How Elevation Came To Be
This is my first blog. I often get asked “why aren’t you blogging, your business model is so important and such a unique concept?” Well to start, my age limits my technical abilities. Simple excuse. However, I recently attended a business conference where so many inspiring women spoke on the subject of blogging. I felt inspired to try it, and thought it might have been a sign for me to get going. “How hard can it be“ I thought to myself. Well here we go!
I have over 30 years in the gift industry and have alway worked for the “big boys”, aka the large manufacturers who make product overseas. It was often a hard sell, walking into a shop with product that everyone on the street had. I did tho became a very good salesperson because of it, and made a nice career for myself, working my way up in the corporate gift world. Even tho I had secretly envied the independent rep who got to work with beautiful products that were made in the USA, I still stayed put, bringing in a nice income for my family and enjoying the ride on a companies dollar when I traveled, both domestic AND international. It was a great career, but something big was missing...
Growing up, I ALWAYS asked my mother to pull over whenever we drove by a gift shop. I was obsessed with what treasures we would find inside. In the summer, if we went to the Cape for the day, it was even more special because of the numerous gift shops lining the streets. I was in HEAVEN! “Just one more shop mommy, PLEEEEEASE???? I babysat a LOT as a kid, so I always had a little bit of money to spend. Maybe that’s where my great work ethic began!
Fast forward to my teens, where one of my first jobs was at a Hallmark Gift Shop. Oh how I loved working there. The Daffodil. It was MAGICAL! It was there and at the age of 16, that I learned about the wholesale world. The vendors would come in and sell Steve (the owner) product for his shop. I remember peeking in on their meetings, to see what he was buying. Fascinating! When the product finally arrived at the store, it was like Christmas all over again. To THIS DAY I still get butterflies in my stomach when I receive samples from one of my artisans. Some things never change!
I ended up being very good in math and physics during my school years, so when it came time to pick a career/college major, it was a no brainer…engineering! I worked in that field for about 2 years, bored out of my mind. One day in the Sunday paper I saw an ad that simply said “gift sales”. WHAT??? Is there actually such a job? I quickly applied, got the job, and my career took off. I still find myself saying “I can’t believe I get paid to do this.” But something was still missing in my life, and that something was finally going to be fulfilled.
Being in management and moving up in my career left no time for volunteer work. Im a very giving person (by nature) and have always want to help people in need. In the last year of my “corporate” position, our company was taken over by an investment group and the changes began. The writing was on the wall that my career was about to end. Once that happened, covid hit, and you can image my predicament, being my age and without a job. Welcome Elevation!
I started Elevation with the idea that I would create my own collection of artisans, and sell their product into shops. What I discovered while doing my research, was the lack of information these artisans had on selling their product wholesale. They knew a lot about selling to the consumer, but very little about selling their product to a gift shop.
Elevation is all about teaching artisans (who are new to the gift industry), how to sell to a gift shop thru training videos, one on one consulting, and of course, the Secret Seller Market™, which gives artisans a chance at a trade show that is affordable and results driven. I bring in 12 vendors and invite 20 businesses to come in for a day to place orders for their shops. These are buyers who want to help support these local artisans. Elevation is building a community where we help each other, instead of compete with each other. Community over competition.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your interested in what we do. I look forward to my next blog and hope you enjoyed this enough to keep going!