Drew Barrymore closes the NRF Retail Big Show – choosing the right business partner

Beautiful kitchenware launched in March 2021. Combining elegant design and contemporary colours, the core aim of the product range was to offer high-performance appliances and cookware that look beautiful in everyone’s kitchen.

Beautiful was co-founded by actor, host and producer Drew Barrymore, and ‘Made by Gather’ founder and CEO Shae Hong to offer innovative, purposeful, and affordable products that bring people together.

They were joined on stage alongside the National Retail Federation’s Martine Reardon – Chief Marking Officer & Executive Vice President, Content and Retail Strategy.

Drew and Shae were asked about their collaboration on their kitchenware range and where were the most important factors when choosing a business partner, and their approach to design.

Barrymore was asked about the design process.

“I was regularly reading homewares magazines, which appeared to be littered with volumes of high end, eloquently designed kitchen appliances. Truly beautiful (hence the brand name), but not accessible to a broader market. I wanted to change that dynamic.”

Drew indicated she essentially took the very best premium products, designs, styles – and engaged contract manufacturers to replicate them.

“We opted for a narrow range, which would drive larger volumes (think Kmart strategy) and connected with Walmart – as this was our market.”

“We truly appreciate our partnership with Walmart. They bought in at the beginning of our journey and have stuck with us. That has provided capital to expand the range.”

The top three best-selling items in the Beautiful collection are currently an air-fryer, single serve coffee grinder/maker, the interestingly, the ‘Drew’ chair.

The discussion then shifted to the partnership between Barrymore, Hong and Walmart.

Barrymore suggested several factors that drive successful commercial partnerships:

Alignment

The most important factor to look for in a business partner is the alignment of goals and values. You want to work with someone who shares your vision, mission, and culture. A partner who has similar goals and values can help you create a strong and lasting relationship, based on trust, respect, and mutual benefit.

Compatibility

At a personal level, finding a business partner that shares your business culture and style, is vital. You want to work with someone who can fit well with your business culture and work ethic. Such a partner, and their team, can help you create a harmonious relationship, based on mutual respect.

Flexibility

Seek an adaptable business partner. You want to work with a partner who can adjust to changing situations and opportunities. The ability to deal with uncertainty and risk is also important. A flexible partner can help you respond to dynamic markets and shifting customer trends.

Performance

A partner who performs at a high level, and can deliver the results, meet deadlines and expectations, and follow through on commitments. A reliable partner can help you achieve your goals, satisfy your customers, and maintain your reputation.

Complementarity

Having a business partner with skills that complements yours is important. You want to work with someone who can offer something that you lack or need, and who can benefit from what you have or do. Such attributes can help you fill the gaps, leverage the strengths, and create synergies in your operations.

Communication

Finally, Barrymore suggested seeking a partner with exceptional communication skills was essential. Ultimately, I want to work with someone who can communicate, effectively, and on time. A business partner who has good collaboration skills can help you avoid misunderstandings, conflicts, and delays while fostering a positive and productive work environment.

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