Episode 36: Kristen Lambert of The Third Piece
Today I'm speaking with Kristen Lambert owner of the amazing knitting company, The Third Piece. Formally exclusively sold via their website, pop-up shops and wholesale options, The Third Piece opened it's first brick and mortar at the beginning of November. Kristen's business isn't a baby though. As you'll hear in today's episode, The Third Piece wound a long and sometimes frustrating road to where it is today and Kristen offers a refreshing and honest take on the process of seeing a business through many iterations.
Kristen takes us through changing from the pop-up/wholesale model to the brick and mortar model and why this gave her a chance to get clear on her plans and desires for the business she really wanted to build. We talk about the power of this pop-up hustle as an early part of any business and why nothing can replace the instant feedback that you get from face-to-face interactions with customers. We go into the details of creating an experience for your clients, alternatives for finding funding when the banks won't give you any and why we business owners need to learn to ask for (and accept!) help.
We address the concept of mentorship and why sometimes you really just need a coach. This hit home for me as it's something I've been wanting to explore for Forty Winks as of late. Meredith and I are in the midst of so many changes in our business and personal lives and I've really been struggling with where to go with our business. Side note: if anyone knows of a great coach, please send them our way. I would greatly appreciate.
This is a really bomb show; it's full of wisdom and tangible take-aways for wholesaling, ethical production, pop-ups, getting clear on why, financial alternatives, asking for help etc. etc. Let me know what you think!
We talk about:
- Making the wholesale process work as an exclusively handmade business.
- Finding and sourcing a community to get the pieces made in a timely fashion especially when you have huge orders coming in.
- Maintaining and creating opportunities for local people as a key and fundamental part of your business.
- Learning how to be more prepared for production hurdles while still finding ways to scale the business back to make it run lean.
- Determining price points based on keeping product locally handmade and the transparency behind the labor process and the materials used.
- Testing your idea through pop-up shops and the confidence that comes from this type of structure.
- The fear that your business will stop growing if you don't say yes to everything!
- The liberating feeling that is relinquishing some of your responsibilities and seeing that your business can flourish and exist on it's own.
- Why getting everyone else's opinion on your business puts you and your needs on the back burner.
- Hiring a leadership coach and how that can help get you clarity on what you want to do.
- How knitting or creating in general can take you out from behind your phone and computer (and all the stress that comes from that!).
- Deciding to open a physical space and why you need to think about what you're going to offer to get the customer through the door.
- Reaching out for help (and actually taking it) especially as a female business owner.
Find more about The Third Piece:
631 Tremont Street Boston MA
This is my last show (tear!) until mid-February or so. I'm so grateful to you all for the community we're building. If you miss Keeping Shop over this short hiatus I encourage you to go back and listen to my back catalog. Every one of my guests has something unique and meaningful to offer. Check 'em out! Thank you again for listening and for being part of this whole brick and mortar movement. I'll speak to you in February (and a couple times via email before that! ).