Today I am chatting with Torrance Hart founder of Teak and Twine, a custom, boutique gifting company. We are going to talk about how she broke into a niche, custom market, how she garnered a big following in a short amount of time, and what it’s like to be a military spouse.
After this episode, you’ll be so inspired to get better at gifting! I know I was! We put together a freebie that you can download below with our top 5 tips for great Instagram photos (something Torrance rocks at!) She’s also generously shared a discount code with our listeners! Just enter GDP20 at checkout!
Torrance was in the Air Force for 8 years and decided it was time to try something different. She always had an interest in entrepreneurship, but needed something that moved with her as she is also a military wife.
“As I looked around and saw the gift baskets wrapped in cellophane, I just thought I know this can be better” (2:58)
She started out creating wedding welcome gifts for out-of-town guests and to her surprise, people started requesting a wide range of other gifts (4:00).
Torrance suggests that other entrepreneurs have a little bit of a seed of an idea, but then stay flexible enough to listen to what their customers are asking for (4:24).
Some challenges that she faces being an online product-based business versus a service-based business is inventory, and finding the space to house it all at this stage in her business (5:25).
Torrance has built a huge follower of over 20,000 people on Instagram just by sharing her products. She says it also helps to have beautiful imagery, which she does herself by using a light box (15:30).
When it comes to serving her customers, she shares that after starting out differently, she now follows the advice of author Seth Godin. He says to find your tribe or audience first and then tailor your business to what they want (17:06).
“I would say thinking about your audience before your product really helped me.” (18:20)
Torrance talks about how she manages the custom side of her business; how she is able to compile the information she needs in order to represent them and their brand to their clients, friends, customers or colleges. (23:00)
“I want these gifts to feel like a natural extension of (my) brand” (23:21)
Tribes by Seth Godin – Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki – Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions