Open Your Shop
Ready to join our vibrant local community of artisans and vendors?
We consider many factors when looking over a new application. Your product, demand for your product, branding, merchandising capabilities, price points, your demographic compared to our existing demographic, previous experience, attention to detail, social media, trending products, and your perceived ability to put in the time and energy to your business. Bluebelle works hard to provide a unique and high-quality experience to our customers. We look for small business owners that look for the same things from themselves as we look for in our store as a whole.
Here are some specific examples of things we consider in a potential vendor:
If you are a clothing boutique…. are your clothes displayed nicely? We look for wrinkle free clothes, matching high end hangers, orderly display, trending styles, size runs, great branding, and boutique quality fixtures/mannequins.
If you are selling home décor or furniture…. are you keeping up with local trends? Are your finishes on your furniture streak free, smooth, well protected, attractive, and well staged
If you are selling sublimated items…. Are they kept to a quality standard? Is there any fading present, care instructions included, trending/ in demand styles, variety/ creativity present in your business, are there visible seams or crooked designs?
Have you had experience in a store like ours before? We look for someone who has taken the time to think about branding and merchandising. Does your space provide an experience that is unique to your business/ brand? This is part of the reason we ask for pictures of any previous or current booths or displays you have done. We want our vendors to transform their space into a destination location within the store.
Do you sell something we do not currently have in the store? We strive to maintain variety in the store so if you are wanting to sell something we already have, your time on the waitlist will be considerable. However, being located in a military town, we have lots of movement in and out which has its ups and downs!
Are you being realistic with your pricing and do you know our customer base? We have a great customer base and have taken the time to nurture that and relay information to our vendors that help them stay up to date. Our existing customer base has to have a need or desire to buy your product, does your product and pricing appeal to them?
Are you active with your social media? Are your photographs high quality, branding is displayed properly, are you posting consistently, do your posts encourage engagement?
If you sell delicious treats/snacks…. Are they packaged nicely/properly, do you have proper licensing, will you maintain stock considering the quick sell through of this item, are you providing something unique/creative, are you also providing something that is easy to eat/buy (ex: a regular cookie vs. a highly decorated special occasion cookie), are you consistent in your attention to your business and product, have we been able to try a sample?
Do you have enough stock and visual impact to make someone notice you among the 130 other vendors and 10,000 sf of selling space?
There are items we do not allow within our store. Direct sales, CBD, cheap/ yard sale type items, used shoes or toys, etc. If you are unsure, feel free to reach out and discuss!
How can a space at Bluebelle benefit you?
Being a part of Bluebelle is an opportunity to grow your business and create a brand. Bluebelle gives you a space to become a part of your community and increase your customer base. Your merchandise and your booth space should all be a reflection of your brand. Cohesive design, labeling, and aesthetics will be your best friends when it comes to making the biggest impact in the store. This also includes your social media platforms. Utilizing these platforms will be key to bridging the gaps between the customer, you, and your merchandise. We work hard to include your social media in all of our advertising on the store’s social media platforms. At Bluebelle, we provide you with a knowledgeable staff, a place for your clients to have a unique shopping experience and excellent customer service. On the business side of things, we handle all sales tax payments, property tax payments, necessary sales licensing, advertising, event planning, and office supplies associated with providing a boutique experience.
Checking all of the above boxes will almost always grow your business. We have had several vendors grow into having their very own brick and mortar store, and even one who had their art become a part of Kirkland stores across the nation!
You design and stock your space…. We do the rest!
We are a creative community of shoppes where hundreds of vendors, all under one roof, sell unique and quality items to thousands of shoppers in a market setting
We run the cash register so you can sell items without being present
We provide an ID on barcode labels which credits our account for every item sold
We even collect and pay your sales tax so you don’t have to!
We pay all the store bills like water, electric, property taxes, insurance, etc.
We hire and train the cashiers and staff
We promote and advertise the store with our full-time marketing team
We create special events to drive traffic to the store
We write you a check once a month for your sales.
How can I make my space unique?
Here are just a few of the ways you can make your space your own by customizing it to match your brand.
We provide the space and walls, you make it your own. Adding paint, wallpaper, shiplap, faux brick, built-in shelving, pergolas, and other store front buildups are encouraged. If you would like to make alterations to your space, build a structure, or paint walls in your space, please obtain approval of the plans and color by Bluebelle staff. Failure to attain permission for paint colors and/or construction deemed unfit may result in additional cost for correction.
Our walls are 8’ tall with a trim. The walls separating spaces on the right or left are generally 3’ in from the isle. This helps keep items within your space and clear of isle so customers can easily shop freely.
We encourage the use of signage in your space with prior approval as well as displaying your shop business cards.
Our shelving and racks should reflect the creativity and originality of the store. We encourage creativity in how you display your items and ask that that you steer clear of plastic hangers, pegboard, slat-board, metallic grid, tables with folding legs, or cardboard/plastic boxes to display items.
All spaces must be clear of debris so that customers can walk freely without hazard. Rugs, carpet, and other flooring must not present a tripping hazard. Rugs must have a mat underneath to ensure the rug does not move or slip. Bluebelle reserves the right to take up rugs and move items that may cause danger to others. Should you choose to lay a floor it should be a “floating floor.” Use of sticky tiles, glue, or paste is not allowed and will result in a forfeit of the deposit and other fees.
Accent lighting may be the most impactful design element in a space. Chandeliers, track lights, spot lights, and lamps are crucial to attracting shoppers into your space. You should have access to at least one electric plug in your space that is a foot or so off the ground as well as a shared outlet above the wall behind the trim that you may use for accent lighting. Our friends at the fir department require that only one three prong power strip / surge protector to be plugged into each outlet. All other plugs should plug directly in to the power strip. No other extension cords or power strips may be plugged into the initial strip (no daisy chains).
How can I succeed at Bluebelle?
Take advantage of the outdoor markets we have through the year, as well as others in town. This is where you get to meet your customer face to face and bring your business to a personal level in the community. The other vendors as well as Facebook groups are a great resource to find the events that will be the most beneficial for you. The second and very important way to succeed is to ALWAYS strive to be better at what you do. Pay attention to detail, provide excellent customer service, consistently making your business new and exciting and always focus on your business NOT your competition. Being a vendor in a brick and mortar retail store can be fun and very lucrative, especially when paired with the addition of Social Media. The third way is to PARTICIPATE in all the opportunities we give you as well as your booth. A well-maintained space and well thought out branding will do wonders for a business. We can help you with setting your booth up or running through ideas you have for your business. There is also an invaluable resource within all the other vendors in the store. They are a treasure trove of information, inspiration, and help!
What will being a vendor cost?
At Bluebelle we issue an initial 3-month minimum contract. Up front, we charge a deposit along with the first month rent in order to make the space yours. This action removes it from our list of available spaces and gives you a specific move-in date. This 3-month start time is average for this type of store. After the initial three months, your contract will run month to month. We have spaces that range from a $55 shelf area to a $400 full size booth. The size you will need depends on your specific merchandise. We are always available during store hours for a tour of the sizes, and we would love to meet you!
After rent, there is an 10% commission from your monthly sales. This fee is used to help cover costs such as advertising, outdoor market expenses, credit card processing fees, and our point-of-sale system fees. Rent and commission are deducted from your sales each month and we issue you a check for the remainder.
There could be other costs incurred that will vary from vendor to vendor such as; booth décor, remodeling, and general business expenses. This will depend on what you do with your space as it is yours to decorate as you please.
What can you sell at Bluebelle?
Bluebelle is known for offering unique, creative, and quality items at competitive prices. Successful vendors often offer a mixture of types, sizes, and costs of items including:
Gifts. Home décor. Clothing. Furniture. Apparel. Candles. Jewelry. Children’s items. New games. Toys. Farmhouse. Artists. Hand crafted. Vintage. Lighting. Garden. Wood signs. Soaps. Holiday décor. Military lifestyle.
We have restrictions on items that are already being sold in the store. We can only have a certain amount of jewelry makers, boutique clothing, and other easily repeated items in the store at any one time. This will also include vendors currently in the store wishing to add something to their stock or change merchandise in their booth. Just ask any one of the employees before making a change such as this or before moving into your space for clarification.
Bluebelle reserves the right to turn down items. Exceptions can be made for handcrafted, unique or truly vintage items. The following items are NOT allowed:
Used shoes. Used purses or bags. Used clothing. Used toys. Stuffed animals. Mattresses. Sleeper sofas. Electronic devices. Computers. Televisions. Magazines. Guns/knives/weapons. CDs. DVDs. Tapes. VHS. Dolls/ beanie babies, used games.
What kind of advertising is done?
Bluebelle has a team of marketing specialists who constantly make posts, run ads, and communicate directly on social media daily. While we’ve found what is spent running ads on social media is the most effective use of our budget, we also incorporate tv and radio commercials, magazine ads, and sponsoring local events. While our marketing team is superb, we believe the best advertising is you! With hundreds of passionate vendors in our store and attending our events spreading the word to their friends and family, we can collectively reach thousands of people with the most effective strategy- a recommendation from someone you trust. The more you can do to spread the word in public and on social media, the better you will do and the better everyone will do. We recommend starting a Facebook page for your shop at Bluebelle and treating it as you would if you ran your own business in your own brick and mortar. Post great content and post often. Offer deals and sales. And spend a few dollars on your own social media advertising. A little can go a long way.
How do vendors get paid?
You’re probably wondering about some of the details of our financial setup. Review the information below and feel free to reach out with further questions!
Rent is due by the 3rd day of each month. Bluebelle will take out applicable rent payments from the previous months sales on the last day of the month. (Example: the sales from the month of January will accumulate till the last day of the month. On that day, rent for February is deducted). If there is a balance, the credit or debit account you provide will be charged for the balance automatically. In the event the credit or debit card is declined, the balance should be paid promptly prior to the 3rd of the month. A 10% commission on total sales will be deducted from each payout which is primarily to used to cover the costs of the sale like credit card fees, bags, wrapping paper, and staffing. Payout will be issued by the 7th day of the month. The amount will be your total sales, minus 10% commission, and the next month of rent. Checks can be picked up at the front desk. Should the payout happen during a weekend, checks will be available the following Monday. We hold on to checks for a maximum of 3 months after issue date. After this time period, the checks are destroyed.
Bluebelle will collect and pay all sales tax on your behalf. While in many cases creating a separate entity for your business is not necessary, for those who do have an entity and are required to to file monthly sales tax reporting, please report $0 in sales for the portion of goods sold at Bluebelle.
After the agreed initial term, a vendor can end this lease with a full 30 day notice. A notice put in after the first of the month will result in staying for the remainder of that month as well as a full month after. A form at the front of the desk should be completed and a walk through should be scheduled for the space to ensure it is left in good or better condition than received. Fees can be up to the amount of your deposit or more depending on damage done. Items left in booth will be become property of Bluebelle if fees are not paid and items have been left beyond the length of your contract. The agreed upon security deposit is refundable once vendor moves out and will be available for pick up when checks are printed with the following exceptions: proper notice was not given; the space was not left clean; rent balance due was not settled; or items are present in the space beyond the expiration of the notice.