How I Prepare for Market
Posted on September 12 2019
A handful of times a year I attend apparel markets to buy for the store. There are two markets a year in New York, and those are the big ones for me; for one, it's much more of a commitment in time and travel, and second, it's NEW YORK! I get to go twice a year, so I like to plan very strategically, and squeeze in all my necessary appointments, but also some fun time just exploring.
I've been buying for years- before my store, I helped other owners buy. I've been buying for Council since 2014, but buying for our brick-and-mortar store in Columbus for about 2 years now. Let me tell you it's ALL THE EMOTIONS. So much excitement and gratitude that I even get to do this, followed by anxiety and doubt. Ya'll, it never fails, every year when it's market time, it's usually just after slower seasons and then I have to go sign my name on thousands of dollars of orders for things that won't even start shipping for 6 months. It's crazy! I seriously have to be in a good mindset, ready to take some risks but mostly I just have to believe in my vision! Each season I learn something, and each season I feel like I get a little better at fine tuning the process.
I usually freak out and put a bunch of numbers on paper, project what I can spend for the coming season, and go into market with that number branded in my mind. This year I am doing things a little differently. Of course I know the range of what I can spend, but I also made a mood board to get me thinking Spring. A lot of nature-inspired colors and fabrics, mixed with bold patterns and punches of red are speaking to me for 2020.
With my vision in mind, I go into appointments knowing what I want. Mostly during those appointments, I am thinking of YOU. My clients, my friends. I think about your lifestyle and what would be most comfortable, yet chic for your everyday life. I think about your bodies, what flatters your shape most, enhances what's already there. Then I consider your budget and which pieces are investment-worthy and which are not. With lifestyle, body, budget in mind, I gauge which items are seasonless and can be worn year-round and order more of those styles.
By the time I leave I am mentally wiped! Lots of big decisions crammed into a couple days is enough to glaze a person over. When I get home from market I feel like I could sleep for days. Lots of water, good food, sleep will get me back on track. Then I will print photos from market and divide them into deliveries so I know exactly what's coming when, and get the numbers organized as well.
So, off I go to New York, to plan the future of Council! Follow along on Instagram stories for all the fun this weekend, and weigh in on some "be the buyer" polls!
You can find my dress and linen shirt below!