This past weekend was not only Jim's first trip to New York but also the first time he had seen me "at work". He provides his point of view in today's blog post.
Susan: This was your first trip to New York City. What did you like best about it?
Jim: Getting to see you in your role as "the buyer". I never could really understand this process without seeing it first hand. I was really impressed with your reps and their presentations.
Susan: What was the worst thing about your trip?
Jim: One of the cab rides was horrible! And all of them have road rage! But I probably would too if I had to drive in Manhattan every day.
Susan: What was the biggest surprise?
Jim: The cost of EVERYTHING! Food, drinks, attractions. I couldn't believe how expensive it was! The other thing was the size of Central Park. I didn't realize just how big it was - and I spent parts of two days there and still didn't get to see all of it.
Susan: What were three observations that you had about the buying process for Zoe?
Jim: 1) How difficult it would be to make a decision on what to buy, 2) The size of the collections - when you told me that the Resort/Early Spring collections were small compared to Spring/Fall, I couldn't believe it. I thought these collections were big, and 3) The locations of some of the showrooms. It is hard to believe these beautiful spaces exist in these nondescript buildings.
Susan: You compared the visits to sales calls that you make in your job. What did you observe about my interactions with my reps?
Jim: I was impressed that your reps seemed to know what you wanted to see. That they knew your previous orders and didn't waste time showing you things that didn't fit the Zoe customer. And the interactions between them and you were pleasant and friendly. And when you went to work, you didn't even seem to remember I was there! Meaning that you were very natural and seemed liked you behaved the same way you would if I wasn't there.
Susan: I can always use a chaperon!! But I did ask you to feel the fabrics sometimes! What did you think?
Jim: The fabrics were amazing! They are even softer than they look! It is clear that companies are making clothing with a focus on how they feel on the body. They want people to be comfortable.
Susan: We met with fab jewelry designer Katie Bartels in her shared workspace office. What did you think about that set-up and meeting?
Jim: The shared workspace set-up was very interesting. I am not sure if I could work in that environment but it seemed like a great fit for Katie and the others working there. I enjoyed seeing the two of you as small businesswomen talk about the different methods for building and publicizing your brands. And she took us out for the MOST delicious chocolate chip cookie! And it was fun getting to see (and weigh in on) the design of the Zoe necklace.
Susan: Would you go back again?
Jim: Yes, without a doubt.