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How to become a Top 50 Homespice Dealer in just one year – Darla Smith of Buttercup Cottage, West Plains, MO

By Junior Gupta September 15, 2014

How to become a
Top 50 Homespice Dealer

in just one year
Darla Smith Buttercup Cottage
West Plains, MO
Homespice dealer

Darla Smith in West Plains, MO, had a passion for primitive décor and had been bitten by the retailing bug. In the spring of 2013, she took the leap and opened theButtercup Cottage, a small gift and décor store in a local antique mall. Her store carries candles, antiques, table linens, small décor items and more. But she wanted to add more to her product selection.

With a small budget, she called Homespice Décor for advice on retailing and merchandising rugs and tabletop accessories. She worked with a Homespice account manager and learned important points to make her first retail venture a definite success. In just one year, Buttercup Cottage’s Homespice Décor sales placed her on the Top 50 Homespice retailers list. And now she is in the process of moving Buttercup Cottage to a free-standing retail space.


So read on as Darla shares the secrets to her Homespice success:

1. Displays are absolutely critical. Use Homespice rugs in floor vignettes wherever you can and even hang them on the wall. Penny and Hooked Rugs make great wall hangings and save space. Use Ultra Durable rugs inside and outside your entrance where they can speak for themselves. They are beautiful. People can see how well they hold up and it is fun and easy to demo spilling wine, coffee, or juice on the rugs. Be creative with table top and shelf displays. Use a mix of all Homespice tabletop accessories in many patterns and throw in some Homespice pillows and handbags.

2. Swatches galore and keep extra catalogs on-hand. Keep swatches of all Homespice patterns (even the ones you don’t stock) near the displays. This gives the customer more choices and helps generate drop-ship and custom- size orders. Let customers borrow catalogs and swatches so they can see the patterns in their own home. It makes it easier for them to decide to buy. To download our Swatch Order Form click here.

store selling primitive decor products

3. Signage!! Use posters and tabletop signs provided by Homespice where you can. I even cut out pages from the Homespice Catalog and put them in plexi-glass sign holders to use in and near displays.

4. Advertise to get more diverse traffic into the store. I advertised in the local newspapers with good results. The Homespice Ultra Durable rugs brought in customers that wouldn’t normally have visited a shop in an antique mall to look for indoor/outdoor rugs. But Buttercup Cottage was the only place in West Plains they could get them.

5. Keep good stock levels. As soon as I put out the Homespice braided jute accessories, they started moving and were gone before I knew it. I realized that if I don’t keep them in stock, I am losing out on sales.

6. Don’t be afraid to sell rugs especially large rugs and custom-sizes. Homespice trained me to feel comfortable and confident in selling these rugs. This year a good portion of my sales have been in large and custom-size rugs. I have frequently visited customers’ homes or offices with swatches, samples and measuring tape in hand. They are comfortable making their buying decisions in their own space and love the personalized service. If I ever have a question I can’t answer, I just call Homespice right then to get the info or check on availability.

7. Use social media. The Buttercup Facebook page ( has been helpful. I feature photos from the store and use lots of romance shots provided by Homespice Décor. Recently, I started a campaign on the Facebook page featuring one product from my store per day. And this is in alphabetical order – one new letter & product per day for 26 days. Can you say ‘B for Braided Rug?”

8. Take advantage of Homespice’s experience. At the start, I had lots of questions and they had answers and solutions that worked for me. They always wanted me to succeed. If they suggest it, I almost always try it. Whether I re-order directly through the Homespice office or through the local Homespice rep, we review what I ordered last time and how it performed in my store. We look at new products and I learn what has been working for other dealers. We check the overstock and close-out list to see if there are bargains for me. We talk about my displays and how to change them up. Homespice has been there as a partner for me and Buttercup Cottage.

Tags: braided rugs
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    October 26, 2014
    I recently brought back the cotton rugs that I had replaced with the jute rugs and I am finding...
  • Primitive Trends
    October 24, 2014
    Hi Junior! First, I would like to thank you, for quality products that I am proud to sell in my...
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    October 23, 2014
    My primitive trends are very different from the Ohio world. We are a little slow here in the...
  • Primitive Trends
    October 23, 2014
    Thanks Darla :)...
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    October 23, 2014
    Junior, I sell lots of primitive items. Cupboards, small furniture, crocks,wooden items. I have...