As a staunch supporter of shopping small, it’s extremely important for me to visit as many independent retailers as possible. This runs true year-round but it’s especially meaningful for me this time of year. Not always great for my wallet as I’m exactly who you want to wait on line at your cash wrap… I’m a POS fanatic! I just can’t walk away from the impulse buy.
So, I was in LA last week with Trish Borrelli our Senior Attendee Acquisition Manager here at NY NOW. We made the trip to support our dear friend and NY NOW partner, Ron Robinson as he moves into his exciting new phase ( Ron Robinson ). However, we clearly capitalized on the fact that we were on the west coast and connected with some of our existing buyers and exhibitors and made some new friends.
Although it was raining almost every day and we couldn’t put the top down on our convertible black Mustang (we were given an upgrade), it truly was a bright and insightful adventure. From Lori Ford’s store Gumtree in Hermosa Beach (www.gumtreela.com) to Tara Riceberg’s new store Tesoro in Beverly Hills (www.bestgiftstoreever.com), we filled our days exploring and getting deep in conversations with the most wise and visionary people.
To survive in today’s market, we all need to be adaptable; observing our environment and changing our behaviors to become more efficient. Being open-minded and curious… oh yeah, we also met Andrew Gawdun in Hermosa at his Store, Curious… (www.curiousworkshop.com). What I loved most about our conversation with Andrew other than his passion for NY NOW, was his observation of the stores in his community that have survived and flourished for over 10 years are all long term NY NOW attenders.
That made me think about the power of our market. It’s not a secret that we too are experiencing challenges of our own. We continue to feel the elation of the many new exhibitors who join us and sadness when old friends leave. We can be creative and inspire the senses, but we have to be just as receptive as you and embrace change and adapt to an evolving market. As we continue to travel around and visit with you, we continue to learn. As we spend time more together and nurture the relationships that support our industry, we continue to strengthen it.
I wanted to take this opportunity to recognize you and to let you know that we see you and we hear you. Whether you are an amazing one-store-wonder or responsible for many doors, we know the magnitude of what it takes to prepare to come to market and then taking it through the year. The long hours, the brain power and the passion… what you all do is a gift to the rest of us.
Thank you and Happy Holidays!