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.

old-way---new-way---black Italian Artisan

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/

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 Chris Fox at The Shoe Box

The Fox Family at The Shoe Box

Steve,  Ron and Chris Fox

Chris and the Fox Family keep up the tradition of providing excellent footwear to generations at the Shoe Box.

Chris, please tell us a little bit about your store.
The Shoe Box is a family run business. My father, Ron Fox, started this store 28 years ago and it continues to be a family run business with my brother, Steve Fox, and our wives. We are a Men’s and Women’s comfort shoe store with high quality brands such as New Balance, Dansko, Naot, Birkenstock, SAS and others. We are one of the last independent shoe stores in a mall but our customers are very loyal. I like to think of ourselves as being in a hospitality business. We are taking care of people.
What are customers looking for when they come to your store?
Our customers are looking for comfort first and style second. So, when they come to our store we measure feet, the way it used to be done. We want to make sure they have the right fit and we are flexible with trends. We find them a solution for their foot care needs.
What motivates you?
We are not just selling shoes, we are helping people. And we have a strong presence in the community. Our customers know this means something more to us. We are a family in this community, so we support little leagues and school yearbooks. We want to have longevity with our customers.
How long have you been coming to TRU Show?
We’ve been coming since day 1 of TRU Show San Francisco. TRU Show is local to us. We are at the show the entire time, with appointments every hour on the hour. People give us attention at TRU Show. Because it’s a more personal show, we get a lot done. And it is convenient. We stay at the hotel where the show takes place so after show hours, we have a great opportunity to mingle and network with other retailers.


Bare Your Soul

What inspires you?

My family.

What historical figure do you admire?

My Dad, Ron Fox. 

What is your favorite time of day?

Morning.

What is your favorite book?

The Bible.

What do you like to do on your day off?

We get a day off?

What is your least favorite word?

Can’t.

What city do you like to travel to?

Eugene, Oregon for the scenic beauty.

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Paul Giametti

Was your first job in a shoe store?

(Laughing) No, I was the last kid of 4 and I said I’d never do it.  My first job was a bag boy at a grocery store.

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

Flying.

What are you wearing on your feet?

Tsubo.

Thank you Chris for taking the time to talk with us.

You can visit Chris and his family at their store, The Shoe Box, 3401 Dale Street, Modesto, California or Catch him at TRU Show San Francisco.

 

Meet Kip Odermatt

Kip Odermatt

Kip Odermatt’s decades of experience as both a shoe sales representative and retailer make him the perfect professional to interview for our very first TRU Souls featurette. He currently owns and operates 3 stores in the Stockton/Modesto area of northern California. We caught up with Kip as he cruised the open road in his RV between the Rocky Mountain Shoe Show in Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah.

How long have you worked in the shoe industry?
I’ve been a retailer for 35 years and a shoe rep for 20 years. I started out working for Kinney Shoe Stores in 1975.
Tell us a little about your stores.
We opened our doors as a retailer in 2002. I have 3 stores. One is a Foot Solutions Store and the other two are called Shoes That Fit. We sell Euro-comfort brands that offer our customers fashionable comfort shoes with a quality fit; brands such as Finn Comfort, Earth, and Keen. We also work closely with doctors and medical facilities to sell our shoes.
What do you love about your job?
I love the industry and the people, all of the relationships I’ve made over the years. We are all in it together. It’s like a family.
How long have you been coming to TRU Show?
I’ve been with TRU Show since the beginning. It’s a great location. The set up is comfortable for everyone, buyers and exhibitors. And, it’s a great place to reunite with friends.


Bare Your Soul

What are you wearing on your feet?

New Balance

What book are you currently reading?

Things that Matter, by Charles Krauthammer and Killing Jesus, by Bill O’Reilly

What is your least favorite word?

“NO”

What do you like to do on your day off?

I’d go hiking.

What is your favorite city to travel to?

New Orleans

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

I’d like to read minds.

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Patrick Stewart

What was your first job?

I mowed lawns for $10.

Follow Kip on Twitter and Linked In or meet up with him at our next TRU Show event.