Business of Craft Season 5 Episode 4 Be a Disruptive Retailer with DeAnna McIntosh

Business of Craft Season 5 Episode 4 DeAnna McIntosh


Welcome to Business of Craft, a show designed to help entrepreneurs with fabric or fiber businesses become more successful. Our guests share best practices and teach effective marketing skills, that help crafty business owners learn to grow and scale. Let’s start crafting a better business together!

DeAnna McIntosh is a business strategist and retail consultant at Retailing Evolved specializing in helping retailers drive sales and increase conversions in their business. In her 16 year career, she’s worked with companies like Bloomingdales, Chicos, Office Depot, The Home Depot, Office Max and more. DeAnna holds a BS in International Fashion Merchandising Management from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, USA, and Polimoda Institute in Florence, Italy. In 2020 she founded Diversify Retail Inc to bring more attention to the issue of diversity in retailing. She joins our podcast today to give our craft retail listeners some special insights into future-proofing your  business and how to be a disruptive retailer.

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[1:30] I love to start with origin stories and I read that your mom STILL has your middle school posters about your entrepreneurial business. What was your business idea when you were 12 years old? 

[3:25] One of the mindset shifts you try to help retailers with is moving from trying to think like a retailer or a service provider to someone who is solving a problem. Tell us more about that? 

[6:15] Do you have any advice for businesses who need to find their why?

[8:45] Can you share a little more with us about your non-profit and what issues are you tackling there? 

[12:30] Let’s dive right in with future-proofing. It seems like every news cycle is talking about recession, inflation, post-pandemic crises and more. Can you tell us why you think we need to future proof our businesses? 

[14:10] For listeners who can’t quite wrap their heads around it, how does diversity help future proof your business? 

[18:30] How can being more innovative help future proof your business? 

[20:50] We talk a lot at the agency about experiential retail and immersive shopping. Can you give us an example of that and tell our listeners why that’s such an important shift retailers need to make? 

[25:00] I also love what you say about community driven retailing. We’ve been helping clients focus on nurturing a sense of community in their virtual communities but it really goes well beyond that into the brick and mortar spaces right? 

[31:15] So, Disruptive Retailing… Let’s start with maybe your definition of what that is.

32:20] And you suggest a couple of focus areas for retailers… Customer Service, Product, Technology and the Business Model Itself…. I think we should go through each of those and quickly give listeners an example in each category?  

[37:00] Do you have examples of where customers could go with personalization? 

[44:20] I want to make sure that listeners who are thinking, “I need her help” know the best way to onboard with you. I saw you have something called a VIP day, and you have free “visioning sessions” but I’m not sure if that’s what you recommend for a first touch with you? 

Key Takeaways:

  • Like always, you need to start with WHY in thinking about how you can be a problem-solver for your customers. Check out Simon Sinek’s books: Find Your Why and Star with Why
  • Diversity is just one future-proofing strategy, along with financial planning and needing to be innovative. This is a subject you can’t just put your head in the sand and think it doesn’t impact your biz or your customers. In order to be a strong, solid business in the future, diversity has to be in the forefront of your mind.
  • DeAnna had some great ideas on disruptive retailing. We love the idea that you should be delighting your customers at every opportunity. Think of small ways you can create a different shopping experience, build your relationships (rather than just a transaction), and how you can surprise and delight them.