First, the huge news – BRODEY IS BACK!!
After a year of maternity leave, Brodey has settled back in to the team over the summer. We’re super-pleased to have her back in the office and the showroom has never looked better!
If you’re reading this, you might have noticed a new look to our website too. With all of the change over the summer, I thought it would a great time to give the site a face-lift and add a few features that I’ve been thinking about.
The front of the site has a new look, but navigation and the features are the same. There listings of all of our lines by industry along with each one’s toll free customer service line & a link to their website. You can still log in and download current digital catalogues, pricing and recent promotions (so you don’t have to dig through your emails to find “that pen special”…). New to the download section is a social media graphics section where you can grab recent posts to easily add to your own feed. We’re hoping that we can make it easy for you to grab quick content to keep your socials current & engaging for your customers.
You might have also guessed that we added a new blog section to the site. This is an idea that came from a practice that I’ve had for a few years of emailing our team my notes from sales meetings daily to do my best to keep them “in the loop” as much as possible without actually being at the meeting. What I found was that they would always have some really good questions for me when I got home – stuff that I had seen tons of times (all types of embellishment, design inspirations, even just what key staff members that they interact with every day look like…) but that they had never been exposed to. That’s exactly the idea here. I hope to share with you cool tidbits from the road that I might not have a chance to talk about in our meetings & phone calls together. Hopefully I can teach you something new that you can use in your client meetings or on the sales floor.
Transition to Cutter & Buck
In early May, we learned that the TaylorMade brand had been sold by Adidas to KPS Capital out of California. All early indications were that all would be “status quo” moving forward, but as June progressed, we learned that the new TaylorMade ownership group intends to separate the brand completely from Adidas including Canadian distribution and administration. As of October 1st the two companies will begin operating completely independently, and our contract with TaylorMade Adidas Golf ends.
In a stroke of sheer luck, I had the opportunity to meet Shane Brett from Cutter & Buck at a show earlier in the year. When Shane heard of the sale of TaylorMade, he reached out to see what our plans were going forward. At the time, I knew of C&B, but didn’t know a ton about the company or product line, so I dug in… Cutter & Buck had previously been distributed in Canada (5+ years ago) by the Caulfield Apparel Group out of Toronto. When ownership of Cutter changed hands around that time, they decided against the independent distribution model and parted ways with Caulfied.
For the past several years, C&B has been shipping to Canada from their two US distribution facilities in Seattle and in Kentucky. Shane invited me to their international sales meetings early in the summer and I was beyond impressed with the size of the company and more importantly their focus on great people and their “Customer First – Make it Right” philosophy. Clearly, as much as the brand hasn’t enjoyed a ton of attention in Canada recently, they are absolutely rocking in the US (as evidenced by their massive list of PAPI, ASI & embellishment awards every year).
It took the whole sales meeting plus a visit to Winnipeg by Shane (some might call it thick-skulled…) for me to realize that Cutter & Buck’s approach is completely different than the brands that we have so proudly represented up to this point. Where all of our previous lines have built awesome, massive – sometimes multi-national retail brands and then chosen product from their retail collection to carry more deeply & offer to the promotional products industry, Cutter & Buck takes exactly the opposite approach. They are a supplier to the promotional products industry first, and do a great job of selling to the menswear, big & tall, and golf retail markets as a way to support the brand – for the promotional products industry. It’s an awesome strategy and I’ve honestly never witnessed anything like it. A great brand, with unbelievable product, with a full corporate catalogue (mens & womens coordinates, up to 5xl in mens) in stock all of the time, and with the programs & support materials designed specifically for promo?… I”M IN!!!
This October, Cutter & Buck and their 2 other brands, Clique and CBuck have opened a massive, state-of-the art distribution facility in Toronto and begin a “blitz” to reintroduce Cutter & Buck, Clique & Clique Basics to Canada. We’re so excited to have been lucky enough to join such an unbelievable team at the very beginning. If you’ve been to our showroom lately, you’ve seen that we’re 100% ready for fall with a full lending library, catalogues and all of the support materials necessary to launch this thing. We can’t wait to show it all to you & get you as excited as we are about this new addition to the Canadian promo market!
Ashbury by Spector & Co.
Equally exciting is a brand new category launch by our friends at Spector & Co. Ashbury by Spector is a small but beautifully sophisticated collection of bags that was more than a year in the making. We can’t believe that the team was able to keep the development of of the collection under wraps that long – especially considering how awesome the product looks! The line consists of four small collections ranging from $9.50 to $56 retail. Early feedback has been phenomenal to the point that we’re having a hard time keeping enough samples in the showroom to make a proper presentation! Click the image above for a preview & more details on this line to come in another post very soon.
I know that we’ll be talking soon but in the meantime, I’d really love to hear any feedback about the new site, the blog, and of course our lines. Please share this post with anyone who you think might be interested & we welcome all comments below.
Have a good one,