Market tours with Rawlins Gilliland, retail expert and previous national director of sales and product at Neiman Marcus, are always a big hit with buyers looking for products to set them apart. With the demand of Rawlins’ tours growing, I headed out to collect some of his best tips and highlights to enliven sales and expand buyers’ customer bases.
We began the tour in SCENE, our juried temporary show on the 13th floor of the World Trade Center. Rawlins’ larger-than-life personality was a treat and he exceeded everyone’s high expectations throughout the whole tour.
Rawlins started by explaining, “what matters to me is what matters to you – SALES!” With every temporary exhibitor we visited, he went through his checklist of:
  1. Why does it get my attention?
  2. What’s the minimum order? (Rawlins loves low minimums)
  3. What’s the price range of products carried?

Rawlins’ signature phrase throughout every tour is “you know that’ll sell!” and it stayed the theme at all 13 exhibitors we visited.
So, what’s on Rawlins’ radar for the upcoming seasons?

– “They’re looking fresh to me again.”

Signature earrings – “You can only wear one pair of earrings at a time, so why not get a signature pair?”

Simplicity – “I try not to complicate trends that are supposed to be simple."

Pockets – “Modern women want pockets.”

– “Western pieces mixed in with trendy pieces look fresh.”

“Hoop earrings, bangles and attitude.”

Global looks
– “If you want to buy it, ask yourself, does it have a global look?”

Edge – “The only reasons you shouldn’t like something is if it is poorly made or doesn’t have an edge.”
At the end of the tour, Rawlins’ southern hospitality shone through when he offered his contact information to the group, just in case anyone wanted his opinion on product during their time at Market.
For new and veteran buyers alike, Rawlins’ tour was extremely valuable. Be sure to pencil in some time to attend Rawlins’ tours at the next Total Home & Gift and Apparel Markets!
Temporary exhibitors visited:
  1. Love Tokens
  2. Divine Jewelry
  3. Bohemian Cowgirl
  4. Custo Barcelona
  5. Lauren James Co.
  6. Pouchee
  7. Zenzii
  8. Teresa Rodriguez Designs
  9. Soybu
  10. Oka B
  11. Walleska Ecochicc
  12. Blue Pacific Fashion
  13. Restricted Footwear