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.