Susan Fotos has an eye for new talent—she has long carried Alex Sepkus—so when she spied Les Interchangeables’ Paris bracelets at the Paris-based Who’s Next show in July 2013, she knew it had potential. Still, the owner of Higashi Pearls in Lemoyne, Pa., watched it for a while, finally bringing it home to her store in January this year.
“I intended to sell only the bracelets in store, but they sold so quickly that I reordered more and started talking with the owner,” says Fotos.
Smitten with the bracelets—which are adjustable and made with waterproof couture-quality stretch ribbon from Japan, Swarovski crystals, and base-metal or rubber accents starting at $29 retail—Fotos brainstormed ways to help distribute them.
She enlisted the help of her recently retired financier husband Steve and two great sales rep friends to manage logistics and sales. To date, 153 American retailers have bought into the collection (distribution in Europe is 1,500 outlets), which has 20 different color ribbons available as well as different colors of crystals.
Most telling of all: the reorders. “About 53 percent of stores who have had them longer than one month have reordered,” she says. “We are opening 12 stores a week. There’s no price resistance.”
Buy-in starts at $600 retail, and packaging is cute, with a bag, ribbons, and more. For more information, email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org. According to Fotos, the most popular bracelets are the ones in the $49–$56 range, and the most popular colors are nude and black.
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