Friday, July 9, 2010

Thanks to the Reps

As the Miami Swim Show gears up and the last minute phone calls and emails make their way to our office, I realized that I really needed to stop and give a, big "Thank You," to all of those hard working reps that work the shows, make the cold calls, and drive to Gawd-knows-where to show the lines. For swimwear reps, summer is a long season, full of hard work. It's a life on the road, setting up their booths and samples in SP, then moving on to SB, LV, LA, SD and NYC to do it over and over again. I've been there and know how much hard work it really is. This reoccurring scenario often reminds me of the song, "The Load-Out" by Jackson Browne:

"Pack it up and tear it down, they're the first to come and the last to leave."

Although, it's probably not a good idea to mix business relationships with personal ones, in spite of that, I've made quite a few friends with some of the reps over the years. I really appreciate and identify with their optimism and pioneer spirit. We keep tabs on how our kids are doing, who's carrying which lines next season, and how the market is fairing. We critique the styles, trade tips on where to stay and eat cheap and talk about how to stay viable and profitable in this crazy economy. I've seen a few good reps throw in the towel. I can't say that I blame them; it's been extremely tough lately. Still, I'll miss these fashion warriors and wish them well on their new ventures.

I will be skipping the Miami shows this year, so I won't be seeing many of the favorite people in this industry. For that, I am sad. I hope to catch up with them in LA, or NYC. Perhaps we can meet beyond the glitz and hoopla of the big shows, maybe at a restaurant, or hotel room in SY, or SB, or on old PEARL. Because when it's all said and done, it's not the glam that's the reps and their fabulous swimwear lines.

(Good Luck to Jennifer, Tina, Jessica, Elizabeth, Marcia, Alexa, Camilo, Cindy, Lisa, Catherine, Monica, Allison, Nichole and all the others...Sell lots of good stuff!)
~ C.

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