An Unusual Business Model

December 7, 2021

Teresa Tripodi uses an unusual business model for her company Sherbet Creations. According to the business owner, you have to go with your strengths to be successful.

‘Congratulations! You just sold your house!’

It’s the phrase that kick-started Teresa Tripodi’s career as the boss-lady from Sherbet Creations.

Next thing you know, you’re holding a gift.

Ciao, I’m Teresa!

Teresa has a past career in real estate. She also has Italian roots. Both, of course, have their perks.

In a large Italian family, there is always a sibling on hand to help in your business or babysit the kids. Admittedly, you’re also always on the hunt for one gift or another. But on the flip-side, Italian mums can cook up a storm!

Like many Italians, Teresa has the gift of the gap (pun intended). She loves being around people, especially other women.

It’s Teresa people called on when they were hunting for ‘the perfect gift’.

As a result, in a head constantly brimming with ideas, it sparked something: gift shopping for other people!

You gotta go with your strengths!

An Unusual Business Model

But if you think Teresa is just like any other personal shopper out there, you’ve got it wrong. For Teresa, it needs personality. There’s no cookie cutter approach for her.

Different gets top-marks. A unique business model that suits her ideas and approach wins the game.

Each client, each recipient is different. She wants the gifts to reflect that. As for her business… the same rule applies.

Because Teresa’s business is bespoke, it’s definitely not what you call an e-commerce business. It’s a service business with a physical product. Which, obviously, is quite an unusual business model. I’ve definitely not seen anybody else.

It’s just another example of doing business YOUR way!

As for Teresa’s clients, they initially came from the real estate industry. But these days, she also warps personalised goodies for delegates and speakers at events. She designs onboarding gifts for the coaching industry, and she finds the perfect Christmas present for your business clients.

The Process – A Different Approach In Business

I’m interested in how Teresa works with her clients. Where does she get her ideas from? 

I’ve been on the receiving end of some of Teresa’s gifts and I can tell you, they blow your socks off.

When you’re in the market for a thoughtful gifting strategy, you can expect to go through 3 steps.

The Gift Design Session

First, you’re up for a casual and friendly chat with Teresa.
It’s all about discovery, getting to know each other. Teresa wants to figure out your brand, your vibes and values, and any themes you have in mind. Teresa loves themes. They mean she can create something very cohesive.

Often she gets ideas as she’s talking to you.

The Sourcing Step

Now that she knows all about you and the gifting occasion, it’s time to put the gift together.

Teresa carries a database of potential suppliers in her head. Constantly updating and adding. Without fault, Teresa purchases her gifts from other female entrepreneurs located around Australia. Sometimes it’s made to order, like handmade pottery in the company brand colour with a thoughtful message engraved.

The Production Line Packing Step 

For bigger events, what she calls her ‘production line’ takes over the entire house. (Even for an intimate 20 person retreat, we’re easily talking about 150-200 items in total.)

So, out comes the spreadsheet with each product detailed. How is it going to be packed? Where does it need to go in the box? (Yes, weight distribution is a consideration. That’s how much thought Teresa puts into her gifts.)

And finally, Step 4… is you doing the gifting, watching the smiles, and receiving all the praise and compliments.

One-Off Purchase Gifts 

Nobody enjoys boring corporate gifts. And sometimes, you want to say thank you to a single client.

Like me, many clients were interested in a one-off purchase. So Teresa came up with the ‘Design your own gift’ idea.

The process is straightforward. You pick and choose out of a selection of gifts. Teresa packs it all up for you and sends it where ever you want it to go.

Mission accomplished.

The Team And The Future Of A Service Business With A Physical Product 

It all sounds very hands-on. So I’m interested in Teresa’s team and her vision for the future.

Teresa assures me she’s a one-man band with some extra Italian family hands to help (I told you they came in handy). She has a VA for the admin stuff and a web developer to do the bigger things on her website.

But now that she is working on her very own Italian family, she would love to be a bit more purposeful with her time in the future, so some extra team members may be on the cards.

As for some extra space for that production line she works, that’s already in the process.

Exciting times!

‘Business Your Way’ can mean many things. For instance, it can mean a business model that deviates from the norm in your industry. Teresa and Sandra delve into it on the podcast here.

Also, check out Teresa’s FREE Guide on ‘How To Inject Your Brand Into Your Gift’.

Connect with Teresa Tripodi


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