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As a designer how many times do you dream to be in the fashion capital of the world? Many times right?

At least I remember my first trips to NYC strolling by Soho, wandering the so called showrooms, browsing windows for some inspiration, and simply dreaming to showcase/sell my work in New York.                               One day about seven years ago I found a gallery of art, and they were interested in my jewelry line. I got so excited and thought OMG! I will be in NYC, but my dream of being in NYC wasn’t that easy and didn’t last long.

First, the agreement the gallery wanted to work on wasn’t convincing to me, as much as I really wanted to be in NYC. I felt the gallery wasn’t after all doing something beneficial for me as an artist, but mostly for their own convenience. So that was my first attempt to get in NYC. A year later the gallery closed.
Later on I did the American Made Show in Baltimore. and met the buyer from the Art and Design Museum in NYC who fell in love with my collection, and has carried my line ever since. It was amazing to sell my crochet collection to the MAD Museum in NYC.

I love New York, and I have kept looking for opportunities to continue growing as a jewelry designer, attending trade shows in New York and in other cities in the United States, for the past three years.
The Peru Trade Commission in NYC has helped me showcase my work in different opportunities. While doing these fabulous shows in New York, I met another Peruvian jewelry designer Andrea Bocchio. Over the years we developed a friendship.
We collaborated at different events together and one day Andrea mentioned a project she was launching with Michelle Peglau of Hortensia. The project will be called “El Mercado Peru” and it would be a curated pop up shop where Peruvian Designers would come together and be represented at one place. Of course location was key to the success of this pop up shop as well as many other things that come along opening a shop. They found a high traffic area in the heart of Manhattan with a lot of corporate offices around as well as tourist traffic.

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El Mercado Peru launched on October 18th and will run through Nov. 15th, 2015. Next time you are in NYC stop by and visit us. The first Peruvian pop up shop is located at 501 Lexington Ave. New York NY. 10017
If we go back to my question, “Is your design ready for New York?,” or any other international market:

  • So before you consider entering international markets like New York consider this:
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    Good Luck Adjustable bracelet $68 www. elmercadoperu.com

    New York is definitely so fashionable and trendy, there are pieces that sell more in NYC that at other markets, for example in my case the trendy silver adjustable good luck adjustable bracelet does fabulous in New York.

  • If you are thinking to invest in a project, make sure the project will help your brand/product  grow; make sure  your sales representative  feel proud to carry your line.
  • Trade shows are a great place to sell your products at a bigger scale but first visit them before you invest money on them.
  • If you agree to have your products sold on consignment, make sure the agreement is clean, clear and fair for everyone involved.
  • With social media being so important nowadays, make sure you are not just waiting for your sales representative to push your product, do your own social media and send people to your reps, or the stores that carry your products. The more they sell the more they will re-order from you;)
  • Have a great communication with all of those selling your products from sales reps, to museum buyers, etc.

Let me share with you what Michelle Peglau has to say about “El Mercado Peru”, and maybe their business model will be a great fit for your product;)

 

Best of LUCK!

Evelyn

I totally believe in universal signs, energy, cosmic paths, etc., etc…or perhaps I shall say that it is my SECRET to some of my success, like in the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne.

THINK. BELIEVE. RECEIVE.

I’ll tell you one of my recent experiences where letting fate take the wheel and following universal signs turned out to be one of my best decision this year!

The Javits Center in New York City. (Photo from http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20critique.html)

The Javits Center in New York City. (Photo from http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20critique.html)

Last summer I participated in the New York International Gift Show, now known as NY NOW. I loved participating because it took place inside the Javits Center, an impressive glass convention center in the heart of NYC. For the winter edition I wasn’t able to participate because my due date for baby Stella was the same weekend the show was happening. So I said, “OK…I will come back this summer.”

When I applied for it, they did not want to put me in personal accessories because it was full! The hand-made arts division is nearly impossible to get in because many come back (and it is just simply difficult to get in to that category, no matter what!). Many people wait for years to even get in the wait list!

My only option was to be in the “Newest Designers” division. I normally wouldn’t mind being there again (this was the division I was in last year), although this time they put the newest designers back in Pier 94!

How far away Pier 94 is! It's a 10-minute drive in good traffic!

How far away Pier 94 is! It’s a 10-minute drive in good traffic!

Pier 94 is off of the Javits Center premises, so buyers would have to take a shuttle bus to come see Evelyn Brooks Designs. Many of the buyers at Pier 94 go there on the last day of the show. Many say, “Oh, I’ll come back tomorrow,” and others just get so tired they don’t go to the pier at all!

So let me ask you this: Why would I pay almost $5,000 to be in a place where not everybody will go to??

On top of that, when I spoke to the center representative that was supposed to provide me with ALL the information I needed and be helpful, she was extremely RUDE to me during our phone conversation! She acted like she was doing me a favor to place me on the newest designers section, when in fact, that was the worst possible solution for me and my business. And to make the situation worse, it took them weeks to return my calls!

But the thing is — I respect the NY NOW show VERY much. It opens up doors to many designers and gives them amazing opportunities, and for that, I have so much respect for the show. But it is very disheartening to hear that not only do I have to pay $5,000 to attend something that may cause me to LOSE money, but to also receive poor customer service.

So I needed to do something about it — immediately.

I was open to other options, so I decided to look into other shows that are as big as the NYC NOW show. And luckily I found one.

The AmericasMart in Atlanta during Fashion Week! (Photo from http://tmarielewis.blogspot.com/)

My next call was to the America’s Mart in Atlanta.

From the first call I made, they answered me right away. If I had to grade their customer service, I would easily give them an A+. They were SO helpful!

And even though I’ve had my business for a few years, I still don’t know everything when it comes to trade shows, and to a lot of shows, I am a new designer. So obviously, when it came to finding out how I could get a spot at the America’s Mart in Atlanta, I had a lot of questions.

But you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Trust me on this one, do not feel afraid to ask about anything!

Anyways, I did all my paperwork with the amazing help of Grace Creta, who would be my contact for the show, and things were starting to move along!

I was thinking about doing the Atlanta Gift Show next year, not this year because I just baby Stella, BUT I had already made the decision to not go to NYC unless I was placed inside the Javits Center. And I was sticking to that decision no matter what.

Sweet Tyler and precious baby Stella! Big brother loves his little sister!

Sweet Tyler and precious baby Stella! Big brother loves his little sister!

I followed all the good and bad signs about leaving the NYC Show and moving forward with the Atlanta show, and everything seemed to just fall in place.

I’m excited to say that we’ll be a part of the America’s Mart July edition in Atlanta!

But I wouldn’t have been able to make that decision if I hadn’t paid attention to all of the signs and circumstances pushing me away from the NYC Show.

At first, not going to New York was a very intimidating and stressful decision, but in the end, something better came along!

The America’s Mart Show in Atlanta will run from July 12th -16th, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®.

For directions, parking and more information, check out the show website!

Evelyn Brooks Designs will be at BOOTH:914 in the Museum Gift Section – BUILDING 3! We are so excited to present my latest collection and bring it to new markets in Atlanta!

And I have a a feeling it is going to be a great opportunity for Evelyn Brooks Designs

Once again there is a reason for everything, so sometimes you just have to let go of being in control, and let yourself follow fate when making business decisions. Trust me, it all works out!

Also be sure to follow Evelyn Brooks Design’s Twitter and Facebook to stay updated about our events!

Sincerely,

Evelyn Brooks