How to grow your wholesale business: a customer's journey, part 1

My name is Dafina Smith. I’m the CEO of, an online destination for a curated selection of products designed to enhance and extend your hair.  I’ve run the various aspects of my business for the past 10 years.

Throughout a series of articles here on this blog, I’ll be walking you through my journey as I expand my business into multiple channels and into wholesale - using TradeGecko to do so. Here's some background information on my business and what my initial impressions of TradeGecko have been. 

A little background

I was recently selected to be in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. The focus of the program is to explore how to identify growth opportunities to accelerate the growth of the revenue of your business. In my program, I’ve decided to focus on expanding my B2B operations to salons as well as film and television productions.

I will also expand my footprint on Amazon with a line of shampoo and conditioners designed exclusively to nourish and extend the life of hair extensions. is part of a larger chain of family owned and operated brick and mortar stores. Online, we curate the selection to include those products that sell well online and those that we absolutely love.


Currently, we’re selling 68 skus online, with each SKU having anywhere from 30-120 variants for color and length.  Our inventory is held in 3 locations across the US. I handle the fulfillment in house, but I would like to migrate at least 40% of it to Fulfillment by Amazon by the end of the year.

Business frustrations

So first, let me just explain how frustrating it is to find a wholesale solution for eCommerce platforms. I currently use Shopify and unless I wanted to run two different stores with all the requisite apps and tools to optimize conversions, there wasn’t a system or app that I was satisfied with.

I couldn’t find a wholesale option that would sell my products in a way that would appeal to salon owners. Many options involve digging deep down into the liquid code of your site or are clunky (in my humble non-technical opinion).

My main pain point is having to manage multiple stores and not having a centralized solution to manage or sync the inventory between the wholesale Shopify site and the retail site. The ideal wholesale solution would simply provide me with a way to streamline the process with an online sales sheet that would have individualized salon or wholesale pricing already included.  

Additionally, I wanted to be able to have the flexibility to extend terms or credit to select accounts. As my business began to grow, I realized that a core part of my customer base was other businesses; in particular salons and licensed cosmetologists who use hair extensions as a regular part of their business, but not in enough quantities to hold inventory themselves.

They needed a trusted supplier of hair extensions, and wanted to receive a discount for either sending their clients to my website or purchasing the hair directly for their clients. My existing system of providing a discount was ok.  But it wasn’t ideal for scaling and growing a company. I also wasn’t able to control the dissemination of these coupon codes, or manage each customer in a unique way. I wasn’t able to extend terms or credit to specific customers, or assign specific sales agent.

When it came to inventory, I really wanted a program that would allow me to manage my inventory of my existing store while syncing with my wholesale orders.

Finding TradeGecko

When I discovered TradeGecko, I was over the moon and yet somewhat overwhelmed by the functionality and possibilities.  The first step was getting on the phone with Oscar, my kind and helpful Customer Success Manager and onboarding coach, who explained each and every step to take to fully maximize TradeGecko’s offerings.

My first impressions were that TradeGecko was extremely robust. Just from the inventory analytics, it became clear that TradeGecko's order management system was able to provide way more value than I was initially seeking.  The dashboard and various intelligence reports gave me a really good snapshot of what I was selling and how profitable it is. What I also truly enjoy is having a snapshot of the status of orders in the flow of being picked, packed, backordered and fulfilled.

When Oscar explained to me that I could simply integrate with a payment system for checkout, I was over the moon. The good news for businesses who want to get into more robust B2B options is that TradeGecko has unveiled more features and plans to support things like payments and checkouts in the one month since I’ve onboarded.

My business goals

My overall goal is to introduce a formal ‘Salon Pricing Program’ for  I would like to be able to have different pricing available based on each customer’s volume of their sales. I would also eventually like each customer to have a dedicated account manager to help accelerate their growth. I will document my process of using TradeGecko to fulfill this goal.

My second goal is to use TradeGecko to manage my expansion into selling on Amazon. I look forward to sharing this journey with you all and promise to be open, authentic and helpful about my journey of growing my business!


More from Dafina on our blog:

7 essential Shopify tools I use to operate a six figure business as a stay at home mom

Bringing the In Real Life experience to eCommerce

Calculating the real Cost of Goods Sold