[orchid] Sales Rep or Trade Shows?

I think it would be wonderful to have a sales rep who only showed my
line and had the complete attention of the buyer and staff.
However, in reality, most small designers have to share a sales rep
with 4-8 other designers and sometimes they are lucky to get their
line shown at all. Most buyers won’t sit through looking at 4+
lines, so reps have to make a decision as to which line/s they are
going to show and it is usually the one they sell the best. Which
is only natural - I would do the exact same thing. But that will
leave a bunch of work not shown at all.

Also there are a few good reps out there (and they are in great
demand) and a whole herd of not so great reps, people who don’t
really understand or care about “designer” or “handmade” jewelry, who
want to carry lines that have a great marketing program, generous
terms, name recognition - branding, established territories, and
designs that are not too edgy. I don’t blame them, if I was a sales
rep, I would want exactly the same thing.

If as a small designer you are looking for a rep, I would be very
cautious about handing over alot of jewelry to someone you don’t know
that well. You are trusting them with your reputation as well as your
line. I have rarely seen it work well, most of the time it has been
less than a positive situation.

Look around - how many designers in the JCK Design Center have sales
reps? How many designers at the Rosen show or ACC have reps? Most of
them don’t.

Marlene Richey
Richey Jewelry Gallery
15 Wharf . Portland . ME . 04101