I just returned from a productive two days in New York City with our local sales representative Cindy Rossell. It was so great to be back out and about in The Big Apple, interacting with designers in person, and showing off our line. Cindy filled our days with fabulous appointments (and meals), which of course involved taxis, subways and speedy walks with metal in tow. I could barely move by the end of the days, but I loved it.
I worked in New York as a Textile Designer right out of RISD for several years, and this brought me right back. I’m not a sales person, but I used to accompany Hazel Siegel on her appointments when I was her assistant, and with the sales reps during my years at Maharam. At the time, I was the schlepper for sure, and kept very quiet (sort of), but I learned so much. It takes tremendous skill, patience and efficiency to be successful in sales. Forming professional and meaningful connections, while balancing all of their time and selling product, especially in a huge territory like NYC is quite a job.
I found my days of being out and about on sales calls to be familiar, just like riding a bike, muscle memory…..in and out of elevators, packing up, unpacking the display, quickly writing down notes, talking, selling, answering questions, remembering names, and onto the next. It’s exhilarating to meet so many interesting, interested and talented designers and architects.
I was a bit more confused than usual getting around NYC this time, had to look at maps more and subway routes which I used to just know. I didn’t stay in my old neighborhood and enjoyed the different vantage point, and happily made time to see old friends and catch a show. Never enough time.
For me, it’s still a thrill to be able to show off my own designs for my own company in New York. It will never get old! I’m absolutely flattered and honored to have the opportunity to show off my designs in person. I told my story over and over again (poor Cindy!) but I think every time I did, I felt strengthened in a sense, reminded by how much I love what I am doing, and I felt a tremendous sense of pride. I’m pretty lucky that I get to do what I love for my career, and be 100% authentic and original on that path.
When I present my story, my metal and my company, I tell them that what I believe distinguishes Modern Metal from the other great companies out there who cut metal, is that it’s me, and my approach to design. I approach my designs just as I would a textile, and then push the limits to see what I can achieve in metal. When someone works with us on a project, I am personally involved in many if not all aspects of the job. I have my hand in everything, the beauty and the curse of running and owning a company. I am involved in this way because I want to be, and I care tremendously that the designs and products we offer are authentic and bespoke from inception through delivery.
Thank you NYC for welcoming us into your gorgeous studios, offices and making time for Modern Metal!