I opened this morning’s Set the Month in Motion Podcast Forum with that wonderful quote by Elizabeth Arden, who famously said “I don’t sell cosmetics, I sell hope”.

As the sole female owner of a business established in 1910 she managed to get over 1,000 product lines sold in 22 countries, across 150 owned and independent Red Door Salons, department stories and individual retailers, making her one of the wealthiest women in the world at that time.

Today’s fascinating conversation, with industry leaders Fremantle OctopusSwings & Roundabouts wine and award winning creative agency Block got me thinking about how we grow our businesses – be it a product or a service – from that initial question – WHAT business are we actually in – to the different decisions that we make to get our products to market.

It is clear that we cannot just create an idea, open our doors and expect customers to come – especially in this really really tough economic climate. The efforts that these organisations put into forming partnerships, navigating international trade shows, researching their markets and consistently delivering their products to meet their end customers true needs is extraordinary.

There are so many parts of this conversation that can be adapted to local Fremantle businesses to help our local economy grow and see out this down turn in the economic cycle.

I loved the story of our own CAPRI restaurant in local design edit Fabric Quarterly this month.  The CAPRI is more than just selling meals, it is a story of family, history and creating traditions. It is this sort of authentic experience that can’t be artificially created but takes hard work, honesty, truly understanding what business you are in and staying true to that. The family have made shifts to accommodate changes in health protocols, food preparation and technology, but they have never shifted from understanding family, a shared meal and tradition is their business above all else.

On another local export success story, congratulations to members Craig Mosytn’s Group CM Farms subsidiary for its gold winning Linley Valley Berkshire – Premium Pork win at the National Food Awards at the Sydney show last week. Another incredible Fremantle business achieving great success, not only locally, but in other national and international markets.

Our Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Export Desk is seeing growth in the amount of Certificates of Origin and Trade Agreements being processed each month on month at the moment, which bodes well for more success stories arising from our humble Port city. Please don’t ever hesitate to call or email Marian on our Export Desk to ask questions about the documentation required to get products to international markets.

I am so looking forward to further refining these thoughts about how we grow our local economy into the future at our Leaders Lunch event in a few weeks. I encourage you all to invite your clients and colleagues and join in the conversation.  Our esteemed panel will be sharing their vision and perspectives on Fremantle and the diversity of our local economy. It will definitely be a collision of ideas, perspectives and thought leadership.

On diverse small businesses, we have a number within our halls that call our Chamber building home. From people who have built a community around running Perth trails, Fremantle stalwarts Clancy’s Fish Pub, local Architect and creator of spaces Simon Pendal Architecture to name but a few.

If you are looking for space to start your journey to get a product or idea to market please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d love to show you around and help you start on your journey.

We have a variety of spaces starting at $170/m2, with options for shared conferences and meeting room hire, and access to Chamber membership and our building capacity programs. Images and leasing details are available here, or email me directly for more information.

We are definitely in the business of connecting, uniting and helping businesses grow.