About trusoulsblog

We have a heart for the people that make TRU Show a truly special family of Sales people and Retail outlets.

The TRU Experience

As TRU Show San Francisco has come and gone until August, we reflect on February’s show. At TRU we like to keep not only our exhibitors happy but our buyers as well by offering several amenities to keep everyone coming back each year. We at TRU believe small incentives go a long way! We kicked this show’s Casino theme off with poker inspired cookies and a champagne cocktail as each exhibitor began checking in and setting up their rooms with this season’s new shoes.

 

To continue the casino theme we pulled out all the stops and threw a poker themed party! All exhibitors and buyers were welcome. We brought in several poker tables with dealers from a local San Francisco vendor. Each person who came in received $500 in imitation money that they could cash in for chips & win some sweet raffle prizes at the end of the night. Of course we couldn’t have a poker party without a bar and lots of sweet treats. To make the casino party even more special we got to celebrate a 40th Birthday! Our fabulous exhibitor Chris Carpenter got to celebrate his 40th with all of his shoe friends & of course we had to have a small set of decorations and photos in his honor.

It wouldn’t be TRU show if we didn’t have our drink carts circling around each floor on the first day of the show. This is a great way for our TRU girls to meet some of the exhibitors & buyers while sipping on a refreshing glass of wine or beer. As always we provide lunch both days of the show. To sweeten up the last day of the show we brought out some delicious flavored popcorn in the late afternoon. With an array of flavors, this sweet treat ended the show on a high note.

TRU Show is our passion and we wouldn’t be where we are today without are exhibitor friends and buyers. We feel just the small amount we can do them for them hopefully goes a long way. We hope everyone leaves feeling like it wasn’t just another work weekend but a mini vacation with fun, friends and shoes!

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Celebrate TRU 10 With Us!

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We bring over 300 brands to local retailers in a relaxed, comfortable, convenient setting. You’ll find a wide variety of lines and styles, featuring top brands of women’s, men’s and children’s footwear lines, as well as related accessories such as handbags and hosiery.

At TRU Show, styles come and go… and come back again.  Some things have changed and some things never will.  As we celebrate our 10 year Anniversary, we take a look at what has changed and where we are going…

What has always been consistent at TRU Show?

At TRU Show our mission and values have never changed.  We strive to provide the best show, at the best price, with the best interests of our industry in mind.

We value the relationships with our exhibitors and buyers.  And that shows in the customer service we provide from the moment they arrive at registration, through the hospitality during the show, and ends with prizes and recognition awarded at the end of the show.

The success of our exhibitors and retailers is our top priority.  We know that providing a private, distraction free environment allows buyers and reps to make successful business decisions when placing their orders.

          

There have been a lot of changes in the industry, how has TRU stayed ahead of the trends?

Exhibitors and retailers alike would tell you that automation has changed the landscape of their business and it has changed ours as well.  TRU Show was the first trade show with a dedicated website and online registration.  Our TRU Souls blog and social media feeds on Twitter and Instagram allows new and existing exhibitors a connection and insight into show layout and agenda.  But, despite an easy online interface, we have maintained a personal presence with all of our attendees.

Flexibility has also been key to our success over the years.  TRU Show regularly evaluates show dates, venues, and new cities to stay in line with the best interests of our industry.  But, San Francisco has been a mainstay and a favorite location on our event calendar.

Where do you see TRU Show headed in the future?

We continue to look to new cities where we can replicate the success of TRU Show San Francisco to other regions.

At TRU Show, we also want to leave a lasting impact on the industry.  Look for TRU Show to lead the way in maintaining best in class support to our retailers and exhibitors.

Any final thoughts as you reflect over the 10 years of TRU?

T.R.U. stands for Traveling Reps United.  The last 10 years have been successful because TRU Reps have consistently come back to TRU season after season, year after year. We also have a large and dependable group of retailers that make TRU Show a key element in their business planning.  All of you are a part of our TRU Souls family.  We are thankful for you and we hope you continue to find success in business and life.

We will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary all year long.  Plan to join us for our next TRU Show celebration this August. Upcoming Events

These are just a few pictures from our TRU Show 10 year, Oscars After Party.

Italian Craftsmanship Meets the Global Fashion Marketplace

As we near our 10 year anniversary of TRU Show, it’s fascinating to look back and note all the changes in the footwear industry. Fast forward to today, where shoe retailers and reps have to be on their toes to thrive in a global economy that is driven by the constant flow of information to consumers. So, I think our next interview will be interesting for everyone trying to ride the tide of the footwear and fashion industry. David Clementoni’s entrepreneurial spirit and love for the art of shoemaking in his country gave birth to the idea for his company, Italian Artisan.

Tell us how Italian Artisan came to be…

I recognized a business need between small luxury buyers and high quality Italian manufacturers.

Italian ArtisanBuyers of luxury fashion for department or boutique stores are increasingly eager to find something that will differentiate them from their competitors. Exclusively designed and manufactured fashion pieces allow them to sharpen their product offerings to clients. In fact, even large established high-end fashion brands are at risk of losing their appeal because of a widespread shift to mass production and industrialization. Made in Italy products continue to carry the reputation of high fashion, high quality. But it can be difficult for buyers to find and communicate with these high-quality manufacturers.

At the same time, the vast majority of Italian Manufacturers of Excellence find it hard to reach out to international markets due to a number of factors, including limited scarpa-finitaknowledge of international business best practices and language barriers. Still, they are eager to find new revenue streams outside Italy, across flourishing international markets. Italian Artisan simplifies this process for both sides.

Tell be about the range of products available to buyers?

Our buyers have access to designs in men’s and women’s high fashion footwear as well as a large accessory line including, leather wallets, cases, and a large collection of bags. We have over 450 bags in collection. The magic of our short design cycles is that new collections can be added all the time. Small manufacturers have the flexibility to produce designs with a 4-6 week lead time.

How did you get started developing your company?

David ClementoniIn June 2013, I decided to leave my family business (www.clementoni.com), to pursue the entrepreneurial adventure of helping the internationalization of small Made in Italy manufacturers.

A chance encounter with my business partner, Andrea, a computer engineer with more than 20 years of experience, was instrumental. My managerial skills and internationalization know-how and Andrea’s technological and programming skills were the right mix for the realization of Italian Artisan.

How does Italian Artisan connect retail stores in America to Italian Manufacturers?

Italian Artisan is a powerful, yet easy-to-use B2B web platform that enables connections and transactions between Buyers and Manufacturers. The business process between parties becomes exceptionally efficient, effective and fast.

Buyers choose from a wide range and variety of top of the line Italian fashion goods—they can even define their own unique, dream collection and get it done in three easy steps.

Manufacturers raise their visibility significantly to Buyers ready to buy their products. Manufacturers keep doing what they do best while letting Artisan’s platform to do the rest.

Buyers and Manufacturers benefit from an adaptive fast-track process that helps dramatically reduce communication time between parties and helps them close transactions easily.

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Thank you, David, for sharing this exciting news. Your platform is connecting retailers to a world of opportunity, allowing them to create the kind of unique footwear portfolio their customers are looking for.

If you are interested in learning more or placing an order with Italian Artisan, contact David at http://www.italian-artisan.com/

On the Road Again…

road trip 4Hard to believe it’s August already and many of our shoe and accessory reps are hitting the open road to launch Spring 2016 styles.

Make sure to plan your way to TRU Show San Francisco this August 30th and 31st.

Here are our top 5 Tips and Fun Plans to make TRU Show a key stop on your road map.

 

West Road Trip 1. Plan your trip… register for TRU Show.

Exhibitors. Buyers are attending TRU Show from all over the Western United States. With our location close to San Francisco Airport and easy driving routes, many buyers tell us this is THE BEST LOCATION for them to meet with reps and commit to orders for the upcoming season. We still have some rooms available.

Buyers. Registration is available online at www.trushow.com  Once we know you’re coming we’ll have your badges, lunch tickets and directory ready for you.  Check in will be quick and easy!

 

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2. Observe the road signs… At our last show, we launched new signs to make it easy for buyers to find the brands and styles they are looking for. Reps, order your sign today!

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3. Great Destinations. Private Suites are set up by exhibitors to best showcase their new collections. Enjoy the opportunity to discuss products, buyers’ needs and write orders in a relaxed, distraction-free environment. IMG_2005 IMG_1994 IMG_1979 4. Map your visits, discover something new and take home great prizes.road trip 3

A wide variety of styles and new exhibitors await you.  We always encourage buyers to take a look at a brand they’ve never seen before. So, this year we are launching a fun new game called ROAD TRIP. Buyers are rewarded points for visits with brands they currently carry, new brands they are considering and for all orders written at the show. All this adds up to a chance to win one of our four giveaways for a getaway!IMG_19625. Refuel at the Farmer Stand and Roadside Pit Stops.

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As always, TRU Show plans to take good care of our guests. Please join us at our roadside Farmer’s Stand and Pit Stops to refuel to keep your engines running strong. Gas Station Hope to see you on the open road at TRU Show San Francisco, August 30th and 31st. XOXO, Team TRU

Welcome to TRU Show San Francisco

TRU Show San Francisco

Welcome to TRU Show San Francisco.

Twice a year, TRU Show hosts our footwear and accessory trade show to bring together retailers and wholesalers.  Both buyers and sales reps love this relaxed, comfortable, and convenient setting. You’ll find a wide variety of brands and styles, featuring top women’s, men’s and children’s footwear lines, as well as related accessories such as handbags and hosiery.  Enjoy this virtual tour of TRU Show San Francisco.

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Registration…

Our quick and easy online registration system allows reps and buyers convenient registration for the show. Even before the show begins, we are anticipating your needs and prepared when you arrive.

Sales Representatives arrive a day or two before the show begins to set up their private suite for meetings with buyers.

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The room layout allows sales reps the opportunity to set up their product displays in the living area of their suite.  Reps can personalize their space with their own shelves, lighting, signs, and logo table cloths.  Additional tables and linens can be rented for more display space.  Individual rooms allow buyers the opportunity to window shop and a private setting to discuss and write orders.

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Let the show begin…

Sunday and Monday the show opens at 9:00 am and buyers are already lined up to preview the next season’s offerings.  Every exhibitor can display a few items from their line in our registration area.  This gives buyers a sneak peek at what they will find in the show rooms.  Team TRU welcomes them in the lobby registration area. With a badge and directory in hand, they are ready to meet with reps and write orders.

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Find What You’re Looking For…

At TRU Show, exhibitors are grouped by their brand niche.  So, buyers will find multiple lines carrying the styles they are searching for all on the same floor.  This also makes it easy for new lines to be discovered.

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Lunch is on us!!!

We provide all of our exhibitors and buyers with a complimentary hot lunch.

After all, it’s no fun shopping on an empty stomach.

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Work should be fun…

One of the many highlights of coming to TRU show is reuniting with TRU friends.  That’s why we invite all of our reps and buyers to take part in a little friendly bowling competition and crazy sock contest.

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Prizes!!!

We don’t want our buyers to go home empty handed.  So, we encourage buyers to explore all the brands and styles at TRU Show and write orders on site.  You might even receive one of the generous prizes TRU show gives out at every show.

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We hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of TRU Show.

We would love to have you join us at our next event.

Exhibitors and buyers can register and find out more at http://trushow.com/

Meet Lori Markman

Lori and I caught up after her recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico; a state known for its rich traditions and culture. Her trip coincided with the festival of the Day of the Dead, a time to honor the lives of ancestors that have passed. Celebrating life and living with a purpose is a conscious choice of Lori’s. Join us as we talk about the work Lori does for TOMS.

 

 

 

Tell me a little about your career and how you began working with TOMS.

I’ve worked in the women’s clothing industry for 35 years. TOMS is a unique brand with a distinctive niche in the shoe and clothing industry. When they launched, they looked for sales professionals who understood the close relationship between clothing, shoes, and fashion. At the time I began working with TOMS, there was just one silhouette, the slip on apalgata. Now, TOMS is a full-fledged shoe and accessory brand with a range of styles, materials, and updated labeling. With these enhancements and upscale styles, the finer contemporary boutiques are also now selling TOMS. Working with TOMS is different than just selling shoes. My work with TOMS has a purpose. It has influenced me to choose lines that are socially responsible and give my work meaning.

Can you tell me more about TOMS corporate mission?

The founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie, is a different kind of entrepreneur. He has an interesting business mind that is focused on how TOMS can affect change in 3rd world countries and for those in need in the USA. By now, most consumers understand the One for One business model. For every shoe purchased, TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need. TOMS has given out over 35 million pairs to date! Most people don’t know that a 3rd of the shoes we give back are actually produced in the same country were they are given. That means, TOMS is not only giving shoes to children in need; their parents are getting jobs in our factories! And TOMS doesn’t just give a pair of shoes one time, they give that same child a new pair of shoes approximately every 6 months as they grow. That enables them to attend school and get a full education! The business model has to be sustainable, and that is why we have so many new styles and products, so that we can continue to give for generations to come.

It’s not just about shoes. TOMS portfolio of products continues to grow. Their eyewear line provides sight to someone in need by giving prescription glasses, simple medical treatment, or cataract surgery. Their new handbag division helps provide prenatal care to pregnant woman. And…TOMS coffee provides water in regions that don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water.

That’s really inspiring… you must love going to work!

After many years working as a sales rep, I am reinvigorated by work that has a purpose. Working with TOMS has influenced me to choose socially responsible lines to represent. It gives my work a deeper meaning.

I think that the Giving Trips are one of the most amazing benefits working with TOMS. You actually see what we do and how it affects families. We never just drop off a box of shoes. Someone from TOMS, or another NGO, actually gets to look in the eyes of a child and put the shoes on their feet. Having the mother thanks us personally is amazing.

Representing TOMS means long hours, many detailed reports, and accountability. I am ready and willing to jump through hoops because I know that my work is making a huge difference to people in need.

We are happy you’ve brought TOMS to TRUShow… what has been your experience coming to TRU?                                              

I’ve been with TRU Show for about 6 years. It’s a terrific show, and I am so impressed how well it is managed.

It is very well attended, and the location and set up make it convenient for buyers to shop. I get exposed to a lot of stores that I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to work with.


Bare Your Soul

What is your most treasured possession?

My cat, Ziggy.

What inspires you?

I am motivated by my own momentum and reputation in the industry.  The desire to continue to do the best for my customers by providing good service, represent a great product and help them continue to run a successful business.

What is your favorite time of day?

Mornings.  My quiet time with Ziggy before the day gets going, and a bit of yoga to start the day makes me very happy.

Also, my alone time, in my office, at the end of the day, when the phones have stopped ringing and I can merchandise and regroup.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished the autobiography of Graham Nash, Wild Tales; which recalls my musical roots.  Now, I’m reading a book about sustainability in the fashion industry called, Wear No Evil

What do you like to do on your day off?

Drive my 1950 Chrysler Imperial, Agnes, anywhere.

What is your favorite city to travel to?

Seattle, Washington. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Susan Sarandon.

If you had a super power, what would it be?

Travel through space without getting on a plane.  I fly way too much, and travel too little…

What is your guilty pleasure?

Being lazy.  Watching T.V.

What sound do you love?

The clanking of pool table balls, and the Ocean.

What is your favorite pair of shoes?

My LAMB boots by Gwen Stefani.

 

Thank you Lori for taking the time to share and inspire us.  You can catch up with Lori and the latest from TOMS at one of our upcoming TRU Show events.

 

Visit Shawna Rider at ShuzyQ Anchorage, Alaska

Join us for a virtual tour of ShuzyQ in Anchorage, Alaska. Shawna is a fresh talent in this business with an eye for innovative, stylish designs. You’re going to want to read more about her and the super cool store in Anchorage that offers the full range of styles to a broad spectrum of customers with a fun, hands on approach to service.

Shawna, tell me about your store…

ShuzyQ is based in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. It is a fun, funky, eclectic store. We sell everything from high heels to mud boots. Our customers span the full range of ages and styles. Often they are looking for something special and they can’t find it anywhere else. We have a special relationship with our customers. We know who they are and we cater to their individual needs. We also hope that people have fun in our store. It should feel like a party. Which is why we actually host shoe parties at our store. Another fun incentive we give our customers is a little “Shoe Sugar” with their purchase. Shoe Sugar is a 10% credit towards their next purchase. They save it up and get excited to come pick out that special pair of shoes.

What do you love about your job?

I love every part of my job.

I love the interaction with customers at the store. Each day we share our favorite story, favorite customer, or just something fun that happened that day.

I love going to the shoe shows and having the opportunity to see what’s new and exciting.

I also love the opportunity to be involved in the community. We recently held a shoe design contest.   Over 20,000 people voted online and more than 250 people came into our store to vote for the winning shoe design.   Designed locally, the winning design is now being considered for production in the Fall 2015 line with Bucketfeet.

What are you looking for when you come to TRU Show?

We’re looking for shoes that are new and innovative. We want to be the 1st in Anchorage to carry a new brand and the best of the current brands.

How does the environment at TRU Show help you to get what you need?

TRU Show is a relaxed, pleasant environment. All the brands we are looking for are there and we often discover something new. At TRU we have more time and attention with each sales representative.

 


Bare Your Soul

What inspires you?

Creativity.  Seeing other people who are innovating; thinking outside the box.

What historical figure do you admire?

Elizabeth Peratrovich.  As a Native Alaskan herself, she has done so much for the equality of Alaskan Natives.

What is your favorite time of day?

First thing in the morning.  I love my morning snuggles with my little 2 year old.

What are you currently reading?

The Firecracker Boys, by Dan O’Neil

What do you like to do on your day off?

Mountain Biking.

What is your favorite city to travel to?

Cusco, Peru and Segovia, Spain. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Oh, someone cute I hope…

What is your guilty pleasure?

Red Wine.

Where was your first job?

I was a cashier at a grocery store in Nome, Alaska.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I would make more time in a day.

What sound do you love?

I love the feeling of sunshine and the sound of rain.

What are you wearing on your feet?

Ariat Cowboy Boots.

 

Thanks Shawna for taking the time to talk with us.  Catch up with Shawna at SuzyQ in Anchorage, Alaska or invite her to come see your footwear and accessory lines at the next TRU Show event.