New York City in July…not my first choice of summer destinations, but this year we were lucky to find a break in the heat during our three day visit. The occasion? The premier professional menswear trade show, MRket Spring/Summer 2013.
Along with my two Vice-Presidents Dan Fox and Dave Eisele Jr, we covered a LOT of ground, visiting booth after booth of top designers. My approach is to challenge the designers, asking them, “What is your driving direction, what is your artistic purpose for the year, why do you make what you make?”
Unfortunately, some were surprised to hear this. They seemed to expect me to just come into their booth, see what was new, and that be that. But it isn’t that simple for me. Just because I currently carry your products, the order isn’t a done deal.
“But we’ve always worked with you!” they would reply. Yes, but that doesn’t mean we will keep using you. We select our products carefully, with so much thought and consideration. It is a lot of hard work! We worked the show hard, mining for gold buried amidst some of this complacency.
Why do we do this? Because Davelle has a vision, we are unique, we have a direction. Our vision is well thought out, based on how well we know our customers and their needs. We don’t just fill up our inventory to keep the shelves stocked, we painstakingly select what items are best.
Our vendors would love it if we came in and said, “I’ll take the whole line”, but they know that isn’t going to happen. And they realize that we won’t even bring them in the store unless they thrill us each and every season.
This weekend we’re back to New York for showroom visits- 5 per day, about 3 hours each, placing our big orders. Again, it is painstaking work, but we’re excited about what we bring in the store- the end result is the right products for our customers.