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Behind the Scenes

Here is a look Behind The Scenes at Amberlee Isabella Home. Be the first to learn about new products, press features and our inspirations. 

 

Amberlee Isabella Home x Macy's!

Amberlee Isabella

This blog post was first posted on the EtsyNy.com team website October 25, 2016

This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to host a two-day trunk show at Macy's on 34th street Herald Square in New York City to sell products from my Etsy store, Amberlee Isabella Home. Since 2012, I have sold bright, charming art, home decor and stationery. My products aim to empower women to be the best version of themselves by encouraging, supporting and reminding us not to take life too seriously. 

I've received a lot of questions about this opportunity from other sellers so I wanted to use this space to share my experience and offer some insight into the process. 

A few weeks ago, I was approached by Esty Wholesale and Macy's about an order for the holiday season in the existing Etsy shop-in-shop there. The space was established in January 2016 and the Etsy vendors inside rotate approximately every 2 months. 

How did Macy's pick you for wholesale and trunk show opportunities?

Macy's found my products through the help of the Etsy Wholesale team. Etsy Wholesale searched shops for items that were unique and could be personalized. I was informed those were two important factors of the selection process. 

What did you do at the Macy's trunk show?

I spoke to customers about my products and process. I also explained a lot about Etsy and handmade retail.Less than 1/4 of the shoppers I spoke to were familiar with Etsy. This was an eye-opening experience and not one I anticipated. A lot of the time spent at Macy's was educating international consumers about Etsy as a place to buy handmade and vintage goods from independent makers. 

One of the things I enjoyed most about the show was offering customized prints in person for the first time. I had my laptop and portable printer to design artwork directly alongside customers. It was rewarding to help them bring their ideas to life in real time. 

How many people were chosen for the Macy's trunk show?

A total of five Etsy sellers from across the US were selected to host trunk shows at five different Macy's stores this past weekend. I was the only trunk show vendor this weekend in New York City. 

 

How much did Macy's order?

The wholesale order and trunk show request were large for my small business. It was as much of a logistical and planning puzzle as it was a strain on my time from a design and production standpoint. While having a full-time job and teaching put a lot of pressure on my time, my family helped support me through the process. I could not have done it without my patient and committed boyfriend, and his valuable SUV which is a blessing here in New York City.

What did you learn from working with Macy's?

You never know who is looking at your shop or what opportunity is just an email away. That's why it's always important for your shop and social media to be up to date, accurate, and professional.

What's your advice for someone who thinks their products are a good fit for Macy's?

Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, big or small, that's a good fit for your business. Smaller experiences play an important role in laying a foundation of knowledge for a bigger opportunity. I had invaluable experience as a smaller wholesale vendor by working with amazing retailers such as Story in Chelsea. That primed me to seize this opportunity. 

What are your next steps after the Macy's trunk show?

Starting this week, you will be able to shop Amberlee Isabella Home products at Macy's in Herald Square! I look forward to developing a strong relationship with the entire Macy's and Etsy Wholesale team and working to grow the Etsy shop-in-shop in Herald Square.

If you have any questions or are curious about anything, feel free to comment below and I will respond. Thank you!

~Amberlee

Pitch Night @

Amberlee Isabella

When I am not designing products for Amberlee Isabella Home, I work full time as a retail store designer at a design firm in New York City. I mention this because this is where my love affair for STORY begins. In fact, it was my mom who first introduced me to an "amazing new retail concept coming to NYC." 

 STORY has the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store. Every 4-8 weeks they debut a new "story" in Chelsea. They literally close the store for about a week between stories to redesign and merchandise the store. To give an idea, past stories have included "Home For the Holidays", "Love" and "Made in America."

One of the most unique parts of STORY is their Pitch Nights. Every few months, thirty small businesses are provided the opportunity to pitch their products to the owner Rachel Shechtman and guest panelists.

Image courtsey of STORY

Image courtsey of STORY

This past summer I was one of the entrepreneurs given the opportunity one evening to pitch products. I brought along my recently finished wholesale catalog and a sampling of my products to share that included art, stationery, pencils, journal and mugs. 

Image courtsey of STORY

Image courtsey of STORY

Needless to say from the photo above, I was beyond thrilled that they liked my product and offered it a place in the store! What resonated with the panel was my commitment to empowering women to be their best selves through inspiring products that remind us not to take life too seriously. 

Image courtsey of STORY

Image courtsey of STORY

I'm pretty sure in this photo we are laughing at the fact we know a lot of people in common in the retail design world. Go figure ;)

Image courtsey of STORY

Image courtsey of STORY

To wrap things up, here were the Pitch panelist that evening. Owner, Rachel Shechtman, Bradford Shellhammer co-founder of Fab and owner of Bezar and Spencer Bailey, Editor-in-Chief of Surface Magazine. Of course I had to bring them personalized gifts as a big thank you!

Starting March 7th you can check out my products at STORY at 144 10th Ave. at 19th Street New York City.  Also, check out my next blog post all about the AMAZING story my products will be apart of! 

~Amberlee

$1,631,067.49 FOR THE KIDS

Amberlee Isabella

This past weekend I was able to visit my alma mater, the University of Kentucky to celebrate our 11th year of DanceBlue. DanceBlue is a year long fundraising event that culminates in a 24-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon that benefits pediatric cancer. 

As a founding member I was so proud not only to see the total of funds raised but how much the philanthropy has grown to support the children and families. I'm so humbled each year I go back by how selflessly students have committed themselves to making a difference.

I am so happy that Amberlee Isabella Home is able to donate a portion of all proceeds to DanceBlue! FTK!
~Amberlee