In March of 2021, Faire officially launched in the UK. Over the past year, we’ve enjoyed welcoming the independent retail community in the UK to Faire, and we’re proud of how much our community has grown over time.
Today, there are 6,700 active UK-based brands on Faire offering over 375,000 unique products. In the past year alone, nearly 200,000 orders were placed with UK brands on Faire, and over 8 million products were sold.
To celebrate our one-year anniversary, we spoke with a few members of our UK customer community about their first year on Faire, their tips for achieving success, and what they love about the small business community in the UK.
Reflecting on the year’s achievements
AfroPop Socks—a London-based sock brand that offers African-inspired designs mixed with vibrant and contemporary colours—joined Faire with a desire to expand their global audience and product offering.
“Since joining Faire, we’ve been able to raise more awareness worldwide and have had the majority of our orders come from outside the U.K,” owner Isaac Prempeh said. “Faire has given us the opportunity to access local retailers too, which has been a bonus to our existing customers base in the UK” For Isaac, the best part has been receiving positive feedback from retailers and seeing photos of how AfroPop’s products are displayed in shops around the world.
Dirty Cow Chocolate—a small batch dairy-free chocolate company using sustainable packaging—also came to Faire hoping to maximise their brand’s reach. When they first joined, the company only had a handful of wholesale customers and were using Google Maps to search target areas for desirable retailers.
Today, their network of retailers has grown substantially. “We’ve seen significant growth in our B2B business orders, which has naturally increased our revenue and allowed us to accelerate the growth of our business,” founders Neil Taylor and Tom Wehrle said. “Such a simple system has given us exposure to so many people that we may not have been able to easily reach traditionally. The interest from the U.S. has also given us the confidence to broaden our long-term growth strategy, which is incredibly exciting.”
When Bohemia Design—an Edinburgh-based brand offering home goods and apparel handmade by artisans around the world—joined Faire, they were excited to be available to a whole new network of buyers. “Joining Faire has opened a lot of doors that, as a small independent business, are not so easy to access alone,” founder and owner Jenny Lockton said. “We’ve been introduced to hundreds of beautiful new stockists.”
In addition, Jenny said that with the high cost of exhibiting at trade shows and the inability to travel in the past years, Faire has become a crucial global resource. “It’s been a vital avenue for us to showcase our goods to the widest possible audience, and to continue to trade beyond borders.”
Advice for success
When it comes to achieving success as a small business, especially on Faire, Neil and Tom at Dirty Cow advise keeping a constant line of communication open with customers. “Engage with as many consumers as possible. Be polite, be prompt, and deliver exceptional customer service.”
Dirty Cow has also seen success using their Faire Direct link to close deals with retailers. The free credit incentive has eliminated the barrier of not being able to provide prospective customers with samples. “Now when people request a sample, we send them the Faire Direct link,” Sales and Marketing Manager, Eva Rogers said. “The majority of the time they come back to place a permanent order.” Faire Direct has also allowed them to re-establish contact with customers who had expressed interest and then disappeared.
In addition to leveraging Faire Direct incentives for success, Isaac at AfroPop Socks recommends that brands ensure their Faire profile page is up-to-date with all the recommended fields completed and regularly updated products. “Regularly replenishing your products will give you more chance to get sales and identify your bestsellers,” he said.
Finally, Jenny at Bohemia advises brands utilise quality product photography and item descriptions. “The pride you have in your work will be communicated to retailers looking for new products,” she said. “We invest in professional photography to showcase our wares in their best possible light.”
The magic of the UK small business community
At Faire, we’re continuously impressed and inspired by the power and spirit of the small business community around the world. We asked our UK brands their thoughts on what makes being part of this community in the U.K. so special.
“The open honesty and readiness to help each other is the most special thing about working alongside other UK brands.” —AfroPop Socks
“There are many other small brands that are willing to share their failures and successes.” —Dirty Cow Chocolate
“Retail in the UK has faced many challenges over recent years. It’s wonderful to see how much resilience and creativity there is in the independent sector.” —Bohemia Design
Join Faire to start selling your products to retailers in the UK and around the world today.