Where is Gift Rep Sandy Heading with Her Business?

After several months of posting about selling wholesale to gift shops, I thought you might like to know more about my business.

Currently, I am a semi-retired sales rep – semi-retired because I have limited my road travel and moved most of my business on-line.  I starting my rep business, Idaho Gifts Wholesale in 2001 (originally Lewis Clark Gifts – until the Bicentennial celebration was over when I changed my business name to reflect my new niche ).  From the start, I traveled three weeks a month from early March to late November. I loved my work!  Traveling around Idaho and Washington, visiting gift shops and working with producers was my life.

Then things changed for me …. I developed several annoying health issues!!  First, I sprained my ankle severely early in the spring taking me off the road for about eight weeks (and limping along for the balance of the spring season!).  Then I started forgetting too many things and dropping too many balls because I was too tired to make it through the day.  Seems like everything relating to my business went crazy after that:  Gas prices began soaring, the economy began its ‘bust’, gift shops in Idaho were struggling, I got in my first car accident in nearly 25 years … and my health continued to decline.

It didn’t take me long to ‘see the writing on the wall’ and I began beefing up my website and on-line presence.  If I couldn’t travel in the manner I and my buyers were accustom, I would need to use other avenues to maintain my business.

As it turned out, I found lots of different ways to promote gifts and network with other folks to maintain my business.  This blog is one of the off-shoots of the many brainstorming sessions my husband and I had looking for ways to use my knowledge and connections.

In case you were wondering, after nearly two years of doctoring, I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease (gluten-intolerance), and allergies to dairy and eggs as well!  Dealing with those changes has certainly turned my world upside down!!

Over the next weeks, I would like to share with you some of the resources I have found during my search that helped me and, hopefully, will help you to grow your business and market your products.

4 comments for “Where is Gift Rep Sandy Heading with Her Business?

  1. November 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Sandy, Sorry tohear about your health issues. Now we have the opportunity to see your creative ablity flowing on the internet.

  2. November 2, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Thanks Chuck! At least now I know what is going on with me!! For two years, I was beginning to wonder if I was developing Alzheimer or worse!

  3. Sharon Busch
    November 8, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Sandy, my daughter in law Sandy inspired me to start a business at 68 years old and now you are another Sandy giving me inspiration. I saved up money and am having a product manufactured and ready to take my show on the road starting Nov. 21, starting out at a local holiday gift show. Everytime Sandy came to visit me, she would say, I want this scoop someday. I had it for 45 years, a gift from my mom, and took it for granted. I still used it even with a broken handle. It was our ladle of choice. After a year long search on the internet and in stores, I could not find another ladle like it so I went about getting a design for my Soup Saver Scoop. It is fantastic! It gets all the chili and soup out of the pot and I use it as a food scraper too inside my cake pans and soup pots. My samples came last week and my order will be here soon. Like you, I want to sell online but I would also like to wholesale and have a rep in mind. If it takes off, I also have a similar spoon design ready to go. In the meantime I am working on my website and networking. Thanks for your wonderful website. It’s good to see you are not giving up in spite of some health issues. I will continue to follow your website.

  4. November 9, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks Sharon and congratulations on starting your business at 68! Please make sure to email me your website when it is up and going: giftrepsandy@gmail.com. My husband and I are “foodprenours” and are interested in seeing your spoon!

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