Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Dec 2016
Timeless fashion is part of Debbie Hawkins seasonal home decor.

When the Etcetera collection arrives, her living and dining rooms become showrooms, a place where by appointment women can choose classic fashion, well made from high end fabrics, "things you turn to for years."

"We bridge the gap with versatile selections," said Hawkins, an Etcetera sales consultant. "Pieces that bring something special to a wardrobe."

The unique, sell-from-home business us part of the Carlisle Etcetera trademark, a New York based brand that offers women an opportunity to become entrepreneurs. Consultant/stylists are trained to guide fashion choices.

"I had raised my kids and wanted to do something interesting," Hawkins said, "Etcetera came out at the top of the list. I could work at my own pace and hours."

Four times a year Hawkins attends a fashion show, where she and 100 other consultants have a chance to meet designers, look at quality fabrics and learn about techniques used to make the Etcetera collections.

Ordering clothes online isn't the same.

"Pictures don't translate to what we have seen before the trunk show boxes arrive," said Hawkins. "We receive upward of 300 items. We talk with each customer and they get to see in person what is available."

Clients are either referred to Etcetera stylists by friends or through the website. They are directed to the consultant closest to them; some of Hawkins' customers drive to Wichita Falls from Oklahoma.

A few have a hard time committing to an Etcetera trunk show because "they feel a little intimidated."

"Once they see it's a very relaxed environment it's much easier," Hawkins explained.

Two appointments are made with each customer, one to check their existing wardrobe for what may work well with Etcetera selections and another to try on what they've picked. Hawkins adapted a bedroom as a dressing room.

"One of the biggest pluses is knowing our customers so well," said Melissa Prigmore, Hawkins' associate assistant. "They know they won't be wearing duplicates of what they've seen at Lord and Taylor."

According to Hawkins, Etcetera's high quality skirts, trousers, blouses, jackets, coats and accessories are priced in the "Neimans and Nordstrom range."

"These are the kind of clothes you don't bury in the back of the closet and never see after the first wear," Hawkins pointed out. "Comfortable style and fabric, they get brought out every season."

Clients can also turn to Hawkins and Prigmore for advice on style, color and fit.

"I'm not good at editing myself on fashion decisions," said Hawkins. "It's nice to have someone else tell you what they think."Read more at: |
judy smith
Written by
judy smith
Please log in to view and add comments on poems