The 2012 Toronto Shoe Show is on this weekend and the excitement is mounting! I remember the first show I attended in August 2009. I imagined rows upon rows of wholesalers, excited about exhibiting their new spring/summer fashions; while retailers study, scrutinize and analyse which collection they’ll bring in their store. I eagerly walked in through the first set of doors, waited in line to register, my excitement was building and then after much awaited anticipation, I entered the next set of doors. This lead us inside a bustling scene, 10 fold what I imagined! I soon realized that beside this area there were more boardrooms, and suites in the Hotel adjacent to the Centre, all filled with more exhibitors. Wow, where do I start? Fortunately I was already working with a couple of wholesalers (Patrick a distributor for Everybody and France Mode, and Cyrelle with Amalfi and Prevata) who advised me not to get overwhelmed, and to ensure that prior to attending the show, I had an idea what kind and how many shoes I needed to bring in the store for the spring/summer and most importantly to stay focused. I had researched suppliers I wanted to visit and highlighted them on the map, I thought I had everything planned out and under control. Well, that all seemed to go by the wayside once I entered the second set of doors. Can you imagine 3 football fields of shoes? Luckily Gloria who manages the store for me kept me on track. I kept reminding myself the words of wisdom given to me by my mentors, looked at my map and headed towards the exhibitors.
I reached my first dealer, The Indeka Group. Their brands include Born, Marc Fisher, Guess, Santana, Ivanka Trump, Sofft and BOC. I began to look around and now I was the one studying, scrutinizing and analyzing the hundreds of shoes, wondering which shoe will be the hot item 8 months from now. Which shoes are going to be the best sellers, the talk of the town, the ones who will have customers tell two friends, who will tell two friends, and so on and so on. I completed my first order, whew, on to the next. 8 hours, 7 suppliers, 20 brands and 300 shoes later, I completed my mission. I was so excited for spring and summer to come around, never wishing time away of course, but this experience left me with a great sense of accomplishment, excitement and anticipation.
Then the doubt sets in, did I choose the right ones? Stay tuned.