From the very start our business has been built on collaboration.
Had we not asked for help from others we wouldn't have gotten anywhere.
We would probably still be dreaming out loud :)
If I could give any advice to aspiring business owners it would be this:
Open up your eyes and mind to the possibilities that working together bring.
As a small business owner you can simply not figure out or do everything by yourself.
Many with more experience are willing to give you their 2 cents. Even on very specific questions.
Sure, you can get burnt.
We've learned to be careful working together with businesses without a well thought through concept.
When the lines are blurred you might see them get a little too inspired by the products or services you offer.
That said, businesses who have to steal ideas from others won't be much of a match for entrepreneurs who come up with their own in the long run anyway,
and working together with other businesses is too much fun not to take the risk :D
(does it show I had fun taking product pictures? :D)
Vii collaborates with businesses with similar values.
Concepts may not always overlap on all fronts but as long as you can find common ground you have something to work with.
We wouldn't have been a part of Visby Fashion Weekend had The Body Shop not been looking for a collaboration.
They stand for vegetarian and cruelty free beauty products, we sell (among other things ;)) beautiful handmade leather bracelets.
We are drawn to the organic, the natural and the plastic-free, they choose synthetic materials for their brush bristles as animal materials are out of the question for them.
Even though their product choices and ours might not always fit together,
The Body Shop's mission is to make a difference in their customers' lives, and there we've found our common ground!
We all make our own choices, as businesses and as customers.
The important thing (for me personally at least) is that there is a thought behind what we choose.