first step was with someone as amazing as Rena.

    – Steph

  55. George Mahon says:


    I’ve just moved here from Ireland and would love the oppurtunity to get some business advice on how to promote and sell my range of products in America. I only found your blog the other day and saw this post, serendipity?

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