Double the Fun: Collaborating for Success

Aug 4 2016

by Lauren Hopkins

Two heads are always better than one. When two like-minded brands join forces, the partnership amplifies awareness, boosts excitement, and drives interest.

Hayden Reis, the premier line of sailcloth totes and accessories, is a case-study of thoughtful collaborations that have extended the brand’s reach and elevated its status. The Hayden Reis brand had a lot to offer– a well-designed, durable, lightweight and high quality tote. They also maintained a well-established clientele. What the brand needed was additional exposure and fresh designs. That encouraged Emily Stroud, Hayden Reis founder, to carefully identify partners who could offer those things. In return, she promised promotion and a portion of sales. Several of the line’s most popular collaborations were launched with TSC alums. They serve as inspiration for what can be done when smart, creative entrepreneurs work together.

Let’s lead with Leland gal. Hayden Reis approached Maggie Mielczarek of Leland gal because she translates the ease of life, waterside living and a colorful attitude into hand-painted textiles. Both Maggie and Hayden Reis founder, Emily Stroud, share a love for color, family and the beach (among many things), so a partnership was only natural. And take a look at the result– Maggie’s original “Glittering Diamonds” stripe of fabric on the front of the best-selling classic white sailcloth tote. The result? A show-stopping carryall that one bride loved so much she bought NINE– one for each of her bridesmaids. Scoop yours here.

Leland gal for Hayden Reis Tote
The Leland gal for Hayden Reis Middy & Ditty Totes // Maggie’s Boys on the Beach

Another TSC Alum who collaborated with Hayden Reis is the always chic and multi-talented Emily McCarthy. As a creative entrepreneur who also calls the coast home, Emily was a perfect fit. She refreshed another popular Hayden Reis tote (the White with Metallic Gold Leather Stripe) by adding her exclusive bamboo font as a stand-out monogram option. It’s everything. And, it’s the only Hayden Reis tote you can customize with a bamboo monogram. Tote Emily McCarthy’s design like TSC style mavens Paige Minear, of The Pink Clutch, and Alex, of Teggy French.

Emily McCarthy for Hayden Reis Tote
Emily McCarthy, pictured here with her Hayden Reis Tote, in front of her new brick + mortar Shoppe in Savannah, Georgia // The Emily McCarthy for Hayden Reis Tote

Last, but certainly not least, is the wildly popular collaboration with Mandy Rye of Waiting on Martha. She might not live on the coast, but she’s a total girl crush– one with loads of effortless, chic style. The collaboration with Mandy is the best kind of example of going big. Even if you are a smaller brand, don’t be intimidated by larger ones. Find a common thread, craft an appealing opportunity and approach the appropriate contact with a friendly and respectful manner. You might just be surprised by the response. Much like Emily Stroud of Hayden Reis was surprised when Mandy came back with a ‘yes’ and a timeless, top-selling design. Mandy’s cream and white striped tote flew off shelves and was spotted on nearly every significant digital influencer. It was the summer of WOMxHR. Because you know you want to, shop the Waiting on Martha for Hayden Reis Collection.

Waiting on Martha for Hayden Reis Tote
Mandy Rye, of Waiting on Martha, with her custom Cream & White design for Hayden Reis

Hayden Reis’ relationship with Mandy Rye went so well that she thought of the brand when planning a South Carolina getaway in partnership with Garden & Gun Magazine (#bonus!). The brand even designed a custom Palmetto Anything Pouch to tuck inside her Navy & White Striped Ditty Tote.

Hayden Reis Totes & Accessories
Mandy Rye, of Waiting on Martha, Packs Hayden Reis for a Road Trip through South Carolina with Garden & Gun Magazine

Each of these brand’s partnered well with Hayden Reis–helping the tote bag line reach new customers, retailers and influencers. If you’re thinking about collaborating, review this short list for success:

  1. Identify a partner who can strengthen your brand’s weaknesses– and vice versa. You want each partner to bring a unique talent to the table.
  2. Clearly define roles, responsibilities and expectations, therefore avoiding surprises and disappointments.
  3. Outline a plan for promotion. A great collaboration will not amount to much if you don’t spread the word, so make sure participating partners are “all-in.”
  4. Leverage both brand’s biggest fans to magnify your reach and ask them kindly to endorse the product with enthusiasm.
  5. Say thank you! Be appreciative and overly grateful to your collaborating partner. They gave some of their unique and talented self to your brand. And that’s just awesome.

To see more Hayden Reis Collaborations, click here. Then, support your fellow TSC alums and use code TSC at checkout for a very special offer– 25% Off of your entire purchase of $100 or more.

Waiting on Martha for Hayden Reis
The Top-Selling Cream & White Tote Designed by Waiting on Martha for Hayden Reis


Lauren Hopkins View More Blog Posts from this Author

Lauren was born into a strong entrepreneurial family and she always hoped to forge her own path. A graduate of Furman University, she honed her service and networking skills in luxury real estate marketing for the venerable Sea Island Resorts. Her communication skills, account management, and public relations savvy was further cemented during her time with Butin Integrated Communications, where she managed and maintained high-level accounts. After the birth of her first child, Lauren followed a zeal for the small business and launched LBH & Co. in 2013 to provide an intentional group of clients individualized attention and unmatched passion for their services and crafts.

She and her husband, Lee, are raising their daughter (Grace) and son (Ford) on St. Simons Island where she is active in their Church, her children’s schools, and several community organizations that remain close to her heart.

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