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.

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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.

 

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.