SHANNA NASH KNOWS A FEW THINGS ABOUT TRADE SHOWS
What trade and consumer shows/outlets do you participate in, and how did you come to find them?
I have been selling my lines, SNASH JEWELRY (snashjewelry.com) and GROUNDSCORENYC (groundscorenyc.com), at Artists & Fleas market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for the past three years. I have also participated in other wholesale and retail events in 15 cities through groups including Renegade, Urban Craft Uprising, Crafty Bastards and, most recently, POOLTRADESHOW where I have acquired most of my recent wholesale accounts. I travel almost every weekend in the busy summer and holiday months and tend to lean towards more local NYC events in the spring and fall.
How do you prepare for a trade show vs. a consumer show? Similarities and differences?
Typically, I try to get to know my audience beforehand. If I am prepping for a retail event, I try to check out the location of the show, the stores in the area, and images of previous events; getting a feel for the neighborhood and the style of the folks that both vend and attend the show is very important to me. I’m able to tailor my collection to appeal to that specific crowd - showcasing the pieces that would resonate with that consumer the most. In wholesaling situations, I do some research and cold calling of shops that may be attending. I try to research them beforehand as well to get a feel for what they may want for their customers. Prepping for wholesale is more about “knowing your buyer” as they already have a great feel for their own customer.
How are both outlets important to your business at this stage in your growth as an emerging brand?
While direct-to-customer sales have the highest profit margin, they are not always the most profitable. It is often the exposure I receive through wholesalers that allow my brands to reach a wider audience. Wholesaling often showcases my jewelry to customers I would not be able to find on my own - it has also opened the doors to additional wholesalers, articles, magazine shoots, flash sales, and gallery exhibitions. While direct sales are the best way to gain a basic customer base, I find that my business has a greater “snowball effect” from wholesaling.
As an art-inspired, independent designer and with the goal of growing your business, how do you stay true to your roots?
I started making jewelry because I didn’t like what was available in most stores. I tried making pieces that were original in design but fit my personal design aesthetic - a little weird, offbeat, non-traditional and sometimes wacky and humorous. Now that I am selling my product on a wider scale, I try to integrate my original aesthetics into designs that have a mass market appeal. I still get to be true to the designs that interest me, but now think of the end customer and their interests. I still only create pieces that I love to wear myself.
Have you participated in any educational seminars & how can they benefit a newer brand?
I have done most of my learning from others in the business - friends I have met along the way at shows and markets - making mistakes, having hunches, and taking risks. While I have not been to any formal training for tradeshows, I have learned about the business just by participating in the business.
What stores or boutiques are you hoping to be in next?
I am hoping to join in both small and large shops around the country - larger online web stores and print. I would like to continue trying all angles in selling - both retail and wholesale - and see how far SNASH JEWELRY and GROUNDSCORENYC can go. I plan on opening a storefront which will combine both the wholesale and retail aspects I have become familiar with. Hopefully soon!