Talent Scouts

How Savvy Retailers Discover Designers Who Share Their Aesthetic SensibilitiesHandmade in Minnesota According to Ellen Hertz, jewelry designers with big talent lurk in small places. To keep cases stocked at Max’s in St. Louis Park, Minn., a 5-year-old store with a niche in handmade goods, Hertz routinely shops the Philadelphia Buyer’s Market of American Craft and globalDESIGN. These annual shows are rich in handcrafted designs, helping her stock a minimum of 40 lines, including Natasha Wozniak, Todd Reed, and more. “I don’t want anything that’s mass-produced,” she explains. Merchandise needn’t be made in the United States—she recently picked up Julieli, an Israeli-made line—but Hertz has one sticking point: It must not “be made in a sweatshop.” She advises retailers in search of fresh new talent to look for prolific designers who produce multiple variations of looks

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