Welcome back to It Runs In The Family, returning in 2022 with a series first: a dynamic duo of cousins behind discovery platform Yard & Parish!
While Co-Founders Samantha Newell & Alesha Bailey may be cousins, their bond is so close that their complementary skills are akin to what we’ve seen from siblings.
Samantha & Alesha join us on episode 24 for a dive into their endearing sense of community for the independent, black-owned businesses they share with their users, how they’ve gained so much organic traction, and finding the right sources of finance to achieve their ambitious, culturally poignant dreams.
This episode covers:
- The confluence of complementary skill sets between Samantha & Alesha
- Growing a sense of community with customers and vendors alike
- Finding the right investment that aligns with business values
- Building a brand upon a sibling-like relationship between cousins
“Being creative together was something that we’ve always done. We wanted to start a band or a dance group, cute little things like that. Then we started creating, learning how to design fashion. We started blogging together, even selling graphic t-shirts. I think we always had a very creative and entrepreneurial link, that kind of kept us really strong.” – 3:45 – Samantha Newell
“I think that our space is very specific in that it’s a curated space. It’s not everything that’s out there on the market. It’s the things that we really believe in, and really love ourselves, and things that really tell our story and share that story with similar people – our real family and community.” – 10:20 – Alesha Bailey
“I think that because we are quite different in our skills, we’re able to really spread ourselves around in terms of the different departments of our business, which is really, really helpful. So we’re very well rounded as a team, I would say.” – 16:20 – Alesha Bailey
“Alesha, who’s been working from Toronto, actually came to London for the pop-up. It was overwhelming because, for the past couple of years, we’ve all been so isolated. That sense of community has really become quite a digital thing, and to be able to really connect with people in person just made everything a little bit more real. It was nice to feel like Yard & Parish is a real, physical entity.” – 21:05 – Samantha Newell & Alesha Bailey
“We just tapped into a demographic that understood us, and relied quite a lot on word of mouth, and people just sharing their discoveries. That was a major part of our growth in the last few years, and it’s still one of the best forms of marketing, because it creates stronger brand awareness than any picture or copy can really generate for you.” – 26:40 – Alesha Bailey
“It isn’t easy to navigate the funding space. But if I was to pinpoint one of the biggest challenges, it would be around trying to see who the right people to get into business with are, and to be confident enough to know that we deserve it, and that we can do something amazing.” – 36:25 – Samantha Newell
“I would love for Yard & Parish to be remembered as a space in which the black shopping experience was elevated, and set the tone for other consumer experiences to rise to the occasion. It’s always been function over form – when a black person goes shopping for hair products, it’s a very practical experience, and not not a fun one. Being able to really elevate that experience for people is one of our main missions.” – 46:55 – Alesha Bailey
“Put family first; As much as business is business, family is forever. So being respectful and considerate of your family partner is a really big aspect of ensuring that the business continues and moves forward and grows.” – 53:00 – Samantha Newell