5 Minutes With...
Name: Sheldon Mayer
Company: Men’s Republic
Years exhibiting with Reed Gift Fairs: 3
Your brand/business in a nutshell: On-Trend Men’s Gifts
What inspires you to innovate? Where do you look for trends and inspiration?
Guys have been neglected for far too long when it comes to gift giving. It’s so fun developing new lines that we think that he will enjoy receiving - not just your old boring socks and pens. We take our inspiration from life, family, sports, music and art. We look at trends coming from USA and European markets mixed in with some local flair.
Do you have any advice for anyone in a creative block/something that gets you out of a design rut?
Hard to answer, but exercise normally clears our heads, as well as talking with other wholesale and business colleagues.
How do you know you’re onto a winner when creating/sourcing a new product?
Having been in development for over 30 years, our design team has their ears to the ground and eyes wide open, so when a new idea develops, we all push to develop it into something that we would like to receive as a men’s gift.
Describe what a typical working day looks like? and how that changed for you over the past year?
This past year has certainly been a challenge for both us and our customers. Working from home with so many distractions can really test one’s resolve. However, we got through it by keeping our focus on our customer’s needs and constant development of new gift lines for men.
Did you have to migrate your business online/or if you were already online, how did this impact the way you do business with your customers?
We already had an online presence, but this past year has really pushed some of our customers to rely on the use of our website other than face-to-face communication obviously, with the obligatory Zoom meetings thrown in here and there!
Customers love your business because...
Different is what our brand is all about!
We don’t offer the traditional men’s gifts that you normally find in a department store, but rather unique and on-trend gifts that would be “very cool” to receive as a gift. I often hear from retailers who tell me that guys are excited to receive Men’s Republic products as birthday or holiday gifts purchased from their store. We are always aiming for a high standard of product quality; our pricing is also noticeably affordable and extremely good value for money.
Something we might not know, but will be glad found out about your business:
The men’s gift market is growing fast - looking good is now cool! As guys, it seems that we are finally evolving into the modern man who looks after himself through family, work and play. Many blokes are stepping up and trying to look good not only for their partners, but for themselves - a sense of “feeling better about our manhood and how we present ourselves to the world” in our everyday lives. Not too long ago if you went to a poker game, you could almost suffocate from the odours, not to mention the old shaggy clothes and dreadful bedhead. Today, those same guys are well groomed and present like winners! Definitely the way to go.
We’ve got a time-machine, you can go forward, back, or stay in the present – thinking about your time in business, where do you choose to visit and why?
Happy where we are at this moment
What is the beauty of aligning your business with face-to-face trade events like Reed Gift Fairs?
We are very excited about offering a range of new lines for 2022. We are in a strong position as we will have good stock on hand for most lines that we can ship within a few days of a customer placing an order with us at Reed Gift Fairs. It will be also be amazing to see familiar customer faces again and catch up.
What’s one piece of business advice you’d give anyone wanting to start their business?
Put your head down and keep following your dreams, no matter how hard it seems.
What do the next 12 months look like for you?
The future is bright! We have developed many new men’s gift lines that both retailers and their customers will really love.
What’s the biggest lesson/takeaway for you from what we’ve just endured over the past two years?
Share with us the bestselling products we need to know about
We are so excited about or 2022 range of men’s gifts - our men’s gift range is constantly evolving and we have several new products that we designed specifically for that hard to buy for bloke.
What product/range are you personally most excited about right now?
Our Outdoor Adventure Multitool range is very exciting with many types of multi tool gifts to choose from
Do have any teasers for what we can expect to see from you in the future?
Come visit us at stand GG42 and see for yourself!
Can you tell us your secret to keeping your customers returning for more?
Focus on our customers with great products and great service.