Pick Up Sticks Mentors III – Gil Tani and Lothantique

When we were just starting out in this biz, we didn’t make a concerted effort to find mentors.  We just sort of stumbled upon them.  Remember Hondo and Alice?  We met him while taking a break.  Carol the Seaglass Girl?  Sat up down the aisle from us and took us under her wing.

Gil's Pick Up Sticks booth in Toronto

Always, just at the moment when we felt like maybe our business needed a bit of tweaking, someone came along who had knowledge and experience, and by paying attention and listening, we learned amazing things.

It’s difficult to say which of our mentors gave us the most guidance, but we definitely want to recognize Gil Tani and Lothantique.  We wrote about him before in this blog – we called him our own Pick Up Sticks rock star.  Gil is our distributor in Canada and his distribution company operates under Lothantique, Inc..  He’s also the owner of gorgeous retail space, Belle de Provence, in Toronto, so he has vast experience selling elegant gifts.

The rock star himself, Gil Tani at the New York International Gift Fair

Meeting Gil and his wife Yvonne when we did always felt a little like serendipity.  Things hadn’t worked out well with our distributor in Canada, and Yvonne  happened to walk into our booth in Atlanta on the right day.  After discussing our needs, she led us to Gil so that we could talk to him about taking over the market in Canada.  We’ve often discussed how we felt an instant connection with both of them.

Our business in Canada soared under Gil’s direction, and this year he’s helped get us into the European market.  We’re headed to London to do a show this fall, and all the credit goes to Gil!

Gil is a man of much action and few words, so when we asked him to give us a paragraph or two for this blog, he predictably didn’t waste a lot of space.  Here’s what he said:

“We initially got acquainted with Pick Up Sticks as a retailer, we found the line at the Atlanta Gift Show, and carried it in our Belle de Provence store. Two years later we were doing well with the product in our store and Sabrina & Glena were looking for a distributor in Canada.  As we love the line we volunteered to represent them in Canada. We found Glena & Sabrina very open & friendly and the connection was instant.

In regards to advice, I told them to concentrate on what works!”

Gil's fabulous sales team selling Pick Up Sticks in Toronto

We’re forever grateful to Gil and Yvonne for taking a chance with Pick Up Sticks and for continuing to give us ideas for building our business.  Check out their websites – their product is gorgeous and very luxurious and we’re sure you’re going to want to place an order.

And if you’re in London in September, stop in and see us.  Thanks, Gil, for inspiring us to make that big move!

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