Local items are an increasing profit-driving category, as well as a retail differentiator for the independent housewares channels. From food items to housewares goods, items that are made in a store’s surrounding area can help boost foot traffic while giving customers an opportunity to purchase a product in a brick-and-mortar store that they cannot get online.
Honeycomb Kitchen Shop, based in Rogers, AR, has taken the maker movement one step further. The kitchen store has chosen to highlight the makers it carries on social media, telling their stories, showing their photos and discussing the stories behind the products sold. This, said co-owner Dana Smith, has boosted engagement with Honeycomb both on social media and in-store as well.
“We will have people come in and say, ‘I didn’t know you carried this product here,” or they will mention they saw a product on our Facebook post and have dropped in for it,” she said.
Smith said the store has chosen to highlight the local makers it works with on consignment. Because of that, the items aren’t featured on the Honeycomb Kitchen Shop website, so they wanted to find another way to highlight the products and allow their customers to dive deeper into the store’s selection of local products.
“We sent out a series of questions to each maker and asked them to send us a photo of themselves to go along with it. We feel like it’s important to include a photo so that people really feel connected to them and their product,” she said.
Smith’s strategy is to highlight one maker per week on Mondays for the allotted amount of makers, which is currently 12. She said she may re-highlight them around the holidays in order to keep items top-of-mind while moving into gifting season.
But, said Smith, the most fun of it all has been sharing the connection that her and Melissa Turpin, the store’s other co-owner, have made with these artisans with their customers.
“We have enjoyed getting to know these people so much and have enjoyed working with them. Now, we get to open up and connect our customers with them, and that’s very important,” she said.