It must be so exciting buying all of this lovely product!
People ask me this all of the time – and yes it is but it’s not as easy as it looks!
With over 25 years in buying and merchandising working for big retailers such as Next & Matalan. I am use to writing strategies, building brands, analyzing sales, controlling big budgets and predicting a best seller- most of the time! Although this was on a bigger scale, the experience was invaluable for having my own business.
Running my own business is almost the same just with smaller budgets and fewer people to delegate to!
The only differences are it’s your own money you are spending & if you get it wrong you are physically sat looking at it! In a Head Office environment, the error of your buying is on a spreadsheet and the odd store visit. However, when it’s your own business you physically trip over your mistake!
Trade Shows are demanding and exciting. I visit many throughout the year and it’s a buyers dream. Thousands of Brands with their product skillfully presented and a sales team telling you how wonderful their product is! It is very easy to get carried away. You can easily overspend, you can go off-piste and have a collection of random products that you like; rather than a carefully curated range of products that sit within your brand.
After years of experience, I am laser-focused at a show or a supplier visit.
Armed with a clear strategy I have already decided on budgets, space, price hierarchy- I know my customer very well and I search the shows with you in mind. I handpick beautiful products that reflect quality and great value but are also unusual or individual. I stock many ranges that are made in the UK and I insist on being an exclusive stockist in our area.
Some times I take a risk – I push the boundaries & don’t play safe. However, as long as the ‘risk’ is countered by the principles of quality & value for money and it sits within my brand I will take it. It’s important to look a bit different too!
Ranges can take you by surprise. Small orders can fly out & you spend the next 6 months trying to get adequate stocks. One happens every year that takes me by surprise. As quickly as it starts it can drop off – the real trick is knowing when to stop!
Over September I will be trawling through the shows – thousands of stands, carefully curating to ensure I have a shop brimming with gorgeous interiors and gifts for you to have a lovely time selecting from!
Yes, it’s a great job but there is so much more to it than it looks!