As designers, one of the hardest aspects of creating a successful business is getting people to recognize who you are. When it comes to being introduced to retailers specifically, it can be tough. While learning how to pitch your product is important, figuring out a way to get the buyer to come to you is always a great thing. Often, this is done through trade shows however, participating can be costly and is not always an option. Even when it is, not all retailers are able to attend them so you’re missing out on a lot of potential business.
Trade shows have traditionally been rather closed off experiences (until the WWD MAGIC/ Teen Vogue Blogger Lounge, that is) so, whether exhibitor or buyer, if you physically can’t get there, you miss out. To me this seems like a rather silly way to conduct business in the year 2011. And apparently, the masterminds behind Madison Buyer feel the same way.
Created as an online trade show of sorts, designers set up a profile and allow retailers to search them out through tags, location, style, etc all from the comfort of their own office. The idea is quite brilliant, actually. How frustrating it must be as a shop owner, knowing that there is a world of independent, emerging, and even established designers out there that they (and their customers) have never been exposed to. And they need to be.
I felt incredibly lucky to meet the style savvy women behind this business while at WWD MAGIC last week. Their realization of a gaping hole in the fashion industry and their decision to take action, is much admired and appreciated. The potential for this business to grow and prosper is large. So my advice is this; take advantage of such a smart marketing tool, set up a profile, and help spread the word because the more we all talk about such an exciting new resource, the more effective it will be.