Thursday, February 14, 2013

NYIGF in the Rearview Mirror

It's hard to believe it's been two weeks since we returned from New York.  At this point, all the orders have been written, re-written, amended, perused, and submitted.  As a buyer, I'm not a "spur-of-the-moment" kind of gal.  I've found whenever I arrive at a booth without a game plan and start ordering willy-nilly I always regret it....and often change the order or cancel it all together.  I would much rather sit with the catalogues and price lists and work through things in my hotel room at night or after I get home.

So how did the show go?  Exciting.  Exhausting.  Bittersweet.  I've always loved trade shows.  Even when I was a designer and went to trade shows representing the companies I was designing for, I loved the energy and promise of a new collection.  Attending the Gift Show and buying for LUCKY HILL is just as exciting.  I always go with a plan, but similarly understand those ideas are fluid.  The conversation Dan and I had the first night at the Russian Vodka Room was quite different than the banter on the way back to Maine.  Things change.  When you start pairing up lines and seeing how they pan out some concepts just don't fit.  In a small shop, you have to make sure every line has a purpose and addresses a specific niche.

When I was a designer, I had a very clear image of my customer.  It wasn't just an age, figure type, or income bracket.  It was the whole package.  A lot of companies and retailers create a "customer" who acts as a constant reminder of who their target market is.  I have my LUCKY HILL customer in my head.  Is she a real customer.  Yes.  This is the first time I don't have a fictitious customer in my head when I go on a buying trip.  Will I ever say who she is?  Not a chance.  Will she buy everything I bring in?  Probably not,  but she is my buying barometer.

So why did I say the show was bittersweet?  I'm so incredibly excited about some of the lines and new product categories we're bringing in it drives me crazy that they won't show up for a few months.  When I had my store in Pennsylvania, I would have started bringing the new products in pronto....Valentine's Day was always right around the corner from the January show and the August show was the lead-in for the Fall and Holiday shopping season.  I have accepted the fact I have a shop in a seasonal community, but it will never sit well with me.  I'm never happier than I am when the shop is a buzz and people are happily finding beautiful products they love and can't live without.  So for now I'll gaze out the window looking at piles of snow and longing for the day when the Fed Ex man will start delivering packages containing treasures from all around of the globe.

P.S-- New York was FABULOUS!!!!!