With interest already building for the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo this summer, the sporting flavour this year will be high with athletes from all over the globe honing their skills to compete across the 33 different sports.
PG Buzz ‘tracked’ down some of the industry’s own team of ‘medal winners’, aka independent sales agents whose respective and multifarious talents see them overcoming hurdles and delivering glory for both the companies they represent and their retail customers.
Rosie Trow, agent for the South West takes up the baton and gives a ‘run down’ of life in her fast track!
What’s in your ‘kitbag’ of companies you represent?: “Glick, IC&G, Jellycat, Museums & Galleries, Paper Rose, Paper Salad, Redback, Real & Exciting, Transomnia, Wrendale Designs and, as of this week, Five Dollar Shake and Counting Stars.”
What Olympic event is most akin to you as an agent?
“The closest this South West country bumpkin will come to the Olympics is the logo on my Audi! I think life as an agent is like a pentathlon, as it requires lots of different sporting skills. You need to keep to the right side of the tracks, maintaining enough speed to ensure you dodge parking tickets from the traffic wardens.
The geographical area I cover means it is not a ‘hop, skip and a jump’ between customers, so appointments are a crucial part of my day. However, if there were trophies for time keeping I wouldn’t have many!!”
What were the hurdles of 2019?
“2019 was a year of chasing your tail from a customer point of view. The high street has no track record anymore as just when things look like they are changing the media throws in a ‘discus’ curve ball, and people tend to feed on the insecurity of bad news. If there were no TV, newspapers or radio we would all continue to run our own race and might not worry about things we individually can’t change.”
What is your 2020 training plan?
“In my world the high street will continue and I believe we will swim back to where it began. Maybe towns will be smaller but they will have a lot more individuality. I am a believer that independents are a very strong contender for 2020, and although they are individual businesses, collectively they are most card publisher’s biggest and most valued ‘spectators’ in the ‘greeting card Olympics’.”
Top: Rosie Trow in her Yeovil Town supporter kit!