SO – WHAT EXACTLY IS WESA?

This is a question I have received often since attending WESA (Western and English Sales Association) and the stock show in Denver a couple of weeks ago.  As the Salt Lick Sisters is still very young, it was a question I had before attending as well.  I looked it up, did minimal research, heard everyone talking about it, but didn’t actually know what it was about until I arrived.  All I knew was that I needed to be there.  Anyone that’s getting started in ANY business knows how important networking and putting a face to your product/service are.  I had been in contact with numerous boutiques, designers, and owners that I wanted to meet, and they were all going to be in one central location all at the same time!

On that cold Friday morning, in my excitement I dressed in one of my favorite outfits and grandfather’s old hat, and I made my way to WESA…with no real plan.  I saw other people walking into the building dressed to the nines and my stomach started to bubble at the thought of trying to conjure up enough courage to talk to some of these people I have looked up to for so long.  I reached the front doors, took a deep breath, and walked inside…then froze.  Everyone had badges.  There was paperwork piled up for people to fill out to get in.  There was a “buyers” line and a “sellers” line.  My happy ignorance was quickly enlightened at the fact that this was an exclusive merchandise and wholesale vendor market.  Big surprise – they wouldn’t let me in.  Because Salt Lick Sisters is a services business and not a product business, there was no way I was getting around their rules and regulations.

Tail tucked and head down, I quietly walked back out to my car.  As quickly as I could, I sent out apology messages to all the people I was in contact with about meeting.  Not only was I embarrassed at not knowing what WESA was, but I was humiliated at all the promises I wasn’t going to be able to keep.  Not more than an hour later, I received a wonderfully generous message that I would have a badge waiting for me at the front desk the following day.  I let out a little squeal of pure joy and my mood picked up quite a bit.  The rest of my day was then spent sending more messages telling everyone to ignore my original message!

Saturday was a whirlwind of meeting people I’ve been following for some time now, being introduced to new brands, and hearing a whole lot of “we should totally colab on something!” I forgot to eat.  I forgot a bunch of names (thank goodness for business cards).  I forgot my worries.  Attending market on Saturday and Sunday was not only incredible for the Salt Lick Sisters as a business, but also for all the brilliant minds I had the pleasure of encountering.  It was encouraging and inspiring to hear that what we are doing over here is working and recognized.  A potentially devastating weekend turned into one of the best times I have had.  WESA, my feet don’t thank you, but my heart does.

CRUSHING ON ESPUELA

– Meghan Tietze

megz-2If you haven’t heard of Espuela Design Co, do yourself a favor, run – don’t walk – and look them up on Instagram.  I have been drooling over these bags in hopes of one day purchasing one for a while now, before I even became a Salt Lick Sister.  The quality and care that goes into every single bag is obvious as you run your fingers through the luxurious leather fringe.  Individuality oozes from this company, as each bag is one of a kind.  A different strap and concho decorates every purse, so no two is alike.  When Espuela Design Co decided to have a New Year’s sale, I knew I needed to inquire about finally owning one for myself!

Little disclaimer: when it comes to keeping my personal and work social media accounts separate, I’m way below the proficiency line.  I am always thinking I’m logged into one account when it’s the other.  To no surprise, I accidentally used the Salt Lick Sisters’ account to message Espuela about a bag.  They responded with their information on the sale and were beyond friendly, telling me to take my time picking out exactly which bag I wanted (I inquired about two hours before the sale ended…oops).  Shortly after that initial message, I received another message complimenting the Salt Lick Sisters’ page and photographs.  We got to chatting and a beautiful business relationship was born!

megz-purseI ended up ordering my bag and it arrived in the mail a short six days later (the bags are made as ordered).  When I opened the package, I instantly fell in love with the colors and textures!  The saddle blanket material that the bag itself is filled with rich reds and browns.  I chose the “Lonesome Dove” bag, but could’ve easily added any of their designs to my collection.  To my surprise, the concho that was on my bag was a buffalo, a tribute to the Salt Lick Sisters’ logo.  If that doesn’t show you the care and customer service this company provides, wait – there’s more!

After my stunning Lonesome Dove arrived, I wanted to reach back out to Espuela Design Co. and let them know about my new love affair with their bag.  During conversation, we discovered that we were all going to be in Denver at the same time for WESA and the Stock Show.  They ended up putting my name on their buyers list so I could get into the Denver Market and helping me out the whole way.  I otherwise wouldn’t have the networking weekend I did without them.

purse-picEspuela Design Company is not only an incredibly talented and creative team, but also one that goes above and beyond to help others out in the Western Industry.  They didn’t have to extend their sale to allow me to be confident in my decision on choosing my bag.  They didn’t have to add a concho that meant something to me on a personal level to my purse.  They didn’t have to go out of their way to ensure I had a badge for market.  These things speak to myself as a consumer, and I hope to everyone else too.  So please go check out @espueladesignco on Instagram, if not for any other reason than to admire their craftsmanship!