How Homewares Brand Hudson and Oak Tests Product Variants with Retail Partnerships

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Sarah Henderson is the founder of Hudson and Oak, a modern home goods company that focuses on products that are stylish and functional, constructed with clever design. 

Sarah started the company five years ago when she was shopping for functional planters for her home. When she couldn’t find any brands in Canada that sold them, she decided to order some samples and test the market opportunity by selling them on Etsy. 

From those scrappy beginnings, Hudson and Oak is now a fast-growing DTC brand with multiple product lines, including tableware, glassware, and candles. In 2022, they transitioned from being online-only to having a physical showroom in Langley, British Columbia, where they stock inventory and customers interact with their products. Hudson and Oak is partnered with Indigo on Convictional. 

What’s the biggest benefit of dropship for you?

It’s definitely exposure to a larger customer base. Working with a larger retailer like Indigo opens up opportunities for co-marketing initiatives that we’ve been discussing with them. Indigo has lots of products on their website, but they’re also super curated in a sense, which is a big benefit for us to get in front of even more customers. 

What was your experience of onboarding to Indigo’s store with Convictional?

It was super easy. I love the integration. Connecting Convictional took 30 seconds to my Shopify store. The actual lift came from having to include product information that was unique to Indigo, including French translation for product titles and descriptions and barcodes for individual SKUs, which took a little longer for us.

I talked to one of the cofounders of a brand that partnered with Indigo before Convictional. She told me that we had it lucky because everything was manual with their dropship program before.

Is there a successful retail partnership story that you can share? 

The beautiful thing about partnering with Indigo is that they bring a wider net of customers to our products, while our success drives traffic to their site as well. It also enables us to test out a variety of different color ways for our products. 

For example, for our tableware set, we nailed down our three core colors: cloud (white), sage (green), and nude (beige). We also launched seasonal colors for spring: true blush and lilac. And for whatever reason, the brighter, funkier colors like lilac perform really well on Indigo.

Hudson and Oak’s Lilac Tableware bundle on their website.

It’s a very particular niche customer that wants a lilac tableware set. There was one week where every day there was an order for it. We didn’t expect that color to perform the way it did. 

What tips do you have for brands who want to be successful with dropship?

The two main things I would say are to ship orders out on time and to make sure your inventory is correct. Every retailer has service levels that they share with vendors for their dropship orders, and Indigo is no exception. 

It’s also important to be upfront with your retail partners when there are delays or you’re not going to be operational during certain times of the year, like the holidays, so that they can plan on their end and inform the customer where needed. 

What are you most excited for 2023 at Hudson and Oak?

Now that we’ve settled into our showroom, we’re really excited to host in-person events for our community. We’re also really excited to continue expanding our product lines with new tableware shapes because we’ve seen success with it and putting our spin on traditional tableware items. We want to round out everything our customers need for their dining tables, so this is directed at that goal. 

Thanks to Sarah for participating in this conversation!

This post was originally published in our weekly newsletter The Assortment. Subscribe on Linkedin to get the latest customer stories, retailer recommendations, and Convictional product updates.

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