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Learning Curve from Boutiques to BELK...

What a busy few weeks it’s been. I’ve been traveling all over from Las Vegas to New York promoting my line and, of course, teasing my new Belk collection every chance I get. Most recently, I went to Charlotte to meet with the vendor relations team at Belk, as well as my buyers, Christine and Emily, to start talking about all of the small details I never realized were so important.

Until now, Natt Taylor has been sold mainly in local boutiques and the process has been fairly simple. With Belk, it’s a whole different ballgame. Every item, in every size, color and style has to be coded and tracked with style numbers and UPC codes. During my meeting at Belk, I learned how to make that happen and talked about all of the logistical parts of this process I need to consider before my line ever hits the floor. To be honest, hearing all of this in our meeting seemed a little overwhelming, but at the end I was so grateful for the information Belk provided. It will be critical to my success with Belk now and in the future.

After meeting with the other Southern Designer Showcase winners and our Belk “teachers,” I met with my buyers to go over the final production samples. Everything looked so good! I was very excited to show it to the Belk team, and after seeing all of my pieces together, we decided instead of including two striped Lola tops, we wanted to do one striped and one solid to offer more variation for customers. It’s little insights like this that I know are making the collection the best it can be.


{LOLA Top, black and white stripe}

This meeting was a little bittersweet because we only have one more to go before our lines are in Belk stores and on belk.com in March. I’ve really enjoyed this process and I don’t want it to end, but I’m definitely ready to see Natt Taylor at my local Belk store at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta!

Learn more about BELK Designers and the entire process by visiting www.belkdesigncontest.com

 

From Belk Shopper to Belk Vendor!!

As an accountant in corporate America, I used the office wardrobe restrictions as inspiration to create fabulous clothing that was perfect for work and play. What started as a small company, selling my designs to my co-workers and eventually boutiques, has now blossomed into a wonderful and exciting partnership with Belk.

I have always been a Belk shopper, so having the chance to have my designs on the floor is really a surreal opportunity. I know that the experience will be a lot of work, but thankfully, I have a great mentor in my buyer, Christine, who has truly helped guide me in the right direction. She has been able to give me an insider’s perspective on how the Belk customer thinks and shops, and I know that information will be essential to making the line a hit.

For this collection, I am bringing in the tried-and-true pieces that I know customers have loved in the past, but I am giving them an exclusive, fun and vibrant twist just for Belk. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be hard at work getting ready for the next merchant meeting, where we’ll finalize the collection and take the next steps to get it ready to hit stores in Spring 2016.

I hope you’ll follow along as I work my way through this exciting process!