Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla: Meeting the Challenges of the New Normal

The co-founders of The Little Market discuss managing their business in the face of the pandemic.

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Lauren Conrad, co-founder of nonprofit fair trade shop The Little Market, says the company has seen a change in their customers' focus since the pandemic hit. "Now more than ever, they are interested in the stories behind the products that they're purchasing." That's been really exciting to Lauren and co-founder Hannah Skvarla, since the impetus for their business was just as much about the beautiful works as it was about the global network of women artisans making them.

As you might imagine, a business that relies on shipping from every corner of the globe has faced logistical issues. "At the beginning of Covid-19, we weren't sure which products we were going to be able to get from our artisan partners because they were dealing with unique challenges," says Hannah.

Lauren describes what happened with an order of bags adorned with cats that they ordered to sell for Halloween. "They arrived too late for Halloween, but fortunately they are very cute and from what know from my other businesses is that if you put a cat on something, it will sell!" she laughs. So what was a Halloween bag one day became a kitty cat bag the next. "You have to be flexible," says Lauren. "There are going to be delays and there are going to be hiccups when you are running your business, and you kind of have to figure it out as you go."

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