I've spent over 16 years working for some of the country's largest retailers. I've held varying roles within the industry, but majority of my career has been spent as a retail Buyer. Sooo…what does that mean exactly? Essentially, a Buyer is the gatekeeper between brands and placement within a retailer's assortment.
Throughout the years, I've launched countless brands at some of the most well known retailers. I've sat through hundreds of brand pitches… some good but many not so good. Too many times, I've sat there screaming inside saying, "Ugh…no, don't say that!" or "Why didn't you say or do this?" All they needed was a bit of guidance and added preparation.
More often than not, I'd have to say no to brands, not because they didn't have a great product, or because I didn't think their product would sell. It was simply because they weren't ready. Unfortunately, many of these brands were owned by historically underrepresented businesses. Meaning, these businesses were owned by groups that were (and still are), disproportionally underrepresented in the market.
To make matters worse, I found that there were very few programs that offered the appropriate level of education and support for small businesses wanting to dive into retail. This inspired me to start Ruby Ren, a boutique consulting firm, specializing in retail consulting. My goal is to leverage my robust industry experience to arm brands with the knowledge and readiness to thrive in this fascinating and ever-changing industry.