Yep, you start out by visiting the stores and establishing a face-to-face relationship with the owners. It would be a good idea to call ahead and make sure the owner will be there, especially if you are driving a longer distance.
Craig is right, build up a good website. Start establishing a brand and a presence. Create a name and a logo. Have business cards to hand out.
Here`s an idea to get some customer feedback as well. Maybe attach a short survey with a place for comments in the form of a (postage paid) postcard to each bed. Use a safety pin and string (cheap) to attach it. This would be a good way to get consumer testimonials, especially since your customers are actually stores, not the pet owners who buy the beds. With a handmade, designer product like yours, testimonials can do a lot for your business.
Business Week reported a few months ago that the pet industry is $41 billion and growing strong! Projections were that it will top $50 billion next year.
CampSteve11/28/2007 8:54 PM