The NRF Foundation and Qurate Retail Group continue to highlight small businesses of diverse backgrounds this month with veteran-owned businesses as part of the Small Business Spotlight. Teak & Twine, founded by former Air Force officer Torrance Hart, creates curated gifts such as bridesmaids gifts, wedding gifts, corporate/client gifts and more for special occasions. Hart joins NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast this week to talk about starting her business and growing in 2021.
After eight years in the Air Force and lots of traveling, Hart decided she wanted to create an ecommerce business she could operate from anywhere in the world. Teak & Twine’s original audience was wedding parties, but as Hart began receiving requests for client gifts, she pivoted from her initial concept and began building out a corporate gifting business as well.
“One of the really exciting things that's happened in the past year is just seeing the care and creativity that businesses have taken to stay connected to their clients, to stay connected and thank their employees during this time apart, to celebrate company wins,” Hart says.
When the pandemic hit, Hart contemplated all the different ways she could help charities and give back. And then she had an idea ―Teak & Twine is a gift company. Why not lean into what they do right and be a part of helping people stay connected to their loved ones while everyone is apart? The company started a social media promotion that offered free gifts every single day of the pandemic for anyone who needed them: Grandparents, frontline workers, teachers, etc.
The magic in Teak & Twine is Hart’s collaboration with other artisans from women-owned, minority-owned and other small businesses whom she gets to feature in each curated box, adding a deeply human element that so many have been missing during this time.
Listen to the full episode to learn about how Hart’s military experience under constant change led to resilience as a business owner and how Teak & Twine is growing rapidly in the gift market.