What is your hope and desire for this new adventure of the wholesale line?
My hope and desire for this new adventure of the wholesale line is that we will be able to reach all types of people through the products that we produce. Whether you’re a recent college graduate in Colorado needing a simple pick-me-up or a single mom in Texas looking for daily encouragement, my hope is that our products will speak to you. At first glance, a customer may love the look of our gold foiled prints and can picture them perfectly in their Pinterest-inspired home. But in the end, my desire is that it will mean so much more than looking pretty in a dining room or nursery. The Lord’s hand is in EVERY aspect of our business, from designing to marketing and even to selling and packing. We let His light shine through us, and we believe this is our calling: to give, create, and inspire. It may sound silly, but every morning before I get to work I pray that God will point me in the right direction when trying to find new accounts. My hope is that these potential accounts would be inspired by our products and want them in their store to inspire their customers. And my desire is that our products will get in the hands of people in all walks of life, and that their lives will be forever affected by them.
How do you handle the process of taking on such a big adventure when things seem to be overwhelming?
One word: Scripture. If this new adventure has taught me anything it is that you must place ALL your trust in The Lord. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard. And I constantly feel like the pressure is on. However, I am continually encouraged by digging into The Word every night. Just last week I became disheartened by the fact that orders weren’t POURING in, but then there it was… God. His Word. His Voice. I opened my Bible and immediately came across my brother’s very first sermon as a senior pastor on February 19, 2012. He preached on John 17, which explains our purpose: we are here to spread the greatness of something and we were all created as mirrors, to reflect His Glory. Woah, God. I get it. My job as the Wholesale Account Manager is not just to place our products in stores for people to buy, but instead it is spread God’s love THROUGH our products. Now that just puts it all into perspective, doesn’t it? I have also learned to take things day by day with patience and grace. God has a funny way of teaching us lessons by putting us in roles that challenge us. For instance, I am the least patient person ever. Like, ever. And I’ll just tell you: building a wholesale business from the ground up doesn’t exactly happen overnight. However, I have had perseverance and determination instilled in me (thanks mom and dad!) so I am looking forward to watching where this thrilling adventure leads us!
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned so far from the wholesale line project?
The biggest thing that I have learned through this new adventure is that persistence is key. If I had given up on every potential retailer that told me “no” then we would never grow the wholesale business! As a previous buyer for several boutiques, I have learned the ins-and-outs of that side of the business so I try to put myself in their shoes. For instance, I know that NO ONE wants to be called at 4:55pm on a Friday afternoon or to be smothered with e-mails at 7:55am on a Monday morning. Our potential retailers are my pride and joy so I treat them like they are, with the upmost respect and willingness to help. I have dealt with far too many pushy, grumpy sales representatives in the past so I make it a point to be the total opposite of that. After all, treat others the way you want to be treated right?! My biggest learning lesson has turned into my biggest blessing. As much as I get discouraged by retailers who tell me “no,” I get just as encouraged by our existing retailers (this is where persistence pays off!). I cannot tell you how many times one of our accounts will e-mail us out of the blue just to thank us for what we are doing! Little do they know, their words holds a special place in my heart.
How did you decide that wholesale would be the next project S&G took on?
We decided that the wholesale side of the business was the next step because we wanted to cater to our customers in the best way possible. We get countless e-mails from customers asking how they can touch and feel the products before they purchase them. We felt as if launching the wholesale side was the next organic step for growth. We knew that if we wanted to flourish then we needed to get on the retail-train to build exposure for our brand! This is also where our passion for inspiring and building relationships came into play. We love when retailers believe in what we do and want to support our dreams of becoming a nationally recognized brand. Essentially, we would love for customers to walk into a store to shop our prints and leave feeling inspired to take on whatever life brings them!
Can I please just say that I am beyond excited for what’s to come for S&G?? We have a product calendar jam-packed full of categories that we feel like our customers will absolutely love! We also have several collaborations in the works (my lips are sealed unfortunately!) that we are humbled to be a part of this year! You’ll have to stay tuned and find out just what we have up our sleeves for 2015… trust me, it’s pretty good.
S&G Wholesale Manager