Guest Blog Post: A Trunk Show Tryout with Mai Flores
Mai Flores—jewelry designer and author of Wrapped in Gems: 40 Elegant Designs for Wire-Wrapped Gemstone Jewelry —has a trunk show this month at legendary Fifth Avenue boutique Henri Bendel. It runs from February 4th to the 6th, so stop by if you’re in New York City!
If you’re wondering what it feels like being selected for an exclusive retail opportunity, Mai’s just the person to ask. Click through for a behind the scenes account of the day she was chosen to participate in her first trunk show at Henri Bendel—and get a free project download for her Icicle Drop Necklace, too!
“Competition for trunk show slots among potential designers is intense. The first step is usually a casting call. Last November, I attended “Open See,” a casting call that allows up-and-coming designers to show their collections to important buyers in New York. The event is well known in the design community—it helped launch the careers of design stars like Anna Sui, Todd Oldham, and Stephen Burrows, among others!
It’s so popular that designers begin lining up the night before for the twice-a-year audition. You have to wait for hours, but once the event begins the pace is extremely fast. You only have a few moments to impress the buyers! As I waited in line outside, I saw a few people come out jumping with excitement and shedding tears of joy. But I also saw many more that exited with tears of disappointment. Everyone waiting in line was very friendly and supportive of each other. However, once you enter, you’re on your own. As I walked in, I saw people in front of me showing their merchandise to the buyer and being turned away within ten seconds! You never know exactly what the buyers are looking for. I was so nervous.
When it was my turn, I took a deep breath, quickly pulled out my jewelry (which I had stored in easy-to-roll-out displays), and laid my pieces on the table. I barely heard one of the buyers, who spoke very softly, say ‘It’s beautiful.’ She then spoke louder and asked, ‘Are you interested in doing trunk shows?’ I enthusiastically replied, ‘Yes!’ She gave me her card and told me to call her, then my time was over and they called the next person. I held that card tightly, knowing that it was my entry ticket. I barely remember walking out. It was as if I was floating. I tried to control it but I, too, began crying. Luckily, they were tears of joy!
The trunk show itself was a wonderful experience. It is an amazing opportunity to be able to sell my jewelry in the heart of New York’s Fifth Avenue shopping district—and at such a legendary store. I met so many people from all over the world and saw many famous people come in and shop. I think it’s really fantastic that Henri Bendel continues to give new designers the opportunity to sell their products at their store, right next to goods from the world’s most famous designers. I can’t wait to do it all over again!”
Don’t forget: Mai’s next trunk show at Henri Bendel will be February 4-6, so stop by if you’re in New York City! Or download the Icicle Drop necklace project from Wrapped in Gems, and make your own statement piece at home.
Wrapped in Gems
40 Elegant Designs for Wire-Wrapped Gemstone Jewelry
By Mai Sato-Flores and Jesse Flores
Category: Crafts & Hobbies; Crafts & Hobbies - Jewelry
Format: Trade Paperback
On Sale: December 2, 2008