Episode 33: Michelle Barrett of Kind Goods
Today I'm speaking with Michelle Barrett, artist and designer behind Michelle Barrett Ceramics and the new(ish) brick and mortar Kind Goods in Maynard, Massachusetts. She has established a beautiful aesthetic for her brand and she believes in supporting brands and makers that put kindness first in their businesses, hence the name, Kind Goods. At a time when kindness is sometimes looked down on and devalued, I feel grateful for Michelle's bent towards to curating this sentiment in her business.
I visited the shop a couple of Saturdays ago during a charming town event called Maynard Fest. I spent a lot of time in the shop; collecting treasures, taking photos and chatting with Michelle. While I was there she was visited by a few of her makers and I was able to meet the artists behind some of my purchases. The whole atmosphere was warm and welcoming and kind. Mission accomplished.
Michelle is not only artistically talented but she's one of those people that has a natural knack for brick and mortar business. I feel very fortunate to have her on the show and to have recorded one of what will hopefully be many shop talks. We dive into conversations about bootstrapping a brick and mortar, opening a shop in a small, up-and-coming community and what we'd do with more money for our businesses. We also come up with some free marketing tips and discuss why we need to spread the word about the brick and mortars that we love. Enjoy the show.
We talk about:
- The synergistic process that brought her to brick and mortar ownership.
- Cultivating a culture of kindness in business.
- Ways to find balance between alienating people and putting our heads in the sand when dealing with the political climate.
- Finding start up cash and how bootstrapping worked for her business.
- Thoughts on wanting to building something that was sustainable that would grow in ways that she could handle.
- Why community matters when starting a brick and mortar and why a small town can be the best place to open your small business.
- Business planning and why she would go back and work her start up process differently.
- Producing and selling her own product as well as sourcing from other makers.
- Learning to manage her time while wearing a million different hats.
- Being gentle with ourselves when organizing our days.
- Creating a personal brand and how to decide on a particular aesthetic.
- Investing in staff and how that frees you up to put time into FREE marketing that can bring you real results.
- Tips for getting free help and press.
- Staying authentic to her personal tastes as a way of maintaining synergy in her space.
- Wise words about having a business plan, going slow and staring small.
- Thoughts on writing a business plan after you open to optimize growth and scalability.
Need some help starting your brick and mortar? Running a business and wondering about ways to level up your business planning, social media, branding or legal processes? Sign up for our free webinar Laying The Bricks For Success taking place on November 11th. Sign up here
Thanks for listening!