Collaborations are one of the best growth strategies especially for small independent brands. Today we want to introduce you to a different kind of collaboration – working with your stockist. Hettie, the British lifestyle brand for the whole family, recently launched their collaborative collection specifically created for the Swedish market in partnership with one of their stockists, Lord of Ralf.
Here, Sian, the founder of Hettie, explains more about it.
How did this collaboration come about?
Around 18 months ago we were contacted by some lovely people (Henrik and Lisa) in Sweden who owned a business selling bathrooms and the hardware that goes with them. They wanted to open a brand new business based around the same ideas of quality and passionate manufacturing as well as genuine products made in the UK with brands they could trust. As they are dog lovers and could see a potential in selling dog accessories, they decided to open their new business around this and have been selling all of our ranges ever since.
We chatted about the wool that we use to make our pet accessories. I mentioned that it would be possible with the right volumes to make an exclusive collection out of a different fabric in the future. Using our designs and a co-branded label. Lisa has some experience in selling fabrics and was very keen on the idea.
Is working with a stockist in a different country different or similar to other collaborations you have been involved in the domestic market?
It has been a similar experience, and an enjoyable one with some more lovely people. It certainly helped that Henrik and Lisa speak very good English!
As with any collaboration you need to be patient as it takes some time from the initial conversation through to sampling approval and the finished collection ready for sale.
How did you decide on the colours, designs and the product range for that market? Did your stockist do some market research or purely went with gut and knowledge of the market?
Lisa was very keen to use one of her favourite Mulberry fabrics. She sent us a sample for our production team to assess for suitability first. It looks amazing on our products! The team at Hettie then chose some lining fabric and bindings which we felt most suited their chosen outer wool. We sent photos of how these would look before moving to the first samples for their approval.
In this collaboration, how did you go about exclusivity of the range/collection?
It was important to us that the label was a cobranded label. The collaboration uses the Hettie feel and product designs, with a fabric exclusive to the Lord Ralf brand and the Swedish market. We were all very happy with the result! And we are always keen to chat to other designers and brands who would like to do a similar product based around all of our classic designs so get in touch.
Hettie is a British lifestyle brand for all of the family.
Hettie is a family business born out of an idea started around the garden table one evening at one of our BBQs. These are something they have regularly, in proper British style ‘whatever the weather’. Founder Sian says, “We live in the beautiful countryside in Warwickshire near the river and have many beautiful walks and villages right on our doorstep. We wanted to design and make a country-inspired collection infused with the colours of nature we see all around us every day.”
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