Pulse January / February 2019 - Page 34

Sometimes, partnerships even rally or save businesses. After six years of steady growth, subscriptions to the meal-prep company Blue Apron had dipped 24 percent over the same quarter last year. Seeking to tweak its business model, last summer the company launched strategic partnerships with Costco and online retailer Jet.com, who provided Blue Apron with another distribution channel in major metro areas like New York City. The strategy must be working: by October, Blue Apron shares had spiked 26 percent. Partnerships in the spa industry are also flourishing, as bold leaders stretch to find new ways of thinking and turning profit. Ann Brown, owner of Saltability, said her partnership with TouchAmerica Inc. has grown a brand-new company between them, called Himalayan Source. Saltability is a leading global provider of warmers for Himalayan salt stone massage, while TouchAmerica makes high-end spa and massage equipment. Their new joint venture serves the spa industry’s needs for all types of Himalayan salt products. Himalayan Source combines Saltability’s experience with Himalayan salt, as well as their marketing and sales expertise, with TouchAmerica’s manufacturing, engineering and ergonomic know-how to provide a full line of salt room equipment . The partnership grew from an existing friendship. Brown has known TouchAmerica President Stewart Griffith for more than 10 years, she said. “I was getting overwhelmed with calls and interest about salt walls and salt concepts and Saltability primarily does Himalayan salt stone massage,” Brown said, “so I reached out to Stewart about 18 months ago, who is an engineer, about us really just having trust and a handshake relationship to work together and build the concepts. I was already importing salt from Pakistan so all I needed was the smart know-h ow of Stewart to get this started and he agreed.” Through the new company, TouchAmerica reached a new market, and Saltability now better serves its customers. Brown said the key is trust. “I think trust is imperative and just knowing your strengths. Stewart and I really have a great balance in what we bring to the table for success,” she said. They were able to come to financial terms based on what each considered fair, she said. Although relatively new, the partnership is working for both companies. Not only is the new third “When businesses share common interests, combining energies can yield greater results than either entity could achieve alone.” Himalayan Source allows Saltability and TouchAmerica to benefit from each other’s strengths to capture a a new market. 32 PULSE ■ January/February 2019