VOW l New World of Bridal Keynote Speaker David Tutera

Today’s post is from our VOW l New World of Bridal Keynote speaker and renowned party planner David Tutera. David not only is a celebrity wedding and event planner, but is also the host of WE tv’s hit show “My Fair Wedding With David Tutera” where he whisks into wedding chaos a mere three weeks before a bride’s most important day and quickly transforms the fate of the party from less than ordinary to beyond extraordinary. David has also authored seven wedding and entertaining books, including the companion wedding guide to his tv show highlighting David’s philosophy that regardless of budget, every bride can have a fantasy wedding. ____________________________________________________________________________________

I’m so looking forward to my keynote presentation for VOW l New World of Bridal at AmericasMart in Atlanta on Thursday, September 20th. I’ll be sharing some insight into how I began my career, how I created success in the wedding business and how I’m now on the journey of building my brand.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to show my passion for providing a solution for the consumer that combines a proper price point with quality.

I hope to not only share insight into what I’ve done, both right and wrong, but I also look forward to opening up the floor to questions in hopes that I can shed some light on the business, the industry and the success of “My Fair Wedding” and how it’s opened up the ability for me to build my brand through television and the platform of media. – David Tutera

Image courtesy of Maring Visuals

Wendy Southers of The Knot will be presenting September 22 at VOW l New World of Bridal

Wendy Southers of The Knot will be presenting “5 Reasons Brides Leave your Website WithOUT Making an Appointment” on Saturday, September 22 at VOW l New World of Bridal. She’s our guest blogger today giving you a little tease of what she’ll be discussing during her seminar.

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Have you gone to a new dentist, hired a plumber, or tried out a new restaurant lately? Did you do a little research online before you went? We’re guessing you did! These days sites like Yelp, OpenTable, Angie’s List and many more have trained us to look around online before we commit to visiting a new establishment. We want to know that “other people” have had a good experience before we try it out for ourselves.

When it comes to shopping for the most important dress of her life, brides are all about doing online research before they visit a bridal salon. She’ll check out your website, your blog, your Facebook page and she’ll read reviews on sites like WeddingChannel.com to make sure that other brides had a good experience buying their gown from your store. Your website is often her first stop, and if she doesn’t like what she finds there, she’ll be on to the next.

Join me Saturday morning, September 22, to hear the five reason brides will leave your website without making an appointment. You’ll leave with practical steps to improve your website and turn more leads into dress sales! – Wendy Southers

Meet VOW Experts Panelist Barbara Coolidge Tibbetts

Atlanta Apparel is pleased to have Barbara Coolidge Tibbetts of T. Carolyn Fashions in Houston, Texas be one of the experts joining our VOW Experts Panel on Wednesday, September 19 at 4:30 p.m.

Barbara, the daughter of missionary parents, grew up in Trinidad, West Indies and went on to attend the University of Tulsa School of Music. Upon graduation she found herself participating in hundreds of weddings as a musician, giving her ample opportunity to observe the latest trends in bridal fashion.

For Barbara there was always a tug of war between music and business and after a trip to Seoul, Korea business won. Following this trip, she started an import company, Affordable Eelskin, and later added International Fine Leather. This was followed by a new venture in 1991 when she and her daughter Terrie opened T. Carolyn Fashions, a specialty formalwear boutique with a focus on dresses for the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom. Customers now travel from near and far seeking their “perfect” wedding attire.

Her experience as a musician along with her daily encounters with mothers shopping in T. Carolyn inspired her to author a book entitled “I Want My Mother’s Dress to Match the Napkins… Funny Stories and Serious Advice for Looking Your Best at Your Child’s Wedding.” Her book has inspired a new television series about mothers of the bride and groom debuting in January 2013. “Mother of the Bride” will spotlight Barbara and Terrie working with mothers searching for that special dress.

Read more about Barbara and all of our VOW Expert Panelists and the VOW | New World of Bridal Market on our website www.AmericasMart.com.

Meet VOW Experts Panel Moderator Patrice Catan

Arrive early to VOW | New World of Bridal to meet Patrice Catan of Catan Fashions in Stongsville, Ohio. Patrice will be moderating the VOW Experts Panel on Wednesday, September 10 at 4:30 p.m. so be sure to include an extra day in your travel plans so you do not miss this great event.

 In 1988 Patrice took the entrepreneurial drive she inherited from her father Pat Catan, a pioneer in the arts and crafts business, to build her own brand in the Bridal industry. Patrice’s 25 years of experience working in the family business provided her with a firm foundation for developing her vision of a bridal salon. Her vision has since grown into a mecca of fashion under one roof spanning 54,000 square feet.

In 2007, Patrice met wedding planner to the stars and VOW seminar Speaker David Tutera at a focus group and realized that branding in the industry was the next step to her success. This meeting led to David Tutera licensing her national bridal accessory line debuting to the bridal salon and boutique fashion industry at the September Atlanta VOW | New World of Bridal Market.

Patrice has succeeded as a business woman through hard work, creating camaraderie among people and the art of doing business with a handshake, which contributed to her father’s success. Learn more about Patrice, our other expert panelists and VOW | New World of Bridal by visiting our website www.AmericasMart.com

Bridget Brennan Explains “Why She Buys”

Keynote speaker Bridget Brennan, CEO of Female Factor and author of “Why She Buys,” delivered a seminar during the Apparel Market covering the importance of reaching women buyers. Women are the engine of the global economy and buy nearly 80% of all consumer products. This gives them power to influence company executives, demanding products and shopping experiences that meet their expectations.

During the seminar Bridget discussed gender-based differences in shopping habits, particularly when buying apparel. According to Bridget, men shop for a specific item and seek out basic information, like whether or not the garment fits. In addition, men tend to not be interested in being upsold by store associates since they generally spend time researching their purchases before ever stepping foot into a store. They also desire a quick and seamless shopping experience.

In contrast, Bridget says women seek exceptional customer service and often desire affirmation that the clothing and accessories they try on are not only flattering, but go together well. Women often want associates to make suggestions for items that will mix-and-match with the apparel they are trying on, thus giving retailers an opportunity to offer accessories and other pieces to either complete an outfit or take it from day to night.

Bridget has identified 6 global trends behind driving the growth of women’s purchasing power. First, more women are working than ever before giving them more disposable income. Second, many women are waiting longer to marry, with the average age of American women getting married for the first time now at 26 years of age. This rises to 30 for women who are college educated. Bridget reluctantly brought up the unfortunate statistics that nearly 50 percent of all marriages now end in divorce and women on average outlive men by 5 to 7 years. These last three factors have resulted in women spending more years of their lives single and greater numbers of single women.

Bridget references the fact that women are waiting longer to have children and are having fewer children as the fifth trend driving the increased purchasing power of women. This delay results in parents spending more money on their children and purchasing brands they like, influencing their children’s brand loyalty from an early age.

Finally, higher obesity rates among women are a driving factor in their demand for quality and high design. Bridget points out that while for year’s women who were overweight simply accepted not having stylish clothing available in their size; however, this complacency is no long acceptable to women. These days, larger women are demanding the same stylish fashions as their skinnier counterparts and will no longer settle for dowdy design.

Below are Bridget’s 10 tips for appealing to women buyers:

1)      Inspire by engaging her senses. Women shop for everyone in their lives and retailers should remember that she is always on the lookout for them as well as herself.

2)      Inspire her through the language you use in website copy, store signage, clothing and price tags.

3)      Help her feel confident rationalizing her purchase.

4)      Enthusiasm is contagious. Give her eye contact and a hearty welcome.

5)      Proactively show her items that go together.

6)      Think about who may be accompanying her while she is in your store. Provide chairs, magazines and other items that may make these people feel more comfortable while she shops.

7)      Learn to speak “female” in your marketing.

8)      Let your personality shine clearly and distinctly.

9)      Demonstrate your appreciation and give her a reason to return to your store.

10)   Women want to hear “Please” and “Thank you” when they.

Frederick Morelli’s Tips for Creating Eye-Catching Displays

AmericasMart was thrilled to have Frederick Morelli as our guest speaker on Friday for Apparel Market. Frederick creates eye-catching displays every day for Atlanta-based fab’rik boutique and was here to share his secrets with buyers.

First and foremost, Frederick emphasized the importance of always staying on message and continuously making certain that your displays are properly conveying your brand. With this in mind, here are our other favorite tips he presented for creating window displays that wow.

*Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone – There’s a lot of visual stimulation in our surroundings so think outside of the box and make your window displays stand out to passersby.

*Create a Focal Point – Emphasize your product by creating one powerful focal point and properly placing your product within the display.

*Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize – Use props and accessories, but make certain they are proportionate with your space and help tell a story and reinforce your setting. Accessories should draw the eye to your focal point.

*Be Bright! – As Frederick stated in the seminar, “Bright colors create happy people and happy people spend money.” Need we say more?

*Lighting is Key – Frederick believes lighting is one of the most underutilized yet most important features of display design. He suggests making your window display lighting twice as bright as the lighting within your store and to use spotlights to highlight and draw focus to the product you are seeking to feature.

Cast Your Vote for Your Favorite Emerging Designer!

We hope you caught yesterday’s Daily Strut featuring a snapshot of their designs, but you still won’t want to miss seeing the collections in their entirety. Plus, there’s still time to cast your vote for your favorite Emerging Designer.

Ballots may be picked up either at Registration or at any of the Emerging Designer’s booths located in Section 600 on Floor 2. By casting your ballot you will also be entered into our drawing for one of two great prizes! One lucky winner with receive 1 free hotel night during an upcoming Atlanta Apparel Market of your choice* and another person will cash in on a $100 gift card. The ballot box is located in the Emerging Designers section, across from Dressed Salads.

For more information about all of our featured Emerging Designers visit our website. Follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook Page to stay up-to-date on all of our Market happenings.

*Some restrictions apply