This New Contest Is like Shark Tank for Makers
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This New Contest Is like Shark Tank for Makers

As a maker, it’s one thing to have a great idea, but it’s another thing to get it to actually sell. With the explosion of sites like Etsy, DaWandaHatch and our very own Brit + Co store starting a business has become easier than ever. Set up a site, start making your product and boom, you’re in business. For some, that’s enough. But of course, there are others who dream of seeing their product expand beyond the online marketplace. If you identify with the latter group, there’s a new competition that just might give you the exposure you’ve been looking for.

Similar to the hit TV show Shark TankEtsy is hosting what they’re referring to as an “Open Call.” You won’t need to make a TV appearance to participate, but the general idea is very much the same. The competition (which starts today and ends June 4) offers designers the opportunity to digitally pitch their lines to a panel of execs from major retailers like: Nordstrom, The Land of Nod, Walker Shop, Clementine and Lou & Grey (who you might remember from our Athleisure round up).

To participate all you need to do is post your pitch to Instagram and tag #EtsyOpenCall and @EtsyWholesale. Describe why you’re excited about the opportunity and tell them which retailer you have your heart set on. You’ll also want to show off a photo of your star product or you at work in your studio.

If you’re one of the 50 designers selected to pitch your line, you’ll be invited to Etsy’s Brooklyn office where you will have the chance to meet all the folks from the retailers mentioned above. They’ll look at your samples, gives critiques and suggestions and hopefully place orders. It should be noted, that although the winners will be invited to the open call, orders are not a guarantee. Once you’re there it’s up to you to sell your product. The retailers in attendance will be looking for products to be sold in-store for the 2015 holiday season.

While this is an awesome opportunity, it does come with one prerequisite: you must also be signed up for Etsy Wholesale, which requires submitting an application that’s looked over by a jury. There are a few major requirements needed to be approved, so make sure to check that your business fits the criteria.

If you’re new to selling online and don’t have much of a business plan yet, this competition may not be the best fit for you. But if you’re a seller who is really looking to escalate your business and gain nation exposure, this could do wonders for your brand. Good luck and get tagging!

Have you already submitted a photo to this competition? Share it with us in the comments below.