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Small Business Collaboration


When you own a small business, supporting other small businesses becomes your M.O. Read on for an example of how one quilt shop put on an event with other small business.

Event Collaboration

Last December, owners Ann Van Thomme and Jenny Gruenwald of Off the Rails Quilting in Bondurant, Iowa organized a holiday sip and shop at a local brewery, Reclaimed Rails Brewing Co. The collaboration didn’t end there as Home Slice Hand Made Pies also offered miniature pies for sale.

They’re not new to collaborating with other small businesses however, promoting events with Red Dragon Herbs and Tea, carrying Molly & You gourmet baking mixes, and selling T-shirts and novelty items in the shop sourced from local suppliers.

Ann and Jenny offer some of their best collaboation tips:

  • Make it easy for businesses to work with you
  • Cross-promote different business types to expand everyone’s customer base
  • Think outside the box on ways to collaborate
  • Happy customers spend more money, and collaboration is just one way to increase everyone’s turn out

Inspiration for this post comes from “Neighborhood Swatch” by Managing Editor Millie Kehrli published in the February 2023 issue of Creative Retailer.

Free Workshop March 28

Tune in Tuesday, March 28th from 3 – 4 p.m. CST via Zoom for a workshop on The Value of Video: Education, Community, Profit.

The event hosted by Lyric Montgomery Kinard, cofounder of The Global Quilt Connection and founder of The Academy for Virtual Teaching, will answer a variety of questions including:

  • What is virtual education?
  • Where does your customer find it?
  • How does it bring customers to you?
  • How can it increase your sales?
  • How does it create a community loyal to your brand?
  • What equipment do you really need?

The event is free for all Creative Retailer subscribers. Keep an eye in your inbox for a link to the event, or email to be added to the list.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to Creative Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

If you still can’t get enough, register for the Creative Retailer LIVE Spring 2023 event May 2-4 in Pawhuska, Oklahoma for opportunities to learn from peers as well as network with industry professionals.

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