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.

TRU Show SF

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/

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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.

Meet Ken Sollie

Ken Sollie

First appearance gives you the impression Ken grew up on the California coast, surfing in the sunshine. So, it surprised me to learn that he was born in southern Alabama before moving to Alaska as a child. A career in the shoe industry gave Ken the opportunity to make his way to the golden coast and have the lifestyle that includes all the things that matter most to him. I caught up with Ken, at his home, on one of those rare days in between trade shows and meetings with buyers.

How did you get your start in the shoe industry?

I got my start working at Nordstrom in Anchorage, Alaska. I began the trade stocking shelves.  Eventually, I worked my way up to shoe department manager.   When the opportunity arose, I moved from Alaska to open and manage Nordstrom shoe departments throughout Southern California and eventually became a buyer for the department store.  After about 15 years, I became a rep  and began selling lines to retailers.

I enjoy working with independent, family owned and operated stores. My experience gives me the ability to consult with buyers and shop owners on their business management, merchandising, and window displays.   I have a responsibility to them because I can affect their business for good or bad. So, it’s never about just getting the order. I want to be more than a one hit wonder in their stores. I want to have a lasting presence there.

Tell me more about the brand you currently represent?

I represent Latigo, a label under the Footwear Unlimited Company. Latigo embodies vintage, chic designs and a cool, raw, leather vibe.   It weaves together superior materials, stylish design and lasting comfort. The company is managed by a father/son team with solid Midwestern values and a respect for family.   It’s a great company.

What do you love about your job?

I love a lot about my job; the friendships I’ve developed with retailers and wholesalers, the travel to stores and tradeshows and helping stores achieve success. At the heart of it, it is a business that connects people. I like to be out there talking to people. I get to do that every day in this job.

How long have you been coming to TRU Show?                                               

I’ve been coming to TRU Show since its beginning. It’s a unique show that really provides a space for independent merchandisers. The show is organized by similar brand styles. So, retailers can easily browse new brands for their stores. The show layout with individual show rooms reminds me of the days when stores advertised with big window displays. Each exhibitor can set up their room to show off their lines and the retailers get to window shop the whole show.

What has been the biggest change in the shoe industry since you began?                                               

The Internet. Stores have to evolve to compete in the age of internet retailers. While the brick and mortar stores can provide excellent customer service, their customers are also prepared to shop for the best price. So, stores need to be better informed who they are competing with for the best retail price.


Bare Your Soul

What is your most treasured possession?

I don’t place much value in material things.  The most valuable thing to me is my family.

What inspires you?

Happiness.

What is your favorite time of day?

Mornings.

What historical figure would you like to meet?

Elvis.

What are you currently reading?

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.

What is your least favorite word?

Yeah.

What is your favorite city to travel to?

Seattle. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Bruce Willis.

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

Breathing Underwater.

What would you do on a day off?

Go Surfing.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Red Wine.

Where was your first job?

McDonald’s.

What sound do you love?

The Ocean.

What is your favorite pair of shoes?

My OluKai’s.

 

Thanks Ken for taking the time to talk with us.  Catch up with Ken and view the Latigo Brand at our next TRU Show event.

Meet Joe Siegal

During his career, Joe Siegal has worked as a shoe buyer and salesperson for over 50 years. As a professional in this industry for over half a century, he could author his own history on the shoe business. So, I felt fortunate to sit down with Joe in his show room on the final day of TRU Show in San Francisco this past August. At age 80, Joe is full of wisdom, energy, and has a terrific sense of humor.  Enjoy reading about this TRU Soul.

Joe, how did you get started in this industry? 

I started out in retail while I was going through college. I traveled the west coast as a buyer for footwear distributors in Los Angeles. Around 1958, I joined California Magdesian Bros. and represented them for almost 55 years. I retired for a couple of years to help my wife who had knee surgery. But, David Tate Shoes asked me to come back and represent their line and I happily took the opportunity.

Tell me about the David Tate brand?

The David Tate line includes women’s comfort casuals from flats to heels. We warehouse everything in Los Angeles. So, we can offer great service and the full range of sizes and widths. Many of our classic patterns have been in the line for years. Our products have broad distribution in the US and overseas in Australia, Scotland and England and are available at small retail stores to department stores and ever increasing online sales.

David Tate is a fun, family oriented company. It is run by 4 brothers, all of whom are great business people. They are also great to work with. David cooks lunch for the employees every day in the office which has been converted to a kitchen. He’s a great cook and very health conscious.

What do you love about your job?                                               

I value the friendships I’ve made over the years. You don’t lose friends in this business. It’s a very small industry. I also enjoy the challenge of working with people to enhance their business wherever possible.

If you continue to be active, the odds of maintaining a healthy and interesting life improve. I check Forbes every morning. If I’m not in it, I go to work.

How long have you been coming to TRU Show?

I’ve been coming since it started.

TRU Show answered a need. Not every buyer goes to the big shows. So, this regional show provides an opportunity for local buyers to shop for next season’s products. It’s a well run business.

When I pack for TRU Show my car is always full of samples. If my wife wants to go with me to a show, she has to run alongside.

Does your wife travel with you often?

She used to travel with me. Now, she has a life of her own at home. We’ll have been married 58 years. We have 3 kids and 6 grandkids. We all got together recently to celebrate my 80th birthday with brunch at the Four Seasons in Westlake. My family is very important to me.

What’s been the biggest change you’ve noticed in the shoe industry over the years?

The advent of the internet has added greatly to the industry. Traditional stores need to find a way to compete in the age of internet shopping.


Bare Your Soul

What is your most treasured possession?

My Freezer.  I’m a fisherman.  Every year I spend 10 days on a fishing boat from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.  We hire a captain and cook and fish morning to night.  On my last trip, I caught 10 yellow fin tuna.  I came home with over 350 lbs. of filleted fish.

What is your favorite time of day?

I’m an early riser and I run every morning (from the bed to the bathroom).  My favorite time of year is spring and summer where it’s light later in the day.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished Jersey Boys.  We belong to a movie group.  So, we read the book and see the movie together.

What is your favorite word or phrase?

“I will.”

What is your favorite city to travel to?

Kauai, Hawaii and Carpinteria, California. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?

My Son, Steven.

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

I love to fly.

What sound to you love?

The Violin.

What are you wearing on your feet?

Mephisto. I also like SAS and Johnston and Murphy.

Joe, thank you for taking the time to talk with us.

When he’s not fishing the open seas, you can reach Joe and learn more about the David Tate line at (805)570-7332 or jhsiegal@aol.com or meet up with him at one of our next TRU Show events

Meet Chris Carpenter

Chris Carpenter pictured with Kendra Terlouw and Eric Morris

As an independent shoe rep who represents 8 – 12 different lines at a time, Chris Carpenter, really knows the market trends in this industry. He  loves his life on the road visiting retail outlets throughout the western United States. We caught up with him at his home as he caught up on some rest and relaxation before his next trip.

 

 

 

Chris, tell me about the lines you represent. 

I represent a broad array of shoe lines. The majority of the lines are from Europe.  They are quality comfort and fashion brands from Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany. I’m also representing some Chinese brands where the quality and design are continually getting better and better. Basically, I’m always looking for hot, new lines that will fit into my portfolio. I don’t want my brands to overlap or compete with each other. I really enjoy launching new lines in stores and regions they haven’t been before.

How did you get started in this industry?

I started out working in the JC Penney shoe department. I’ve worked at Kids Footlocker and as a shoe department manager at Nordstrom. I moved to southern California and eventually began working for Laurevan Shoe Corp. I thought, ‘I could be selling out there’ and just started doing it.

How long have you been coming to TRU Show?

I’ve been with TRU Show for about 8 years. It’s a great show. For a lot of us shoe reps, it’s the first show of the season. We can use it as a fact finding event. I see what’s hot and what’s not and get a great head start to guide me for the season. There’s a great camaraderie at the show. People look forward to getting together at this show.

I also see more variety in the accounts that come to TRU show and I definitely have more access to the boutique customers.

What do you love about your job?                                               

I love a lot about my job. Working for smaller companies, I can really make a difference. It’s rewarding launching a new line and seeing it grow. I also love to travel to the stores; being on the road, with the buyers, in their stores and getting to know how they do business.

 


Bare Your Soul

What is your most treasured possession?

Home

What inspires you?

Hard Work

What is your favorite time of day?

Mid-Day

What is your favorite musical group or artist?

Jay-Z

What are you currently reading?

I always have a copy of MacWorld.  I want to see what’s new at apple that can help with my work.

What do you like to do on your day off?

I race horses.

What is your least favorite word?

No.

What is your favorite city to travel to?

New York. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Denzel Washington

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

More time.

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

Save the world from bad.

What sound do you love?

Fresh Snowfall

What are you wearing on your feet?

I wear everything, but right now, I’m wearing flip flops.

 

Thanks Chris for taking the time to talk with us.

You can catch up with Chris and the lines he represents at one of our upcoming TRU Show Events.

Chris currently represents Coque Terra, Chocolat Blu, Eric Michael, Fidji, Fox River Socks, Klogs, Kravings by Klogs, La Plume, Lirio, RJ Fuzzies, Telic and Worishofer.

Meet Mark Napior

It’s a typical Sunny California Day. Mark is pumped full of caffeine, the trunks of Naot samples are packed and he’s ready for the 4 hour drive home from Visalia to Sacramento. He’s eager to get back to his wife and precious little girl. As he embarked on this long, lonely journey home; he plugged in his Bluetooth and took some time to chat with me about his life in the shoe business.

 

How long have you been in the shoe business?

It’s been 7 years now. I was representing some outdoor sport companies and also working part-time in an office job when a colleague introduced me to the Naot rep in Northern California who was getting ready to retire.  I’ve been with Naot ever since.”

Tell me about Naot.  What makes their shoes unique in the industry?

The Naot Company is based in Israel. Since 1942, they’ve designed and manufactured sandals, clogs, boots, and work shoes out of their factory in Israel. They don’t outsource their manufacturing. They differentiate themselves from other comfort shoes because of the unique “negative” foot bed. Similar to stepping on sand, they are soft, absorb shock and alleviate pain. Travel reviews have picked Naot as “the one shoe to take on vacation” because they provide all day comfort and are fashionable enough to wear into the evening.

They also listen to their retailers about product design and ideas.  I just came back from a design meeting where they invited a small selection of reps and retailers to choose the styles and colors for 2015.  My retailer, who has one small store but does a good business with Naot, was blown away at the amount of input that they were able to give towards the new line.  It was amazing to be able to be part of that process with one of my retailers.

What do you love about your job?                                               

I love to work with the small, local retail stores. I have great relationships with store owners. Every day and every store is different. I enjoy the opportunity to serve each shop’s unique needs.

How long have you been coming to TRU Show?

It’s been about 7 years. TRU Show is more relaxed than the big national shows. It’s more personal and a hands-on place to work with people outside their stores. I also love being around other sales reps.


Bare Your Soul

What is your most treasured possession?

My Daughter, SaraBeth

What inspires you?

People pursuing their passion

What historical figure do you admire?

Theodore Roosevelt

What is your favorite time of day?

Early Morning! I like to get up and get things done!

What is your least favorite word?

Serendipity

What are you currently reading?

START by Jon Acuff.  He is, hands down, the most real and relatable motivational author I’ve ever read.

What do you like to do on your day off?

Spending time with my wife and daughter

What is your favorite city to travel to?

Amador City, it’s an hour away from home, but there is a restaurant there called Buffalo Chips that makes the most incredible pie. 

Who would play you in a film about your life?

I’ve been told that I look like Ryan Gosling.  But, I’d probably say that Jim Parsons (Sheldon from Big Bang Theory) is a better representation of me.

What was your first job?

I was a paper boy.  I loved getting up early.

What was the worst job you ever had?

I temped at a bulk mail office.  I spent a whole day stuffing envelopes too small for their contents.

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

What makes you think I don’t have a superpower?  But, I can’t tell you what it is… it’s more powerful if I keep it a secret.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Listening to the Beastie Boys

What are you wearing on your feet?

Naot of course!

 

Come meet Mark and preview the Naot line at our next TRU Show event