A chat with...Katie from K Tinkler Illustrations

I have always said how lucky I have been to meet so many amazing business owners since I started my business and I recently took some time to get to know some of them even better in a series of mini chats.


My first mini chat is with Katie from K Tinker Illustrations who was also a student of mine on the Sales Growth Lab course.

Katie Tinkler Illustration Food Greetings cards

Katie creates highly realistic drawings of food that she turns into fun greetings cards, stationery and tea-towels with lots of humour for the foodie in your life.

If you haven't found the perfect valentines card yet, have a look at Katie's range for the perfect cheesy card (pun intended).


I often wonder how my clients and students get on so I'm really enjoying this opportunity to check-in and see how they are getting on. I hope you enjoy these mini-chats too.


Let's Meet Katie...


1. What made you feel uncomfortable with approaching stockists before taking the course?

So before I took part in the course, I had pretty much zero self confidence when it came to wholesale and contacting new stockists. I've got quite severe dyscalculia (dyslexia with numbers) and I had based my wholesale greeting card price solely on one calculation I'd found on the internet - with no clue if I'd done the maths right! With that self doubt in my pocket, it meant that I really didn't try and find and contact any new stockists unless they contacted me. Therese's course gave me confidence not only with the logistical side of wholesale i.e. pricing, postage, what a wholesale catalogue should look like etc; but also gave me a strong confidence that my products were viable to do well with wholesale sales if i just approached it in the right way! Having confidence within your products is so key for wholesale, and the course gave me everything I need to start my wholesale journey.

2. How has having a process and making a habit of making sales a priority helped you grow your sales?


The fact that I've now made my wholesale sales a priority since Therese's course means that I now mentally see my products as a viable small business, and I'm now focussing my energy for 2022 to ensure this becomes a full time career rather than a side hustle. I've put a proper little business hat on, and I now contact around 5 new stockists (or follow up with previous ones who hadn't previously responded each week). I now realise that if a potential stockist doesn't respond to your introductory email...that doesn't mean it's a firm no to them being interested in your products, it might just mean you have to contact them a few more times before you receive a response! I regularly contact over 15 potential stockists at a time, and usually only get one or two responses. It's only when I follow up a few weeks later, that I might get a reply. This is where having confidence within your products and within your wholesale prices and catalogue are key!


Since I've been making sales a priority, I've realised that the admin side to my business is just as important as me sitting and drawing new designs - they go hand in hand, and one can't really function without the other. I now enjoy the 'admin' side of things far more as I can recognise the success and progression that it can provide. I've just applied for my first trade show - and wouldn't have been able to achieve this without putting sales first!


3. How do you feel about continuing to grow your wholesale now vs. how you did you feel before taking the course.


Prior to taking part in the course, I genuinely had a feeling of fear and almost a slight dread when trying to put together a wholesale catalogue or finding a potential stockist that I thought my products would be perfect for, but had no clue how to achieve them! Whereas I now am confident that, as long as I find the right stockists for me who already sell products that may complement my own designs (my products are brightly coloured and quite fun, so I try and find stockists who reflect that), I will happily contact them, send them samples and if I don't hear back from them - that isn't a no 'we're not interested, it might just be that it's the wrong time, or that I need to send a prompt email in a couple of weeks! I also now will quite happily walk into a store with business cards and samples in hand to speak to potential stockists in person - which is something I would never have dreamed of doing before!


In Summary


It is so great to hear how Katie now feels confident within her business and the changes she has made. She is an inspiration to everyone who thinks they can't do it and I wish her all the success with her beautiful brand moving forward.


I'd love to hear from you if you have a fear of selling and are dreaming of being confident and taking control of your sales. You can email me at therese@smallbusinesscollaborative.co.uk or head over to my Instagram @small_business_collaborative and drop me a DM to find out more.