Originally published June 2012 Newsletter

June 2012 Newsletter

Celebrate 30 Years in Fashion

It started with a lemonade stand.

How many fashion businesses can say that? Here’s where the story began. In the heat of the Michigan summer of 1964, Mrs. Invie Jessup’s eight-year-old son decided to open a lemonade stand. He made a list of the necessary ingredients, went to the grocery store, mixed the lemonade and went into business. Unlike most young lemonade entrepreneurs, Byrd Jessup was required to account for the costs of his supplies and reimburse his mother out of his profits.

Fast forward to 1982. The lemonade entrepreneur had moved on to a thriving business selling jeans in Louisiana and Texas. The jeans business became a dress business. Today, thirty years later, you know Richard Byrd Jessup as the owner of The Immediate Resource with thousands of styles of suits and dresses sold exclusively to shops and boutiques in North America and Internationally.

In the mid 1980s Lee Martin became a customer buying dresses and sportswear for her clothing business. While in the showroom, she began helping her fellow customers make buying selections for their businesses. Showing the potential of a knowledgeable sales person, she was hired as the first sale rep at The Immediate Resource. She developed a specialized sector of apparel wholesale, the pallet business, matching bulk quantities of low priced goods with the needs of deep discount retailers. From year to year, you may see Lee representing the company at the Off Price Show in Las Vegas. Today, she serves many special occasion and day wear stores who value her expertise as their sales rep. (Lee left to join her family business.)

In the late 1980s Valerie Alberts Halpern developed the sister business of Accessories Resource. By the early 1990s she had moved over to the apparel business buying special occasion bridal and prom for the company. The merchandise sector that began with only a few racks of bridal gowns and prom dresses has grown to several thousand styles each season representing some of the most famous brands in the marketplace. Valerie also buys hats and day dresses.

By the mid 1990s, Tina Tallant-Wilson joined the company. She became known for creating private label brands in suits and developing the popular, La Rea linen-looks. As buyer of suits, Tina works closely with the very best church suit and hat makers to help them refine their collections each season. She has been an integral part of the evolution of the classic church suit market, including the development of their large colorful catalogs.

Over the past thirty years in the fashion business, the evolution of merchandise has seen the emergence of the classic church suit market, the strong growth of special occasion bridal and prom, and a continuing interest in boutique wear, especially in plus sizes. With a view to the future, The Immediate Resource continues to focus on matching the customers’ merchandise needs with the best styles in the apparel market.

Back to the Michigan summer of 1964. The enterprising young businessman offered his lemonade customers the additional choice of an ice cream cone. With each such order, he would run back to the kitchen and scoop up a sale. The lesson is with us today. Never miss an opportunity to make a profit selling a popular item.


Marketing Tip spelling

Check your business card, signs, website and Facebook page for spelling errors. Your next potential customer may have second thoughts about contacting you. She may see a spelling mistake as the mark of a careless business owner.

It's easy to miss a spelling mistake or typo. Ask someone knowledgeable to review your business card, signs, website and Facebook page. A few corrections can raise the prestige of your business. You want to look your best in print, too!

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