Why I decided to start a podcast

Updated: Feb 10

Let’s Talk Shop is a weekly podcast filled with business stories and practical advice from shop and brand owners, buyers and professionals involved in the Home and Gift industry.

Each week I will be chatting to a brilliant podcast guest who's story and knowledge I think can help you and your business. It's something I'm so passionate about and I'm so excited to be launching with 3 episodes on Monday the 15th July 2019. If you click on the image below to subscribe today you would make me so happy!

How it came to be

This is something I was struggling with. Before starting my business I listened to a couple of shows, but not very frequently but once I decided to go for it I found Sam Burgess Small and Mighty Conversations and I was hooked. There are some really great podcasts out there (I wrote a blog about my favourites and you can find it here) for small business owners but I could not find anyone who specifically talks about selling to shops and I thought, perhaps it's something I can do.

I then realised that everyone seemed to have a podcast these days and I talked myself out of it. However, it stayed in the back of my mind and I spoke out about it to my friends and they convinced me that it was worth it and that I should not let the fact that there are lots of podcasts out there hold me back so here we are.

My three Why's

1. I sometimes feel like there are two camps, buyers vs. sellers and not much is being done to bridge the gap between the two. Perhaps in the past this has not been so much of an issue but with more and more small businesses starting up I think that despite social media connecting people the divide is getting bigger.

Part of this I think is because of social media and email, it has become too scary to pick up the phone or walk into a shop now when emailing or sending a DM is so much easier and we convince ourselves that it's also quicker.

I've thought a lot about why it's scary, I completely recognise this as I'm an introvert myself and I thought about what makes me take that step and how I handle it and I realised that knowledge and know-how is what gives me the confidence to approach potential stockists so I hope that this is something my guests and I can pass onto you as a listener.

2. The High Street is boring!! There are lots of amazing products out there from businesses that are doing it the right way, considering the environment, sustainability, their staff and all the things that needs to become part of our everyday but still our high-street shops are filled with the same generic mass-produced things in bulky plastic packaging. Why is that?

I'm sure there are lots of reasons and I feel like we're moving in the right direction but just a bit too slowly for my liking and I thought, maybe a part of it is because as small business owners we now have to be everything, the marketer, sales person, designer, maker, accountant and so much more and that is both exciting and very challenging so maybe we can all do with a bit of help and inspiration.

3. If it's confidence and lack of know-how that is holding you back, maybe I can do my part by sharing everyone's stories, after-all we're all just people who love products and who's trying to share what we're passionate about with each-other.

How can a podcast achieve all that?

Well, I'm sure it can't achieve all that but if I can inspire some of you to take action and just go for it I would be so happy and so proud. I love helping small businesses and this is a way for me to ask my guests some of the things I think will help you to gain some confidence and know-how:

  • How can you build a good relationship with a supplier?

  • What makes a good supplier?

  • How do you reach out to new potential stockists?

  • What do you you feel is the best way for brands to get in touch with you as a retail buyer?

  • How do you encourage shoppers to come into your shop?

My guests

The first season will feature 12 episodes, three which will be available on the 15th July so let me introduce you to my first few guests. The rest are a secret, subscribe so you don't miss any episodes.

I interviewed Antonia for my blog earlier in the year and when I made the decision to start Let's Talk Shop I reached out to Antonia almost right away to invite her as a guest. Antonia runs a beautiful lifestyle shop and cafe in Enfield, North London and supports lots of smaller businesses by stocking them in her shop.

I was keen to speak to Antonia as I feel like her shop is the kind of independent shop we need more of on our high-streets, she fully embraces the fact that an independent shop is an important part of the local community and she runs workshops and events and constantly buys in new and interesting products to fill her shop shelves.

Tune in on the 15th July to hear Antonia's story and how she thinks we can all save a bit of time by getting better at picking up the phone and making that real life connection.

Next time you're after a beautiful gift, for someone special or for yourself, have a look at Antonia's website or visit her shop. You can also follow her on her beautiful Instagram feed.

Henri Davis is a retail consultant and the Deputy Chairman of the Giftware Association. She has 30 years of experience in the retail industry, both as a buyer and as a consultant so I knew I wanted her on season one of Let's Talk Shop.

In episode 2, Henri and I chat about the struggling high-street, the importance of continuing to innovate and staying flexible to stay in business, what's most important when at a trade-show and how retail has changed over the years and where it's heading.

You can find Henri on her website and on Twitter and Instagram.

I really enjoyed my chat with Kelly Jennings, there was lots of laughter and I love what Kelly does. As a book lover who has a background in publishing I know how difficult it is to find great gifts for the reader in your life and Kelly makes some wonderfully cleaver and fun products that makes the perfect add-on gift with your book purchase.

In episode 3, Kelly and I speak about her journey of selling to shop and her top tips for others to do the same. Where she would love to be stocked and what's next for her business. The struggles of being a one-person team and not getting carried away with trying to do it all at once.

You can find Kelly's wonderful products on her webiste and follow her over on Instagram.

It's almost GO - Time

Only a few more days to go and I couldn't be more excited, nervous and a little scared, this is the most time-consuming but also fun thing I've launched to date (I say the same every time, I know, but it's always the truth).

If you haven't subscribed to Let's Talk Shop already, please take a moment to do so now, it really does mean the world to me and I would be so grateful.

If you want to start your own podcast, I'm using Podbean to host mine and they have been great (affiliate link).

Follow me over on Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

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