When it comes to sourcing independent brands ETSY marketplace is a treasure trove. Founded in 2005 ETSY is a relative ocean of handmade or vintage (items must be over 20 years old to qualify) and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. With over 54 million users registered as members, and the online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods connected 1.4 million active sellers with 19.8 million active buyers.
Lauren and Robin are founders of The Hendersons, an idea conceived when the pair decided that joint love and passion for vintage could become a great base for a business. What soon followed were visits to local auction houses and frequent visits from growing customers to The Hendersons stalls at local flea markets and vintage fairs. From here, Lauren and Robin would sell their curated pieces and meet other like-minded people. With respective backgrounds in art and design the duo’s keen eye for unique design and special buys, they began to look for even more beautiful products made by independent makers and illustrators to sell in their store so more people could enjoy the products as much as we do.
I interviewed the pair…
– Introduce yourself and tell us a little about your brand
Our names are Lauren and Robin and we are The Hendersons. We are a young couple from the garden of England that are passionate about rescuing unloved items and giving them a new lease of life .Our shop is a eclectic collection of our own personal styles that merge together to create a home.
– What can shoppers expect to find with your products?
We try as much as possible to source our products from independent makers and business from up and down the U.K and around the world, this grew from our love for unique products then our need to source things which made us stand out from the crowd
– Why is making in the UK important to you?
Making in the U.K is very important, Having a local high street shop we have seen first hand what giving back to the local economy can do for a town, both business in the town and people’s lives will thrive because of it, most of the time the products are made or at least designed with love and attention you just do not get from mass production.
– How do you approach sustainability within your brand?
We try to be as sustainable as possible within the brand, having a small business it is essential to make things work wherever possible for you from buying and selling already used and vintage goods such as our vintage terracotta flowerpots to re-using old packaging to send out our online orders, there is always something that can be utilised or re-used to meet a purpose.
– How would you describe your brand in a few words?
Independent, thoughtful, outreaching and personal.
We believe great design and product quality is the holy grail, if you can create an excellent looking product that does its job really well that’s as much as you can ask for, in the past we have loved the look of products in the past however when it comes to testing them, candles for example, they just don’t meet the standards were looking for.
– How do you ensure quality with your brand? And how have you kept it consistent throughout the years?
We are a relatively new brand, only selling new products 2-3 years ago but to ensure or brand stays consistent a lot of thought goes into who we source our products from, first of all we must love them and could see the product on our own shelves at home or enjoy reading the magazines we sell for example. Secondly it has to be from a supplier we can have a relationship with, we learn about their products, and when you love the products its easy to be able to learn about them therefore it’s easier to be passionate about what the Hendersons brand stands for.
– What were the biggest challenges you faced when trying to grow your brand?
The biggest challenge was trying to source unique products in the U.K available at wholesale which met our styles. It takes a lot of time to search for appropriate makers who offer wholesale options. We try to stay away from large trade fairs, instead we try to take inspiration from makers fairs and markets.
– How can we/how do you encourage customers to look at independent brands like yourself instead of just focusing on the better known ones?
We try to engage a lot with social media, Instagram and hashtags are excellent ways to get your products out there, the best way to get customers enjoying your brand is to form a relationship with them that a high street store cannot. We pride ourselves on making every customer feel they’re helping out a small business and it does make a difference to us. Offering great products is also a priority, if you can offer something unique and special not available elsewhere a customer will appreciate that.