We've already shared how we're no strangers to growing pains. We are used to the awkward in between stages, and the perseverance and patience it takes to get to the other side. October will mark 6 months of our shop being open and I feel like we're starting to just starting to fully hit our stride. It's an incredible feeling. But with the high of progress, comes the intermittent stumbles of growth.
Last week we had one of our biggest weeks of sales to date, which was incredibly exciting! ...and then incredibly exhausting. Getting an order, means designing and printing and shipping an order. Getting a lot means many, many hours at the printer.
I have found myself on a rollercoaster of emotion when at the printer late at night. 9 out of 10 times, I am rocking my podcast lists, cranking stuff out and feeling really good. I have never felt so empowered by the work I'm doing, and I can truly see the rewards of my efforts. It's kind of addicting (think Working Girl).
But every so often, I am a cranky, irrational, inefficient lump of uninspired goo. I always seem to make mistakes and have to reprint on these days... Coincidence? A few nights ago I had a real doozy of an evening. The printer needed maintenance, I had a ton of orders, and our heat press decided to stop working.
It was the adult version of going to the ortho to get your braces off and finding out you have 3+ more months and now need head gear.
Luckily, a glass of wine good nights sleep can solve the majority of day to day stumbles. I woke up the next morning, ordered a new (better!) heat press, made a plan to keep our production on time, and ordered back up maintenance supplies. All in the time it took for me to throw a temper tantrum the night before.
Yesterday afternoon we got our biggest shipment of blanks yet. I had to take them at the house because the printer's office is a) super small b) filled do the brim with boxes. (Wooo hooo! New packaging on the way!) It's a little scary to see all this inventory stacked up. This shipment is an expense greater than all the revenue we have brought in to date (excluding Kickstarter), and these boxes represent a ton of hours of work, selling, designing, printing, shipping. Repeat.
But they also represent another investment of ourselves, our time, and our money in this business. An opportunity to get production up to the level that we can hire help (hallelujah!). The resources we need to pitch ourselves to larger retail outlets; and the opportunity to make this little company grow.