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
Richey Jewelry Gallery
15 Wharf . Portland . ME . 04101