Thursday, June 26, 2008

Can we work together?

CONGRATULATIONS to Emma (our PM Brand Manager) who is expecting a little Miss or Master at the beginning of Jan!!! We are all very excited (especially because I have been there - done that - 4 time... ;) You will HATE being preggers over Christmas - as you will feel like the Turkey... but it is definitely worth it! My beginning of Jan baby is now 10 1/2... which makes me cringe ;) Still super cute though... although that makes HIM cringe.

I wrote an article (HERE) for Craft Business... and it entertained {aka promoted} the thought that craft retailers that work together can actually be more effective and successful. I always find it interesting that retailers shy away from their competition...

I see it as a real strength to have other business perspectives. I knew the guys at DO when I was first starting out (...much like I try to know most of my competitors in the industry.) I remember Alicia Tucker (of The Scrapbook House) saying to me at my first trade show that within a year I would be working for her... Nothing more than a light-hearted competitive chat; but it did make me evaluate and pull my socks up. I also think that along the years I have come to respect my peers opinion and input. I have had numerous conversations with the guys at DO; mainly Andrew & Phil. I always made it a point of chatting to them at shows. I just think there is LOTS to be gained by creating bridges...

For me, when I decided to leave my company - it meant lots of open doors. When I was still building my company, it meant I did not have to figure it all out on my own. I could ask really clever, talented, experienced people how I could improve (Mike from the Really Useful Products company is pure genius!!) So maybe if you are a retailer, think outside the box... and outside the comfort zone; and try to see where working together can strengthen your business.

Personally I LOVE the idea of offering me a discount on chocolates from the chocolatier next door ;)

2 comments:

minerva said...

in the past I have done a couple of craft fairs and looked for fellow crafters to offer complimentary products, I thought a low commission would be fine - after all I'd be paying the stand fee anyway. But I never had any takers (not even enquiries) - looking for complimentary suppliers to wedding/baby events now and have so far got one interested party.(and that's my brother!) It makes so much sense even for kitchen table businesses to pool resources but there seems to be a general mistrust.

Jennie said...

I have always tried to talk to other companies/competitors to see a) how the land lies, and b) if theya re willing to work with you, be it exchange of goods etc, amazing how they all bar a couple, have shied so far away you would think I had offered them something smelly!!