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 (, 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


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  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.



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.


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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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

Meet Debra Hendsch

Debra Hendsch is part of a growing collection of accessories sales people that find TRU Show to be a successful place to meet current clients and grow their client network. Hard at work, Debra made time for us to get the scoop on her career and current role selling bags for baggalini and Sven.


Tell me about baggalini?

The baggalini company was started by Dixie and Anne, both flight attendants for Delta. In their line of work they wanted a stylish, light weight bag that could help them stay organized while on the road, so they designed and sold their product in the busy travel lounge to colleagues in the airline industry. As the travel business evolved and sales grew, they began to sell their product into the wholesale market.

In 2011 they were purchased by RG Barry, a developer and marketer of accessory lifestyle products that provide fashion and function.

You also represent Sven Design Bags.  What are some of the features that make their bags unique…?

Sven Design began in Berkeley over 40 years ago. These are primarily US made bags with supple soft leather that endure over time. We like to say that these bags don’t wear out, they wear in. Our customers value longevity in their handbags. The style, functionality, and craftsmanship make Sven bags timeless.

How long have you been coming to TRU Show?                                               

I’ve been with TRU Show for about 5 years. It’s a great place to meet with current customers and find new sales opportunities. It’s a civilized, convenient place for me and the buyer to conduct business. The viewing area down stairs is a great way to demonstrate to buyers who is at the show and what products are available to them.

How did you begin in this industry?

In the mid 1980s, I was a gift rep. I gravitated to bags and travel. I liked the consistency of the travel and luggage market. The people who work in this industry are a tight group of people who I’ve gotten to know and trust.

What do you love about your job?

I enjoy the long term relationships I’ve developed through this line of work. I’m also a mom and having my own ability to plan my schedule was invaluable to me. Every day is different. I get to travel and encounter different work experiences each day.


Bare Your Soul

What is your most treasured possession?

My health.

What inspires you?

Kindness, Beauty, Family & Friendships.

What historical figure do you admire?

It would have to be a woman… Hillary Clinton.

What is your favorite time of day?


What are you currently reading?

Edna O’ Brien, A memoir of a county girl.

What do you like to do on your day off?

Workout, Hike.  I like to be physically active.

What is your favorite city to travel to?


What word do you hate?

Awesome… overused!

What was your first job?

I was a retail clerk at Halle’s, a department store in Cleveland, Ohio.

What was the worst job you ever had?


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


What sound do you love?

The Ocean.


Come meet Debra and preview the next season’s line from baggalini and Sven Designs at our next TRU Show event.


Meet David Young

David Young was on the road visiting retailers between Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo when I caught up with him to ask a few questions about the shoe business and his role as a salesperson for Frye Men’s shoes and accessories. A native to Northern California, David now resides with his family in San Diego County. He is regularly on the road visiting his clients up and down the Golden Coast.

How long have you been in the shoe business?
I started in this industry 38 years ago.

And, where did you get your start?
Selling shoes at Macy’s department store!

Tell us about the Frye Brand.
I have represented multiple shoe lines in women’s footwear for quite a while. More recently, I’ve been representing Frye men’s shoes and accessories. The Frye Company is one of the oldest US manufacturers of boots and shoes. They opened their doors in 1863 and last year celebrated their 150th anniversary. In that time, they pioneered new materials, patterns, and even invented new machinery for making their shoes. Their style and craftsmanship have come to represent classic American style. Their mission has always been the same, “to make the best-looking, hardest-working, longest-lasting shoes and leather goods.”

What do you love about your job?
It’s great to interact with the customer and build great working relationships. As I get to know each buyer, their store, and their customer base, I can help them assort product offerings tailored to each client. Strong client relationships and customer satisfaction are what drive me.

How long have you been coming to TRU Show?
I’ve been going to TRU Show for 6 years. It’s a great, comfortable place to meet with clients. They can get away from their stores and really spend time looking at product and making decisions. TRU Show is also a great place to meet new customers that come to the show.

Bare Your Soul

What is your most treasured possession?

My family (David is married with two boys.)

What inspires you?

Hard Work, Getting the job done!

What historical figure do you admire?

Jackie Robinson (David is a baseball fanatic.  His favorite team…the San Francisco Giants)

What is your favorite time of day?


What is your least favorite word?


What do you like to do on your day off?

Rest and relaxation with the family

What is your favorite city to travel to?

San Francisco

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Damon Wayans

What was your first job?

Flipping burgers at McDonald’s

What was the worst job you ever had?

I was a forklift driver.

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

I’d want to be able to heal the sick.

What are you wearing on your feet?

Frye’s Phillip Harness Boots


Come meet David and see the FRYE brand at our next TRU Show event