Type: Commission-only Apparel and Fashion Sales Opportunity
Industry: Fashion/Apparel/Consumer Goods/Retail
Territory: United Kingdom
Commission: 25% + Recurring residuals
Average Sales Value: £10,000
Independent sales representatives interested in connecting and working with this company in the Apparel/Fashion/Retail industry can find their official commission-only sales opportunity listed on CommissionCrowd here: UK Retail Sales Opportunity - Fully Orthopaedic and Ergonomically designed Children’s school bags
Learn more about this company in the following interview:
Qn. Where did the inspiration for your Totem Bags come from?
The concept of our company was born after seeing a similar bag concept while living abroad . Being both a concerned mom and health focused, I liked the idea of offering schoolbags that were Ergonomically designed, protective and comfortable for kids in the South African market.
When I returned to South Africa I began the business. We started the design process working closely with a highly professional manufacturing company.
We developed our own TOTEM brand label with a distinctive look and feel, focusing on the ergonomics, premium quality and creative design.
Qn. Have you received any recognition or awards for your products?
Our unique ergonomic children’s school bags are endorsed by a leading Chiropractic association and were also selected by a panel from a leading magazine as being the superior schoolbag.
Qn. What makes your products unique, innovative and sets you apart from the competition?
Our product construction is innovative, the brand has its own unique look and feel, our schoolbags are medically recommended and endorsed by Chiropractors. Professionally manufactured and exceptionally durable. Carry a lengthy guarantee. Fashionable. Value for money.
Qn. Tell us a little about your expertise in the Retail Schoolbag and Stationery sectors
We deal with both leading retail multiples and independents for over a decade and understand the function of being a reliable vendor supplying top quality products to our clients.
We design products that fill the gaps in the market and consistently update our products. TOTEM is an established and successful brand and a true market leader in the school bag sector.
We also manufacture and supply a range of stationary products which set new standards and have successfully established new price points in our market.
Qn. Why would freelance (self-employed) sales agents have an edge selling your products?
Totem has its own unique look and feel, and our brand specializes in Ergonomically designed bags with specific health and wellness features and benefits.
We offer a broad product offering with depth to the range and a constantly evolving product line. We are able to offer retailers a selection that cater to a wide range of tastes and consumer purchasing habits.
Qn. What are your best selling products and why?
Our Orthopedic schoolbags are our best selling products. These are ideal for ages 10 – 15, are highly durable and help lighten and support the load on the child’s back. Our bags are extremely comfortable and prevent back and posture problems which are vital to health growth in children.
Our pencil cases are big volume sellers and are novel and creative in design.
**Qn. What’s your greatest client success story? **
We presented our range of pencil cases to a very large national Supermarket group where the buyer said the products were too high end for their market and would not sell.
He placed a trail order and they sold out in the first 2 weeks. they have now increased their recurring orders massively over a period of 3 years and our products have sold exceptionally well.
An additional retailer placed also started by placing a small order. We devised & performed an educational theater play at 7 top schools in his area and fed the traffic through his stores. He increased his quantities 20 fold and is still our leading independent. The brand has a very strong foothold in this city as a result.
Qn. What made you consider wanting to work with independent (self-employed) sales agents?
You can have a great product ,but one needs a good sales person on the ground to sell to retailers and create product visibility and point out the features and benefits to retailers. Independent salespeople know the territory better, understand the local market and potentially have existing contacts they can introduce us to.
With a little training they would be able to point out the important features and benefits, when selling to retailers or schools.
Qn. What are you plans for the future of Totem Bags?
Our plans are to develop TOTEM into a lifestyle brand, with bags for all occasions across the age groups. Kids, teens, adults. To open Flagship stores and secure Distributors globally.
Qn. Please describe the typical sales cycle and process to sales agents
As we are 80% focused on Back to School bags , our selling season coincides with retail school promotion cycles.
The agent will receive a sample product range ,print a hard-copy of our catalogue, e-mail the digital catalogue link and price lists to all customers.
Typically sales agents will contact major retail buyers and present our products, samples and prices and liaise with us about any specific requirements by buyers.
Call on large numbers of independents (stationers, bag stores, gift stores, school wear stores and direct to private schools ) Keep us in the loop regarding time lines for delivery into stores, so we can arrange and schedule the shipping.
Qn. How do you currently bring in new business or win contracts?
We contact all the major buyers from blue chip companies, visit and present to all independents, often do telesales with follow up of catalogues, testimonials.
Present samples of our new ranges. Contact schools early in the year so there is ample time for committees to discuss and finalize on their bag choice and order. Contact corporate companies for certain products that can be re-branded or offered as corporate gifts to high profile customers.
Maintain our quality and design aesthetics, build reputation in the market with our premium brand. The customers, call us, wanting to become TOTEM stockists.
We have over the past 2 years developed and launched a sub brand called SAVVY. The objective is to offer a mid priced Orthopedic schoolbag range to all our retailers.
We manufacture with another factory who has a number of years experience and offers a far cheaper price. Savvy is not the same quality as TOTEM. It has its place in the market to sell down to both retailers and them in turn to their customers.
It also allows us to occupy the top and mid price points in the market, keeping the Rip Off competition at bay.
Certain price sensitive retailers in areas that cannot carry a premium product can take advantage of Savvy. Retailers also have an option of carrying both TOTEM and SAVVY.
We plan to develop SAVVY and broaden the product offering.
Are you an independent Retail/Fashion sales professional and interested in working with us?
If you are self-employed and work as an independent sales professional selling fashion products into retail stores around the UK please view our full sales opportunity on CommissionCrowd and apply here: UK Retail Sales Opportunity - Fully Orthopaedic and Ergonomically designed Children’s school bags