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I am a swimwear designer and I would like to approach buyers as my first form of sales revenue. My plan is to call on boutiques that sell swim, swim shops, and one department store. Are there essentials that are expected when approaching store. Do I go alone, or bring an "assistant" to look professional. What forms should I have in hand? What documentation/knowlegde should I be able to present (cost, line sheets, wholesale/retail price, markdown dates, etc)? Do I take all samples, rolling rack?

I just want to look like I have done this before. Also when calling what should be my dialogue. I usually begin by asking when do the start buying for next year, and then give a run down of the type of customer my line fits.

Thank you for the reply in advance.

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Do you know about " The National Register of Independent Sales Rep". There are sales rep who cater only for boutiques in that list, who travel extensively across US and Canada. Find someone who can work with you, find some designer wear manufacturers (who take up small runs of 5 -10 pieces per style). You can see your designs being sold across the boutiques/department stores becoming a reality. My advise - Horses for courses. For sales, sales representative is must, for manufacturing, manufacturer is must.
I dont knot whether this info helps.

Thanks / George
reach me at
This definitely does help. Thank you for the reference. My plan is to use sales representative I was wanting to make a little growth before I did but depending on what I find and agreement terms I may start right away.

Thank you
Know your buying season, swim is purchased in July August for the following year. I've learned a lot from Also, be cautious of Department store most have 90 day terms and want discount for markdowns before they pay you. I'm also going to look into the " The National Register of Independent Sales Rep", though most reps have suggested I get a PR firm first and get some PR.
I have call a couple of boutiques who say that they buy their swim around November. I working in buying for a large department and we would as most store do purchase Spring/Summer in the Winter. So I know right now it the best time to get in because start ships begin end of Feb. and sometimes mid March. But I just want to have my ducks in a row such as
How much marketing collateral (sales rack toppers,etc (boutiques would be less)?
Do I have to have advertising co-op money or is that optional? I can't remember if we advertised all of our vendors for ads. I will check out the "registry"
you don't need an assistant.
what you do need is to answer two questions:
what makes your swimwear unique?
what niche will your design fulfill?
the answers to those two questions will be your platform for selling.
edit your line well, so that it's tight.
show your best one and/or two piece.
patterned or solid.
describe every single positive thing about your swimwear line.

bottom line: you are trying to convince them to buy.

at the moment, becayuse of the recession, buyers have become cautious.
they are not buying as they once did.
they might buy the same ammount, but divide that into many doors, not just one.
that's the shift in retail, to ensure items sell at full retail price.

bring business cards, line sheets and list of prices.


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