RETAILER SPOTLIGHT: NEEDLE & GRAIN
In the world of candles, we know all about how hard it is to commit to a candle when you can't physically hold it up to your nose and give it a few good sniffs first. When ordering online, our loyal customers rely solely on our product descriptions and trust their instincts when it comes to picking out favorites. Lucky for you, we don't make bad smelling candles. ;)
However, thanks to the nearly 300 retailers stocking our candles throughout the U.S, many of our customers are able to give those candles a test drive before taking one home to become their new favorite everyday candle! Because we appreciate our retailers so very much, we wanted to create segment all about showing them off!
Today, I'd like to introduce to you Needle & Grain, owned by the sweetest couple Susan and Bryson. Needle & Grain is a handmade home goods business steeped in family tradition with contemporary design. What began as a hobby to preserve the traditions of quilting and small-scale woodcraft has grown into a brand centered on family, hard work and purposeful living.
We asked them a few interview questions and this is what they said:
1. WHAT IS YOUR SHOP'S NAME AND WHERE IS IT LOCATED?
Our shop is called Needle and Grain, and we are located in Columbia, TN which is about an hour south of Nashville. It’s also our hometown!
2. WHEN DID YOU OPEN NEEDLE & GRAIN AND
WHAT WAS THE ORIGINAL DREAM BEHIND IT?
After being an online retailer (first Etsy, then our own website), we opened our retail space in September 2017. We wanted it to be a community that celebrated crafts and making things and to celebrate small shops like ourself and introduce people to amazing brands that we loved.
3. TELL US ABOUT THE VALUES BEHIND NEEDLE & GRAIN
AND THE PRODUCTS YOU OFFER.
We moved locations in August of 2018, and when we moved, we definitely started a new movement of selling less “stuff” and selling items that are more purposeful. We upped our game in having eco-friendly choices and tried to stop buying from as many large manufacturers as possible. We want you to find something that you can use for many uses or years to come so that your life is not so cluttered.
4. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR
SHOP/GOING TO WORK EACH DAY?
We both love getting to meet new people and hear why they love our shop. Susan loves teaching classes because she is a former school teacher. Education is still a large component of our business, and we love helping people be creative.
5. IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ONE ITEM FROM YOUR SHOP
AS YOUR FAVORITE, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Susan’s favorite item from the shop is reusable facial rounds by Marley’s Monsters. I bought these almost a year ago, and I haven’t looked back. They work better than the disposable ones in my opinion, and I don’t have to remember to buy them at the store anymore! Bryson’s favorite item in the shop is one of the blankets from Saranoni. We love quilts, but there is something amazing about this blanket because of its feel and how it feels like a weighted blanket almost.
6. TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE CUSTOMERS.
Our favorite customers are ones who have become friends. We love getting to see them come in the shop, and we love that they support and love our shop. We are community focused, so the repeat customers make it really special to have our little space.
7. WHEN PEOPLE LEAVE NEEDLE & GRAIN,
HOW DO YOU WANT THEM TO FEEL?
When people leave our shop, we would love for people to feel inspired to make a craft, have a perfect gift, or to find a brand that they are in complete love with. We want them to leave feeling like they were welcome and felt at home in our shop as well.
8. DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WANTED TO OPEN A SHOP?
Bryson has always wanted to be an entrepreneur since he was a little boy. If he needed money, he would find some really creative ways to make his money dreams come true. Susan, on the other hand, had to be inspired by Bryson’s dream. She also worked in retail before opening their own shop, and she quickly fell in love with the idea of having a shop of their own.
9. WHAT WERE YOUR JOBS PRIOR TO OWNING NEEDLE & GRAIN?
Susan was a third grade teacher prior to owning their shop. She left teaching when their online business picked up, and she started working for a local small boutique, and she soon became their manager. She fell in love with retail during this time. Bryson was (and still is) a marketer and designer. He specializes in finding creative solutions for small businesses, and he LOVES solving problems. He is so incredibly talented in many things, but we like to call him a creative problem-solver.
The best advice we’ve ever been given would have to be working together and making sure everyone is on the same team. When tensions arise, it’s usually because we haven’t communicated well about that topic or issue. Also, growing a small business takes time; it’s a slow growth, so don’t be discouraged when you’re not making millions of dollars overnight.
Have a local boutique or craft shop in your town that you'd love to see our candles in? Comment below with the name of the shop, the town their in, and if they have a website/Instagram, share those too!