When you find a woman that is strong, inspiring, and authentic, you can't help but want to know more about her.
You want to know how she got to where she is, what her goals are, who she is aside from her list of accomplishments, and you want to learn her secrets.
When you find out that she's a self-made woman,
you admire her even more.
The Woman Behind The Agency :
I first met Nadine Parsons two years ago when I was in the start-up stages of building Apostle Boutique. Nadine owns and operates an accessory-based sales agency, the Nadine Parsons Agency, that houses six brands and sells to over 150 retailers nationwide (!!). With a client list like HBC, Indigo and Nordstrom, plus 147+ independent boutiques, the Nadine Parsons Agency is not only well-known in the industry, but it is a well-oiled machine (with Nadine at the helm of it all).
NP: When I am looking for new brands the first consideration is how saleable is the line. (Not exactly the most exciting first step but the most valuable to running a sale’s agency!) The second is to consider the look. Do I already have the aesthetic covered from my existing line-up? I have to be VERY careful not to double up on look or I risk cannibalizing sales for the current brands. I then have to look at price point and margin. Does it fit in to my matrix? And lastly I look at how long the line has been around and where they are sold. I need to be certain that as I sell a line they can deliver to my retailers on time and not risk my ‘hard earned’ relationships.
NP: If I had to describe my personal style I’d have to say ‘Classic with a heavy dose of accessories’. But seriously though, it is always changing & evolving. I have a weakness for full skirts & cropped skinny jeans. I love unique flats and rarely wear heels (Hi! I bike to work almost every day!)
AB: What's the best, and the toughest, part of your career?
NP: The best part of my career is by far the talent that I represent & the ability to have created a job for myself! I love the independence I have in decision making and the ability to work from just about anywhere. The toughest part of my career is staying motivated when getting hit with ‘no’s’ as it would be for anyone in a sales role. (That’s where coffee & sheer determination come in handy…and did I mention…I’m as stubborn & persistent as an ox)
NP: I wanted to be Barbie when I grew up. She could be anything & everything (In hindsight…maybe not so realistic... BUT I always had a belief in myself that I was capable of making any of my crazy dreams come true!) So thanks Barbie? :) On a serious note, I actually was a performer growing up in music. I went to university for Opera and graduated with a music degree before starting in fashion. I think this set me on the path of sales because I love being in front of people.
NP: YES! My mom was a dressmaker and always made me the most beautiful clothing (often times matching). I was obsessed with dresses, Barbies & playing ‘shop’. I think it was natural for me to end up on this track.
AB: You are also involved with The Shopping Channel- what is it that you do with them?
NP: I am a freelance ‘Fashion Expert’ with The Shopping Channel. This means that I 'guest host' shows for fashion brands about every 4-6 weeks. I.e. I go on-air and sell product. I absolutely LOVE it! It’s my chance to sell on a national platform and it has been instrumental in growing my confidence in my wholesale business. My dad still watches every show and that makes me happy in my heart.
NP: My free time is spent with my husband, our cat Coco and of course friends. We also travel every chance we get! As I am a true East Coaster…I spend way too much time at the pub. A cold draft and I am there! (I also run almost every morning to clear my head before the hustle starts).
NP: I would love to continue to work with accessories and also introduce a ‘learning’ element. I launched monthly workshops in March and it was so well received! It motivates me to share my experiences with others. I would love to intro a teaching component to my role and continue to grow the wholesale ‘reach’.
AB: What advice do you wish you would have been given 10 years ago?
NP: I wish 10 years ago I learned to chill out more! (And stop sweating all of the small stuff. This advice still applies today!) I actually have a flip side to this question. Many people said fashion / retail / wholesale wouldn’t make me happy or make me any money. I love that I still had the gumption to do it and wouldn’t have it any other way! (And am running a successful business to boot). Trust your instinct! It’s 99% of the time the right thing for you!
AB: If we were to visit Toronto, what is on the Nadine's Must See & Do list?
NP: Well, Toronto has some of the best restaurants around! So, I’d have to say you have to hit up a few of my fave spots: Oretta for the best Italian with a fab Art Deco vibe & the Drake Hotel for a great cocktail. I also love VSP on Dundas West for the best premium designer consignment. Finally, I’d say my fave weekend thing to do is stroll along Queen Street West and grab coffee. A little leg rest in Trinity Bellwoods park in the summer is actually the best!
You can learn more about Nadine and the Nadine Parsons Agency by following her on Instagram (@nadineparsonsagency) or by checking out her website www.nadineparsons.com