I'll never get used to the fact that we buy so far in advance. I had resort/early spring items arriving at Zoe this month that I ordered back in July! So, with that knowledge, it makes sense that I would be buying Summer deliveries in early January.
The minor fashion seasons (Summer, Winter/Holiday, Resort/Early Spring) have smaller collections. Usually, I can accomplish everything I hope to accomplish in one day. But I always make a list prior to the show to make sure I know who I want to see and their booth locations.
That's a lot of people to try to visit in one day! (But don't you love my Oscar de la Renta notebook?)
When I asked the young lady who manages Zoe's social media if she'd like for me to Tweet about the experience throughout the day, she said "Yes!" So I had to make sure I left time to Tweet!
I departed Union Station on a 5:25 am train for New York. Union Station early on a Sunday morning is NOT the place to be. Nothing is open and there are some questionable people hanging around. I was happy to get ON the train.
The train ride was uneventful and we had a slightly early arrival in NYC! After making sure my Mom and Jim knew that I arrived safely, I was off to catch a cab. The fantastic thing was that the cab line early on Sunday morning was non-existent!
Note that the ease of catching a cab does not always translate into a quality cab ride. When I got in and told the driver my destination (Piers 92/94 please!) he asked "Is that East side or West side?" Uh oh. I gave him more precise cross streets and off we went. In short order we arrived!
Because this was a smaller show, I only had one specific appointment and the rest of my designers had told me to drop in when I had the opportunity. I started with accessories first and made a stop at San Diego based leatherworks Leatherock. I love their belts!
Next up was one of my (and Zoe customer) favorites Chan Luu! My one appointment of the day! It is always such fun to work with Natasha to pick out great jewelry and scarves.
Quite often, the denim is also located in the same area as all of the accessories designers. So of course I had to make a stop at Red Engine to visit sales rep Jenny! I picked some colored denim for the store for Spring as well as stocked up on some new washes for some of our customer staples.
A quick glance at the time told me I had better get going on my apparel shopping! So it was off to new store fave Amy Matto.
Loving the pinks in these dresses!
Beth Bowley also does some great prints in easy to wear shapes. I have a hard time editing to exactly what I want to bring home for Zoe's customers!
When I tweeted about this dress, I got an immediate positive response!
Alice & Trixie does some fabulous Summer pieces. I always have a hard time deciding what to buy!
Next it was off to one of our favorites - Velvet. The Zoe Girls had given me assignments of pieces that they wanted me to look at during the market. Velvet is one of the brands that provides access to their linesheet information prior to the show so that you can start "pre-shopping".
So many style choices!
And color choices! How do I decide??
Next door was Velvet's higher end brand Graham & Spencer. Oh, how I love this brand. I wanted one of everything!
Another personal favorite is Rebecca Taylor. My rep, Noelle, has been my rep since my very first market in October 2010 in Atlanta. It is always great to see her and she knows me and my store so well that she can help me start to edit as we are going through the pieces.
How cute are those little stripped peplum tops on the right?
And yes, I had to succumb to picking up a couple of pieces for myself....
Noelle was also so sweet to allow me to charge my iPhone in their booth. All that Tweeting taking up battery power! The funniest thing? The most compliments I got all day were related to my iPhone cover (a pink Kate Spade cover). Every time I lifted it up to take a picture, the rep would comment on how they loved it!
Then it was off to Tracy Reese. The rep there also has been with me since day one. It is so wonderful when they understand my store and know the items NOT to show me! My editing here was really tough - I loved everything!
Please note that any bias toward red and black was purely coincidental! (mostly)
Just prior to market, I had heard from a great sales rep for another line that she was leaving that line. Imagine my delight when I ran into her in another booth! While I don't carry this line in the store, I liked the design, function, and quality of this line.
And before I knew it, it was time to catch my train back to DC. Not wanting to get caught in the "taxi shift change" that I experienced in August last year, I took the show shuttle bus back to Penn Station!
An uneventful train ride later, I was back in DC. What a whirlwind! Everyone always says "Oh, it must be such fun!" I always tell them that it is one of the most fun parts of owning a store and one of the most stressful! I always hope I've found the things my customers are going to LOVE!
Next up: A Customer Rewards Program