Dan Broadwell has been awarded the title of Mid-Atlantic Rep of the Year 2012. We caught up with Broadwell, who reps brands such as Ashbury, HOWL, Crab Grab, and Capita, among others, to get his philosophy on what makes for a solid and reliable rep and his reaction to being named Mid-Atlantic Rep of the Year.
What’s the name of your sales agency and what brands do you represent?
My sales agency is Flour City Distribution and I represent Ashbury Eyewear, Capita Super Corporation, Coal Headwear, Crab Grab, HOWL Supply Co, Poler Camping Stuff, ThirtyTwo and Union Binding Company to the fullest.
How long have you been repping and how did you get into it?
I’ve been at it since 2005. I got my start in 1997 working at a shop in Rochester, New York; I worked there for almost 10 years wearing various hats. While working at the shop I met a rep named Jay Nuzzo who had taken me under his wing and grandfathered me into the C3 program. It’s history from there.
What’s the most rewarding thing about working with your brands and retailers?
The most rewarding part would be growing the brands into industry leaders with the help of the shop kids on the retail floor. Another rewarding aspect of working with the brands I work with is being part of the focus groups on developing the line year after year. Best part of all of it is that I can get on the phone and reach any one of the brand owners; they are not so big and corporate to the point that I have to repeatedly dial extension numbers and hope the secretary puts me through.
What’s your philosophy on your role?
I sell specialty brands to specialty retailers. It’s important to understand the endless evolving retail landscape and to help my accounts understand what was once good for them in the past could possibly be what’s holding them back from success in the present.
Why do you think your retailers nominated you for this?
I would like to think they nominated me for my support in and out of the shop, no bullshit attitude, hard work, and my knowledge and commitment to growing our business together through creativity and passion. And, I like turtles.
What do you think makes you excel in this role?
I do not sit back and wait for the phone to ring. I’m constantly involved on all levels inside and outside of the shop.
What have been the biggest highlights and lowlights of 2012?
The biggest highlight would be being nominated for Mid-Atlantic Rep of the Year. Besides that, I would have to say the constant growth in both my business and personal life. I really do not focus on lowlights, not enough time in the day.
This year was another tough one for core retailers. How do you support your core accounts specifically?
Its tough for core retailers who do not buy or sell specialty brands. I’ve had exceptional sell through with all of my brands over the past seven years. The key to that success is to never oversell a retailer and see the big picture. It’s better to sell out then close out.
What are your predictions for 2013?
Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” The way retail is changing rapidly, shops need to adapt. Those who have adapted to technology changes have realized consumers have pressed the reset button and have changed their shopping habits. Those who haven’t, have suffered. Retailers will be looking to specialty brands more now than they ever have, as they are the one driving demand on the retail floor.
Anything else you’d like to add?
A big thank you to my parents for being so progressive and buying me a dirt bike before a bicycle, tossing me on snow at three years young and understanding skateboarding was more than a fad for me. I’d like to thank my chick for moving all those sample boxes when Fed-Ex drops them off while I’m out of town, and a bigger thanks to the brands and retailers who support me.