Without formal training, Anne had no idea how to get her clothes into shops. “People said, ‘You have to get a rep,’” she said. “I didn’t have the money for a rep.” So through friends she connected with Caryn Kelly of Melly, a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store in Minneapolis.
“It takes a certain personality to wear her clothes, and that’s the personality of my store,” said Caryn. “Polished, yet chic. Not trendy, but on trend.”
Caryn helped Anne put together a line sheet, which manufactures use to provide information on their product, and gave her insight into how retailers buy. But rather than sending just a line sheet, Anne went against the tide and sent each retailer a Flynn skirt in a wrapped box with a personalized hand note saying, “This is a gift for you. You don’t need to return it.” Nine retailers signed on immediately.
Now, thanks to the success of her Flynn skirt, Anne’s rolling out a complete fall collection with her favorite fabrics: Silk, cashmere and wool. Her most important revolutionary lesson? “Present yourself well and with confidence, but don’t lose your little sparkle,” she said. And find the support you need to succeed.
Jennifer Jeanne Patterson is a freelance writer and author of 52 Fights. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three children. Find her blog at Unplanned Cooking.
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