As a newbie to retail and small business owning, I have much to learn and am still forming opinions and developing business practices in many areas. However, in the past six months I have become firm in one practice, and that is sharing resources. And by resources I mean suppliers and artisans. The responses I have received from requesting artisan names from small business owners have ranged from firm denials of access to those artisans to complete willingness to help their artisans grow their customer bases.
I understand the desire to protect our business secrets and to not give away the hard work of finding partners and developing relationships with them, really, I do. But unless I can provide full time employment for any of my partner artisans, I will scream from the mountain tops about them (or just blog about them), so that they can continue to grow their businesses. Working with artisans to help them gain economic sustainability is, after all, why I got into this business, and to deny them new customers would undermine this vision.