Hello I have been away from blogging for a while. I hope everyone is enjoying the autumn!
During my career I have been very lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to hold the 3 different roles in design commercialization. I have worn the different hats needed to understand the commercialization process. Although I have hold some experiences more time than others, I wanted to share my view with you about the 3 main roles :the buyer, the designer &the agent.
In this post I will focus in the the buyer:
In the very beginning I I worked as a textile designer,one of my teachers hired me right after college to work in a leader Textile company in Mexico. I was doing color ways and designs by hand along with preparing color cards according to the trends my manager was bringing from Paris & Milan. To me this was so chic and so exciting; every time that she went to buy designs, magazines and samples I actually felt like a children waiting for X'mas presents, I always looked forward for her to come back and show us all the treasures brought from the "magical land".
With the time this became a little obsession to me, I put into my head that one day I will visit the show and be the one doing the buying the "presents". After this job I worked in another companies I had the chance to travel to Europe on a personal trip thanks to my daddy and to see the "magical land" Still no textile show was in my horizon, after few steps I worked with a company that actually provided me the opportunity to attend my first show as a buyer. I was doing textile designs for children's, and I had enough seniority to be trusted to go to the world get designs, samples and magazines for them.Woooohooo !!!I think I didn't sleep for weeks before my trip and when I arrived and I saw all the amount of people and all the amount of designs presented there that I was so excited and overwhelmed with joy that words can not described. At the beginning I wanted of course sit with studio and see their collections and ask as many questions as words I could articulate, since the moment I stepped in the show, I knew one day I will exhibit there (and my dream come true!)
Anyhow with the time and season after season visiting the shows to buy designs I learned to be a very active and focused buyer. I couldn't afford to spend too much time admiring the amazing designs that were presented. After a long plain trip, jet lag, hours of walking in the shops to buy samples and inspiration, late dinners, the time I could actually spend admiring designs became very limited. So I focused in going directly to my favorite studios, to the ones I was at the time familiar with, that we have successful designs from and that actually feel connected.
When buying a design you have to think not only in that design but in the potential of that particular piece to use it as inspiration and multiply it into a collection with the in house design team in the company I worked for. I had to think not only in the trend but also in the market that I was buying for, I had to keep in mind our best sellers and also our own customers requests. And all of this had to be done while you are watching hundreds of designs not only from one studio but form different ones, so with the time I learned to appreciate that the studio I was buying from, knew well our style and requirements. I always appreciate courtesy and even the fact it was developing a good personal relationship with them. I loved when I haven't had the need to go trough tons and tons of designs with the same look but a collections with a good range yet homogeneous themes. I definitely was not happy to see same motifs repited and repited again in different designs, this can lead to your competitor having the same motif in a different compositions , that was and is a big NO NO in the industry.
As a buyer I always appreciate the studio taking time for our company rather than to try to provide service to several customers at the time, specially if the space is limited. I always appreciated flexibility but I what I loved the most was to see when the person in the studio love their own collection , when this was presented with passion and care, when a person is proud to present their work, is one of the things that keep me going back to that studio to do business with.
I hope this part of the experience gives you a little view of what is being of the other side of the table, I think in any successful business relationship, you have to have empathy with the other person and to do your best to understand the opposite role, this can definitely lead you to a win win situation which should be the purpose of any business.