Saturday was another "first" for Zoe - we hosted our first trunk show! But first, a little history as to how we got here.
Since opening Zoe, I am bombarded daily with phone calls, emails and walk-ins attempting to sell me something. It might be a potential new line to carry in the store, a person trying to get me to change credit card processing companies, or someone selling boxes and bags. It could also be someone trying to get me to advertise with their publication. I have to make decisions every day about where (and where not) to spend my money.
Early this year, a handbag designer found Zoe's Facebook site and sent me an email along with information and pictures of her designs. Her approach was genuine and gentle and her designs were gorgeous. We began an email/Facebook conversation with an agreement that I would look at her line after Zoe had opened. When I went to the NY Market in early May, I got to meet Alexandra Satine for the first time. She was just as lovely as she had come across in her emails and seeing her bags in person sold me on her product. I placed an order for her Fall line.
She had offered to come to Alexandria to do a trunk show at Zoe at anytime and we agreed on June 18th. She allowed me to select the bags from her Summer 2011 line that I wanted her to bring for the show (hard too do because they are all so gorgeous!)
As soon as Alexandra arrived at the store on Saturday morning, we cleared the round table that I have at the entrance to the store so that she could set up her display. She had a beautiful mix of lucite stands and metal poles on which to display the bags. And smelling that amazing Italian leather all day was heavenly!
We had a lot of time to get to know each other better as we worked together throughout the day. While Zoe's trunk show was really agreed upon with an electronic "handshake", she told me that some large stores where she does shows require her to sign very detailed agreements stipulating all sorts of things (for example, that she isn't allowed to sit down)!
I was truly mesmerized by the information she shared with me regarding the true ins and outs of the fashion industry. While I have already started looking at stores and shopping with a very different eye after opening and running my own store, I now definitely look at it with an even greater understanding and deeper perspective.
Alexandra had a lot of interest and many compliments on her bags. Many customers were amazed that someone so young (in her late 20s) was the designer and many were happy to hear that they are made in New York City. I truly believe she has a very bright future ahead of her!
On an unrelated note, now that the fountain is running outside the store, many children come up to throw coins in the fountain (I joked to the CFO that it was a new revenue source for their association). Often, parents and grandparents will urge the children to make a wish. My favorite thus far was uttered by a little boy after throwing his coin into the fountain. His grandmother asked what he had wished for and he said "A Penguin!"