For years Mary Vallarta has been responsible of choosing what fits best for fashion brands. She started her career as a buyer for Macy’s and subsequently worked for other grand names in the industry like BCBG, Bebe and Metropark. She also walked through the fields of marketing and visual merchandising, and built ties with industry insiders from Nasty Gal and Ted Baker. Consequently all her years of experience drove her to start FAB Counsel. FAB, which stands for fashion and business, is a consulting company that provides services to boutique owners, designers and tech start-ups.
FAB Counsel’s website is also an industry training hub. It offers online courses, relevant articles and live webinars for emerging designers. Her latest online course, How To Sell Your Fashion Line To Retailers, is a complete guide that walks you through the entire process of selling your brand to retail stores. The guide is perfect for new designers and sale reps that are trying to get a start in the business of selling. The course consists of seven sections and it’s taught by Vallarta and industry experts like Nasty Gal, Bebe and Lane Crawford buyers as well as sales reps and brand managers from brands like Puma, Nike, BCBG and BB Dakota.
The course discusses how to determine when your line is ready for retail, knowing your future buyers, how to approach them, pitching, prepping for your sales meeting, what to do when a buyer says no, maybe or yes, what to look for in a sales rep, how to prepare for a trade show and deciding other ways of taking your fashion line to stores.
Here are five important tips she shared with us on what to do before approaching buyers. Take it as a preview to all the amazing tools she provides in her online course.
5 Tips to Keep in Mind When Before Appraching a Retail Buyer
Develop a system; Be sure to have a prepared system of billing, shipping, manufacturing team, and a production timeline. Being organized will prevent mistakes in the long term.
Prepare samples; Before you pursue an appointment, you must be sure the samples are sized, fitted, and matched up with the look books and line sheets.
Prepare a marketing campaign; During the appointment, you need to be able to promote your brand, as well as present it as a campaign, whether that is through a look book, line sheets, or a photographed campaign from a professional photo shoot.
Know which retailers to target; Be sure to match your brand aesthetic with the concept of the stores you are presenting to. Your collection should match all of the retailers’ price points and represent a specific customer.
Know how to handle yourself; It may be difficult to predict how the buyers will respond or how the flow of the meeting will turn out, but being as prepared as possible will help you appear more professional.
To enroll on the course or to check out more about FAB Counsel click here!
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