From Pop-Ups To Partnerships, The Telegraph

From pop-ups to partnerships

Some SMEs collaborate after meeting at pop-up events. Natasha Broady, owner of online homeware outlet, A Splash of Colour, met Joel Adebayo, founder of clothing brand, UTTER Couture, at a pop-up unit in Shoreditch's BoxPark.

"We respected each other’s businesses. We felt that the fusion of the two non-conflicting brands would work,” Ms Broady says. "We hoped that collaborating would bring a more rounded lifestyle concept to UTTER's in-store customers, while giving us the opportunity to have a high street presence – something that's invaluable for a new business."

It took only a week from initial conversations to Ms Broady’s products being stocked in UTTERCouture. But keeping both online and in-store customers happy has been a learning curve. "I’ve noticed a split in what my both customers want, so I'm definitely widening the customer base,” she says. “It’s going well, but it could be six months before I see clear results. Patience and adaptability are key."

Similarly, Positivitea, a wellbeing tea producer, and Well + Happy, a guilt-free raw chocolate company, paired up after meeting at an event. “We met at a yoga pop-up event," explains Positivitea’s founder, Ellie Wharton. “We were both serving our products and were struck by the synergy between our brands in terms of market demographic and positive messaging.”

The two companies now promote each other's products, with plans to hit trade fairs and launch product packs together. They recently teamed up on Chakra & Chocolate gift boxes – a tea and chocolate treat box that both brands sell online.

It's a relatively casual and enjoyable partnership, says Ms Wharton: "It's easy to collaborate with someone who shares your mindset. We haven't entered into any lengthy and litigious contracts. It's just a profit share and a meeting of minds."

Lola Hobbs