“We have been buying from India now for over 27 years and while handmade products take time, their point of difference is a major drawcard and attraction for us," says Brandt.
“We love what we do and have the energy and joy of designing new lines—new samples arriving still feels like Christmas Day for us. Showcasing them to our customers brings a gratification and happiness which extends well beyond just a career.”
Brandt adds that it in order to stay relevant and understand the customer, a buyer needs to be able to sell and know what sells within the storefront. “This knowledge doesn’t just come from a spreadsheet of sales―spending time and conversing with our retailers is the most important part for us.”
One way to keep front of mind is by exhibiting at trade fairs.
“Products in such a tactile and visual industry will continue to need to be seen and felt—we hope personal contact will continue, the interaction of coming to know who they are dealing with, and have the desire to interact with new product, and the people who love them.
“Believe in yourself, stand behind your buying. Be there to sell your products as well―no one sells and understands your products as well as you do. The feedback from retailers is vital. Too many unsuccessful exhibitors show products at fairs they have not even purchased from their makers, we always only show what is ordered.”
Additionally, customers can reorder directly from the company’s website as well. “Our website is due to be again refined and improved upon in February 2019. We reach clients with a comprehensive and forever evolving site.
“Career experience and earned trust go a long way for sure, yet we need to move with the digital times, so our website is ‘live’ and updated daily and we are always looking to improve this experience where we can.”
Brandt says that they see themselves similar to a small luxury hotel rather than a Hilton, for example―the company offers a vast range of high end looking pieces with a fair and honest price tag.
“Our bestselling range would have to be our mirror trays with chrome trim. The finish is flawless and as high end as possible, making them a fabulous wedding, corporate or special occasion gift.
“We seek to be worth knowing rather than well known. Our honesty and integrity we trust will see us known fondly. At all times, taking a client perspective in our decisions rather than an individual perspective is critical. Our great product and forever changing ranges mean you will never see us ‘comfortable’ with where we are—that expectation and drive to always do better keeps us on our toes,” adds Brandt.
Top tips for retailers:
1. Know the floor plans of trade fairs and understand that time needs to be spent in all locations. When we travel we can never assume that we will find new products, because previously we haven’t―all areas of fairs need to explored. So too, great exhibitors always have new products, allow time on each stand and ask what’s new, you can usually tell from the crowds on stands.
2. Grow relationships with your suppliers. For us a highlight has certainly been the friendships we have made over the years, with many of our original customers continuing to build successful businesses with us. We have come to know their families, partnerships, and the intricacies of their market area, and continue to support their successful business growth. Their ongoing success is our success.
3. Stay relevant and constantly be aware of trends and display ideas through Instagram and the like. We find great display ideas and mixing of products, by saving screen copies of images and mixing and matching existing products to update their look.
Meet Flair Gifts & Home at stand DZ13 at the upcoming AGHA Sydney Gift Fair at Sydney Olympic Park (23-26 February 2019). Entry is free for industry professionals. Visit sydneygift.com.au for more information and to find out how you can attend this trade event.