Collaboration Over Competition: Why We Teamed Up With Our Competitor
Nisse of Bachette (left) and Jenny of Stag & Hen (right) share why they teamed up to do something awesome, despite being direct competitors.
How it all started...
Earlier this summer we launched our Reversible Bride and Babe Bachelorette Party Swimsuits. We know what you’re thinking... why is this a big deal, exactly? Well, besides the affordable price, flattering fit and the fact they are the only reversible bachelorette party swimsuits on the market, the story behind the design and production of these suits is pretty cool, too.
It all started in the spring of 2018 when I launched Stag & Hen. A few months after opening our virtual doors, I was surprised to get a message from one of my direct and biggest competitors, Nisse, the founder of Bachette. She was reaching out to congratulate me! I was truly taken aback by the kind gesture and helpful advice Nisse shared with me. Weren’t we supposed to be competitors?! Who was this girl?!
As time went on, the two of us continued to be each other’s cheerleaders, virtually celebrating our big wins and hopping on the occasional phone call to catch up. Nisse even made a pit stop in Houston (where I live) on her way to vacation in Costa Rica so we could finally meet in-person. Did I mention this first-time meeting was on her birthday? Nisse spent her birthday with me, a stranger and a competitor. Legend has it she had an "exit plan" just in case I ended up being a total weirdo. Smart girl.
It didn't take long to realize we each had unique talents and skillsets we brought to our businesses. Nisse was absurdly creative, always causing me to ask myself "why didn't I think of that?," a total perfectionist (in a great way), and an absolute expert on the bachelorette party market. I found myself wishing, and turns out Nisse did too, that we weren't competitors. We wanted to work together on something, instead of just cheering each other on from the sidelines. And that's when we had our "ah-ha" moment... why couldn't we?!
Nisse and I met for the first time on Nisse's BIRTHDAY! She stopped in Houston (where I live) during a lay over (don't worry, cocktails were included) on her way to vacation in Costa Rica.
We teamed up to design bachelorette party swimsuits
After a few more phone calls, we decided to set the conventional mindset that competitors are supposed to be enemies aside and instead, teamed up to design a brand new product for our customers: flattering, practical and affordable bachelorette party swimsuits.
Together, the two of us collaborated on every aspect of the swimsuit design, from the pattern and color pallet to the fit and fabric. The process wasn't easy either. It took well over six months to get everything exactly right. We shipped swimsuit samples back and forth across the country to one another, face-timed on the regular, and after almost throwing in the towel at one point, finally completed our first collaboration together! It was such an exciting moment.
The coolest part about all of this? I can say with confidence these swimsuits wouldn’t be nearly as awesome if we hadn’t teamed up with Bachette, our competitor. Each of us brought our own strengths to the project resulting in a better final product for our customer, which is really what it's all about.
The final product! Our reversible, bachelorette party swimsuits designed by Stag & Hen and Bachette.
What can other female entrepreneurs learn from our story?
We share this story as a reminder of and inspiration for what can be gained from collaboration. In today’s ultra-competitive world, especially among women, it can be easy to ignore one another or worse, tear each other down. From this experience, we learned that connecting with others, whether it be a fellow business owner, a customer, or even a competitor, can sometimes open more doors than it closes. We encourage other entrepreneurs to do the same, remembering to support our fellow boss babes, share tips and tricks and take advantage of opportunities to collaborate.
Jenny (Stag & Hen) & Nisse (Bachette)
Nisse (left) and Jenny (right), owners of competing bachelorette party businesses, teamed up to design bachelorette party swimsuits in true "babes support babes" fashion!
Photos by Patrick Patton Photography