Western & English Today

SOURCE 17

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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The Source 2017 33 8 6 6 . 6 7 2 . 2 1 4 8 cardenashats.com WESA January 2017 EB 602 9 a.m., mostly, ironically, due to park- ing," says Anissa Teskey, who owns Tes- key's Saddle Shop in Weatherford, Texas, with her husband, Michael. Not so fast, counters Melissa Benge, owner of Gun- slinger, a boutique in Bandera, Texas, as well as Dallas' Melissa Benge Collections. "I'm not an early morning gal, so I arrive late and I'm one of the last to leave the building. ... Buying is an art form and cre- ative expression for me. I get on a roll and don't want to stop once I'm in buying mode." Not all buyers prefer appointments. "Appointments stress me out — ask any- one who I buy from — because I like to make this a creative process that unfolds during the day as opposed to a structured format," Benge says. Tiffany Johnson, owner of e Sparkling Spur in Mandaree, North Dakota, likes to have appointments on the schedule, but "we always leave ourselves flexible and open. ... No two days are the same." François Chladiuk, owner of West- ernshop in Brussels, Belgium, sometimes makes an appointment or two once he's ar- rived in Denver for WESA's January mar- ket. But usually, "I just walk around and stop where something attracts me."Chladi- uk adds that while he usually sticks to the companies with which he regularly does business, "at doesn't mean that I don't keep my eyes open for some new things." How many staffers should a retailer bring? According to Stegman, appoint- ments run more smoothly without a crowd. "Don't bring an entourage," he says, "and save socializing till aer the market." But that doesn't mean you have to go it alone. Just plan to "divide and conquer." Teskey typically takes four buyers to Den- ver and Dallas markets, and five to MAGIC. "I know it sounds sexist, but us girls do the clothing line and the guys handle boots and saddlery. We try not to step on each other's toes because too many chefs in the kitchen is wrong." Johnson brings her sister to keep her in check. "Sometimes you can get just totally swept away or just overwhelmed," she says. "You get crazy. It's kind of like a drug. And then you're on this high and you're so ex- cited, so sometimes I can get carried away. Patsy's the voice of reason." Teskey prefers a daily focus — men's one day, women's another, and then children's and saddlery. "You need to be in a certain mind-set when you're buying," she says, "and we find that we do a cohesive buy when we're doing it by style." Some stores prefer working floor by floor. Others like to wander. And posting on social media at the market has good points, but, as Johnson warns: "Sometimes people don't understand that that's for the next sea- son, six months down the road." Retailers are also mixed on attending the market fashion shows. Johnson finds them beneficial. "It's the perfect time to network with other boutiques and stores and see how they put things together," she says. On the other hand, Teskey points out, "Fashion is regional." She adds with a laugh, "and at 5 o'clock, we're running out of there like the building's on fire." Retailers agree, however, that market di- rectories are valuable. "Take the book and look at the advertising," says Nathalie Kent, owner of Nathalie, a high-end Western shop in Santa Fe. "en go online and see if there's anything you like." "Work the book," Teskey agrees. "Read it. Know it. Highlight it." ere's another point they seem to agree on. Even in this day of line sheets and inter- net orders, attending market is necessary. "I've got to see it, I've got to feel it, I've got to see how it sparkles in the light," Johnson says. "But mainly," Kent adds, "and it's prob- ably a nightmare for those poor vendors, I always want to change things." A final point from Teskey to always keep in mind: "No one can tell you what you need but you." On planning out your days: "Appointments stress me out — ask anyone who I buy from — because I like to make this a creative process that unfolds during the day as opposed to a structured format." — Melissa Benge, Gunslinger and Melissa Benge Collections On attending the fashion shows: "It's the perfect time to network with other boutiques and stores and see how they put things together." — Tiffany Johnson, The Sparkling Spur

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