marketingHi Andy
I’m a children’s wear designer who’s been running a one-woman show up until now, but would like to find out the first step in getting to market shows. What are the typical steps to being prepared for showing your product at market and taking orders? Do I need to secure a manufacturer first before heading to market? And how about sales reps? I understand they are a very important part of getting your product out there and “seen” by the masses. How do you go about finding a sales rep?
I’d certainly appreciate any insight that you can give me, Andy.
Thanks so much

Dear January: We went to your site and you definitely have a look that will sell.
If you haven’t already, get yourself a subscription to Earnshaw’s magazine. It is the “bible” of your market. See if you can get them to send you the Annual Industry Directory, which was just published in December 2004. It is just full of very useful information.
Offer to send them a press release about your company and include photos and your web site information. Reps will start to call you.
Think about exhibiting in Las Vegas at the MAGIC show. Visit www.magiconline.com. Talk with the other vendors. They will be a source of lots of information. Get sewing contractors in your area by visiting www.seams.org.
Perhaps some of the other Queen Bees would be interested in sharing booth space with you at some of the Kids Wear shows. Doing a show is always easier when there are more than one person there, although not impossible.
Sales reps will find you at the shows you exhibit at. They are a great source of lots of information. Be cautious. Follow up on their references. Call stores in their areas that they are not currently selling.
Grow slowly. Good Luck, Andy

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