Meet the Agent: Nadine Shadwell

In the next instalment of our new series of interviews with agents across the furnishings industry, we spoke with Nadine Shadwell who shares her insight and why POS is paramount.

Meet Nadine

Nadine Shadwell, owner of NLS Agencies, and represents Sweet Dreams and Shankar.

How long have you been an agent in the industry?

I have been an agent since October 2023 but I have been in the industry since 2015

What drew you into the life of an agent and what’s the day-to-day like?

After working as a furniture retailer for five years and spending two years as Sales Office Manager for a cabinet wholesaler/manufacturer during Covid, I thought that my experience and existing relationships would translate well into becoming an agent, giving me the ability to support wholesalers and retailers whilst understanding the challenges they face.

What is the best part of your role?

I very much enjoy the sales element of my role, however, the best part for me is building relationships with people and helping to find products that suit theirs/their customer’s needs.

What is the most difficult?

Supply chain issues and related delays are a problem that we come up against regularly leading to difficult conversations with customers and the loss of some orders.

Do you have any particular highlights so far?

I love trade shows so exhibiting at The NBF Bed Show last year and then JFS this year was fantastic for me. As was the recent INDX Beds & Bedroom Show too. I’m very much looking forward to future shows I have in the diary too.

What challenges do you think currently face agents in the furnishing industry?

The entire industry is seeing tough times currently and obviously this has a knock-on effect on us as agents when trying to reach targets set for us. Sometimes even if you have the right product in the right place the customer just doesn’t have space/funds to be able to commit.

What would you like to see change?

A lot of what is happening in our industry is directly related to the current state of the country. I think it would be nice if things started to settle so that we can get lead times and shipping costs down and release some of the pressure on the industry.

What would help agents more?

Information is key for our customers, the same as with any industry, so ensuring product information and related POS is accurate, up to date and easily accessible for agents, and in turn customers, helps the entire sales process flow more smoothly.

What would you say to someone considering becoming an agent?

Times are tough at the moment and being an agent isn’t easy. Being proactive is essential and for me the people and relationships have been key. A good network is also invaluable.

What is the most important attribute to have as an agent and why?

In my opinion, a passion for the industry is most important. To do the job well you have to want to learn about the companies you are trying to supply, their target market and the people behind them, not just the products you are attempting to sell them.

Can you share something that irritates you the most as an agent?

Variable speed limit motorways and road works are my biggest gripe! I love travelling to see customers, but our roads are a mess and make life as an agent more difficult.

Can you share an insight into your plans for the year ahead?

To continue to grow my industry knowledge and business relationship network, whilst providing a high level of support to the people and companies I work with.

What’s the next big thing you are seeing in the industry and why?

Sustainable, Eco Friendly, reclaimed and recycled products seem to be coming more to the forefront of customer requests as people are becoming more aware of pollution, waste and environmental damage. / 07773307460 /

Save this article for later

You can revisit this article if you save it as favourite news!

Leave a Comment