December 2011 Member's Newsletter
December 10th, 2011
December Member's Newsletter

fgi logo

Contact the Board
Tel: 843 696 2688


Rosanna Krekel
Regional Director


Anna Lassiter


Sarah Digangi


Marshall Simon
Membership Director


Katie Kern
Public Relations Director

Robert Butt
Advertising Director

Natasha Shamdasani Madan
Technology Director

Linda Burnside
Co-Program Director

Michael Mitchell
Co-Program Director

In this Issue
Letter From The Regional Director
FGI Member Profile
"The New Rules of Retail" December 1 Event
FGI Charleston 2011 Year in Review

Dear FGI Members:

There is so much to share with you in our last newsletter of  2011.  So much in fact, that there is a dedicated section called “FGI Charleston 2011 Year In Review”.  There you can read many of the  accomplishments of your non-profit.  All that you read about has been achieved thanks to your collective efforts.  Yes, take tremendous pride in this section  since there is nothing harder than a start-up and that’s what we were one year ago.  And now , we have 50 Executive Members, 7 events under our belt, international recognition from FGI, a branding campaign that will begin in 2012 and a growing Facebook and Twitter following. 

Rosanna Krekel Image


Thank you –our hardworking Board members and FGI members.  All of this is possible because you said, “Yes, this can be done."


Now, I would like to introduce three more members to welcome with our December issue: Ann Apple, Owner of Ann Apple Designs, Val Enquist, Owner of Chic Antique and Michelle Forrester, Owner & Stylist for Style by Constantine.  Also on the member front, we profiled the gifted Margaret Alderman Ford and her beautiful fine jewelry line.  See Member Profile


Our last event for the year was a sold-out success.  Just ahead of the ICSC (International Council Of Shopping Centers) Conference in New York, retail guru, Robin Lewis addressed, “The New Rules Of Retail” and what the future looks like for retail and retail in Charleston.  See “The New Rules of Retail” December 1 Event


In closing, I’d like to ask you to put your business needs forward so our organization can always meet them.  We are working hard to make Charleston the fashion capital of the South so there is no time for rest for our industries!


Warmest wishes to you and your family during this holiday season,

Rosanna Krekel

Member Profile


Margaret Alderman Ford

Owner and Designer of Alderman Ford Fine Jewelry and Design

margaret alderman ford 3A lifelong love of design and jewelry arts led Margaret Alderman Ford to return to her passion.  She now has a vibrant and diversified business creating necklaces, bracelets, and earrings combining precious and semi-precious stones, pearls, and antique medallions and watch fobs.  The result is a striking one of a kind piece of jewelry.  While the type of stones may be the same, the medallions, fobs, and gold sterling silver clasps always set the pieces apart. 

After accompanying her father, a career military officer, through Europe and the United States, Margaret launched her career in the fashion industry in 1968 while a freshman at the University of South Carolina.  She started out behind the costume jewelry counter for J. B. White, part of the Mercantile Chain and the rest is history.  From designer to buyer to store owner and manager to couture design, Margaret’s experiences span the industry.


During her forty plus years in the fashion industry, Margaret embarked on a search for spirituality culminating with certification as a Spiritual Director from the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri and the Institute of Formative Spirituality of Duquesne University.  She passes her spirituality and passion for jewelry to each custom designed piece.


Margaret’s jewelry follows time honored designs and not trends.  Margaret welcomes the challenge and opportunity to work directly with wholesale and retail clients.  Her work can be viewed online at or by scheduling a private showing at her studio in Columbia, SC at 803-447-6630.


"The New Rules of Retail" December 1 Event

Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace


On December 1st, FGI Charleston held its last event for the year – a sold out event at the Renaissance Historic District Hotel in downtown Charleston.  Robin Lewis, keynote speaker of the night, shared the formula for successful retail sales in today’s marketplace.  The material addressed the challenges retailers and all consumer facing businesses deal with during this unprecedented time of market saturation and consumer power or wave 3 (which is the period of time covering 2000-Present).


In his research, the overproduction of goods rendering the consumer as king will force retailers to either “adapt or die”.  He shared the various retailers he examined over the years extracting three essential elements from the businesses that were the  “winners” e.g. Lululemon, Trader Joe’s , The Gilt Groupe, Ralph Lauren, Zara and a host of others.


The three essential elements in the success formulas include:


  1. Neurological Connectivity
  2. Preemptive Distribution
  3. Value Chain Control


In neurological connectivity, the mind connects to the environment and the elevated experience triggers a chemical reaction in the brain that happens three times with the consumer –preshopping anticipation, actual shopping experience and using the product.  He used Starbucks as one of many examples here.


Preemptive Distribution allows a retailer to get in front of the consumer first, faster and more often than competitors.  The Zara change of product assortment on a regular basis was an example cited.


Superior Value Control –items 1) and 2) could not be achieved without this.  This is the complete control of your business from definition to delivery and development.  One striking example, Ralph Lauren.  In several of the examples cited, Mr. Lewis stated how wholesalers were moving to full retail models.  


Other macro observations were big box retailers developing pop-up stores, on-line stores opening bricks and mortar stores and consumer brands such as Tide opening their own experiential stores e.g. a laundrymat.


The opportunity for Charleston is that the small retailers are favored because of their understanding of and the proximity to the consumer.


You can download The Robin Report or purchase Mr. Lewis’ must-read book at

FGI Charleston 2011 Year in Review


We have accomplished a lot in year one against our goals:


  1. Develop and build our members’ businesses
  2. Bring unique programming to Charleston
  3. Put a spotlight on Charleston as a fashion capital


For item 1)  we have had a number of members submit testimonials as to how the organization has benefited their businesses.   Seven of them across different fashion industries –jewelry, apparel, home, accessories, retail, beauty and education have been chosen to share their quotes and be part of our branding campaign (again, we will send you a teaser just before it breaks).  We have hosted several no-charge member events that allowed our members to network, share ideas and learn about a hosting members' business.  We put our members needs out in our newsletter and announce their events on our social media sites.  Our members all try to support each other’s businesses.


For item 2) we have had 4 unique programs in the Charleston area.  One covered international fashion, one covered accessories (timed with the Royal Wedding), one covered a big trend in the beauty industry –healthy beauty and the last covered the “New Rules Of Retail”.  We have had guest speakers come to Charleston and we have included our own local talent where applicable on panels and events.


For item 3) We are beginning to build awareness outside of our community as to the unique offerings Charleston has as a fashion city –talent, the diversity of businesses, the academic programs being built for the students here and the European roots of this cosmopolitan city that make it the fashion capital of the South.  We were recognized with a merit award amongst the 36 regions of FGI at the Regional Directors conference this year.  We will also be the first region to develop a branding campaign for FGI that can be used by other regions.  Additionally, Charleston is part of the international directory of FGI which has an audience of 5,600 members around the world from New York to London to Paris.



Other items of distinction for our launch year:
o  Our membership exceeded goal 
o  We achieved profitability 
o  We have developed a print and electronic media presence
o  We receieved our first community sponsor
o  We put together a talented board with key positions represented by executives with over 20 years of business experience in their respective fields

Great job everyone!


843 696 2688

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