Jody Finnegan, owner of 12th Street Shoes, was awarded a scholarship through the Italian Trade Commission and the Association representing Italian Shoe Factories to attend the Micam Shoe Show in Milan, Italy in March.
The commission, which sends delegates twice a year to the Micam show in order to promote trade between Italy and other countries, selected 150 delegates from throughout the world to attend this show, only seven of whom were from the United States. Delegates were notified that they had been selected to attend approximately one week before departure.
The event was Finnegan’s first international buying show.
“It was a bit overwhelming,” Finnegan said in a press release. “The Micam show was about 10 times the size of any show I have attended in the U.S.”
Now Finnegan plans to bring in new shoe and handbag lines to her store that are not currently sold in the United States from vendors whom have not previously exported products to the U.S.
“It will be a fun learning process,” she said in the release. “What an opportunity for 12th Street Shoes and Bellingham. We will be able to offer merchandise that isn’t carried anywhere else in the U.S.”
Finnegan also had the opportunity to purchase European-only styles from her current vendors.
The scholarship covered airfare, lodging in a five-star hotel, meals and evening entertainment, including a Michael Jackson tribute concert and a reception at a local gallery which featured a tribute to Italian shoemakers.
For more information, visit www.12thstreetshoes.com or call (360) 733-2066.