Following your heart and doing what you’re passionate about are the foundational pillars on which accessories designer Laura Ingalls has built her life and brand.
Tell us about the brand – who do you make products for?
Laura Ingalls Designs and yes, Laura Ingalls is my name, is a brand that has multiple collections and all different price points. It started out with jewelry, then I added hatbands, and because I am always creating, hats were just the next thing to evolve. The majority of the items are for women, but then I had a lot of requests to add men's items, and so I gradually created jewelry, hatbands and hats for guys. The guys like the hats as much as the women do because they are different.
What is your brand philosophy?
Great looking products that enhance the individual's personal style! I want them to know they are buying a quality piece of jewelry or hat that is going to become a part of their collection. Everyone has their own unique look, and that's how I think about my designs that they too are unique and different from other brands. It seems to be working, because retailers like that I offer something different that they haven't seen before.
What is new and noteworthy from your latest product release/line?
As I said, I am always creating and releasing new items. There are a lot of one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces that are selling so quickly that I have been keeping my metal smithing quite busy. I like to add new stones into my designs that people haven't necessarily seen before. And the hats - both palms and wool felt ones are going gangbusters!
Have any products stood out as a retailer favorite/best seller?
Because I offer different price points, the best sellers vary by retailer. In the lower price points, the Hitched Webbing Bracelets and Wrap Bracelets have been doing great. In the higher end price points, it's been the one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. Some of the bestselling hats, and there are many, have been Chippewa - a Gus palm, Cheyenne - a fedora palm, and Strut - a high crown fedora.
Are there any trends you’ve noticed in the market lately?
Bracelets and hats for both gals and guys.
Do you set up at major market events? If so, which ones?
Yes. I attend the WESA markets at the Dallas Market Center and am located in the Lane Boots showroom on the 14th floor - 14393. The showroom is open for several of the other markets at the DMC, and even though I am not personally there, a sales rep is there writing orders on my behalf. In addition, I offer trunk shows which is a great way to boost a retailer's business without a huge investment.
How do new retailers go about setting up an account?
There are a couple of options, they can contact me directly via email or phone: firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-949-1330. I'm also excited to announce that a new website will be launching in the very near future that will offer a wholesale portal.
After the ups and downs of 2020, do you feel buyer confidence is returning?
Absolutely!!! This year has been very strong, and I am happy to hear from my retailers their sales are up, and they are running out of inventory. It's a good problem to have, and it’s keeping me very busy. People are happy to be out and about again, taking vacations and shopping!
What is your advice to retailers looking to gain ground in 2021?
Keep your displays fresh and shoppable. Don't let the displays get down to just a couple of pieces before replenishing. Consumers like a selection that hasn't been picked over. Train your sales team so they have the back story on the brands you carry. For my new retailers I provide an artist bio and also an FAQ sheet on the materials I use in my designs. It helps them be able to speak with knowledge about my brand.
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