Camaraderie Among IFJAG Members Brings In Buyers to Las Vegas
Exhibitors at the International Fashion Jewelry & Accessory Group (IFJAG) show, held Feb. 2–5 at the Embassy Suites in Las Vegas, were able to meet with buyers on a more intimate and personal level.
For this show, held in hotel suites, buyer attendance was on a positive note. Don Valcourt, IFJAG’s managing director, said 20 percent of attendees were visiting for the first time and many were from medium-size regional chains comprising between eight and 20 stores.
While the competitive nature of the apparel-and-accessories industry kept members in the past from inviting their clients to the show for fear of losing business to other exhibitors, Valcourt felt IFJAG businesses were now warming up to the idea. “In the past, members would keep quiet and they wouldn’t tell their customers about the event, but this time they invited them to the show,” he said.
For Lesley M. Wilbur, who is the North Billerica, Mass.–based senior buyer for Western wear and accessories company Back in the Saddle, the show remains an important resource. She was searching for turquoise and patina jewelry in addition to lace scarves that would complement her customers’ wardrobes.
“At this show, everybody is always attentive. These vendors really want to work with you,” she said. “There is something for everyone here, and the prices are great. It freshens everything up, whether you’re a store, catalog or online. You just have to keep flipping through the boards and you’ll find something.”
For Summer Schriner, owner of Lansing, Mich.’s Grace Boutique of Old Town, the show afforded opportunities to find vintage-inspired pieces. During her first time at the show, she was searching for items wholesaling from $5 to $40 for her female clientele, which ranges in age from 15 to 65. While she was happy about the show, she did offer one caveat for other buyers. “The price points are fantastic, but you have to keep in mind that it’s for larger quantities,” she said.
As a member exhibiting at the show for more than 15 years, Nyne Accessories owner Gopal Kohli has experienced it all at IFJAG while selling his jewelry, wraps and scarves, which wholesale from $2 to $12. During this show, he found some new business for his San Francisco–based company and fielded requests for samples, as many of the buyers he met will place orders weeks after the show.
“Overall, we picked up a few new clients, which is good,” he said. “Our board has done a great job of piggybacking onto other shows that get our clients into one city with four or five shows. It has been proactive at accommodating domestic and international clients.”