So as I worked towards launching the ButterBoo.com website last fall, I wanted to be sure we had plenty of inventory on hand for the RUSH of orders we might receive…
So I worked with my one employee (we’ll call her Layne) and we got a bunch of our initial 12 +/- styles ready to go. This proved valuable at more levels than I had initially expected. The experience:
* made me feel prepared, which gave me confidence to launch the site
* proved we could handle a pretty large quantity of orders in a short period of time
* helped us get our quality control process nailed down
All of these things were made easier through intense application of time management skills. Thanks to Karin at Daily Mastery, I was well prepared for this process. (More on the value of using Karin to make you a time management wiz in a separate post coming soon…)
The thing about the ButterBoo website is, we are using it for multiple reasons – the first being the sale of product – but with the sale of products the site is also serving as a testing ground to determine which patterns people really respond to. Our goal with the site, is to use your feedback from sales to eventually move towards larger production capabilities for a handful of our products.
When we get to the point where we can say with conviction, “these (fill in number here) designs are the ones that people love, and we are CONFIDENT we can move quantities if we get them into stores” then we will move production to a third-party. When we take that step, we’ll be sure that much of the manufacturing is done by hand, that our products continue to be earth friendly and we will also strive to have products continue to be produced in the US. Since we’re not there yet, ButterBoo’s production relies on some amazing local art students and me (which means they are still handmade in the US!!)
A secondary benefit of preparing to launch the site was it proved to my husband that I am a funny person to be around – because he saw me making bits of ButterBoo product in the strangest places and that made him laugh. Since I wasn’t INTENDING on making him laugh, at times I didn’t really take it so well, but net net, it made him laugh…
But seriously, in order to get all the little bits prepared for the 1,500 cards we were producing last July, I had to figure out when I was going to prep some of the detailed elements. Don’t get me wrong, Layne was a fantastic help and she played a very big role in getting us ready for launch, but she focused on some of the larger elements of production – printing papers, lining envelopes, cutting out embellishments.
My job on the other hand, was to focus on the detail work – and if you look at some of our ButterBoo embellishments you will see they are quite detailed! Take for example, the ladybug on the striped card we produce – there are heads to be glued to bodies, beads to be placed as dots and bugs to be attached to leaves. It’s a multi step process and we care about each little one…
“You have two kids and a full-time job” some of my friends exclaimed! How are you doing this?
Well, let me tell you, you can make ladybugs in the strangest places. I made them on the ferry, glued them together on trains and I even did the beading on an airplane!
Here’s a great story on this topic:
I sat on a plane, stuck at an airport – I can’t even remember where I was going, when a man sat down next to me and exclaimed, “you are making Mariquita!!” which at first, I did not understand to be ladybug in Spanish. Once I realized he wasn’t yelling at me I was thrilled he instantly got what I was doing! This connection led to a whole discussion around how beautiful ladybugs are and how he nicknamed his daughter his Mariquita! The whole thing was unanticipated and made him happy.
Isn’t that great? My making tiny ButterBoo ladybugs on an airplane made someone happy. One more way we’ve shared a little ButterBoo through our designs!! And when I told my husband the story he laughed and laughed and laughed…and then I wondered if he was laughing AT me or WITH me… and you know what? I either way is fine.
To circle back to a thought I had above – we could use your ongoing feedback. Let us know what designs you like on the site – even if you haven’t bought them…yet. Which one(s) do you think you would buy if they were in a store? And which ones do you think your best friend would like?
Comment on this post so we can continue to build momentum behind the ButterBoo brand. And we’ll continue to be sure that if you do place an order from ButterBoo.com that we will have your products out the door in no time. We promise that each one will be made with special care – and if you are lucky, some part of your card will have been made in a far off airport lounge or on a train, or…well who knows where…