It’s Indie Friday! This week’s guest: Therese Oertenblad of Small Business Collaborative

Every Friday, I will share with you an interview asking independent champions to share with us their love for small brands and indie shops.  This week’s Small Business star is Therese from Small Business Collaborative. Have a read!

If you are interested in sharing your love for indie, please contact Geraldine.

Please introduce yourself and tell us what you’re up to at the moment?

Hi, I’m Therese, I run a business called Small Business Collaborative where I help small business owners start, grow and scale their wholesale. I set up my business in 2018 after spending over a decade in sales in the home and gift industry selling to both small and large retailers. 

Most recently I attended the Gift of the Year Awards, a yearly competition to find the best gift products in our industry that I’ve been judging for the last couple of years. This year they joined forces with The Greats Awards which is all the best retailers in the UK so it was a perfect fit. I feel so privileged that after years of entering various products, I’m now a judge and I sit on the national committee of the Giftware Association. If you’re not part of a trade association I would highly recommend that you join one.

In my business, I’m working on improving things behind the scenes and polishing up my own processes and backend systems, something I talk to my clients about a lot but often move off my to-do list myself. Plus, I’m continuing to work with my amazing clients and students on helping them grow their businesses. 

Please tell us why you love shopping with independent businesses

I’ve loved shopping with independents ever since I started in this industry. Probably before then, but I definitely remember going on my first sales trips around the country, calling on some wonderful independents and spending all my money buying things I didn’t really have the money for. Many of these are still in business today, such as Pod in Clifton Village, Oklahoma in Manchester, Huttons in London and Windsor, and many more.

I love how each shop has its own unique vibe and curation and how the store owners spent so much time finding unique things. Plus the customer service you get when you shop with an independent business is always second to none. It’s like shopping with a friend even if you’re on your own.

Have you got favourite indie makers and brands you’d like to share with us?

I have many, where I live there are not that many markets unfortunately but I always try to visit Bedford Flea when it’s on. My latest find there is Curated Violet which sells beautiful vintage clothes and accessories. Other than that there are so many brands that I absolutely love but since you’re in Bristol I thought I would mention Stitching me Softly, Prior Shop and Truce.

Do you visit markets regularly? If so, please let us know which ones and why you love them?

Laura and Talia who run the Bedford Flea market are so passionate about curating a range of vintage finds, arts, flowers, yummy treats and gifts. It’s always so fun to discover new brands and things.

About Therese Oertenblad

Therese Oertenblad of Small Business Collaborative has spent 13 years selling to retailers of all sizes. She now helps business founders make more money.

With passion and kindness, she helps business owners price their products for profit, teach them how to sell, and build a wholesale strategy so they can make a reliable income.

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