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Product Development Progress Report

So, it's December.  The past two months have been a crazy roller coaster of ups and downs as my little indie brand prepares to launch our first two products.  And it's been an emotional roller coaster as well.  To say that I'm not disappointed in where we are right now would be a lie.  The company's goal was to launch before Black Friday, but there were several factors that severely delayed our timeline at the last minute.  I'm really posting this hopefully as a resource for other indie companies out there who may relate, or get something out of this experience.  And also to somehow explain to our (tiny) following about some of the reasons behind why you aren't yet able to get your hands on our amazing product!

OK, to back up a bit.....Above all, I'm a planner.  I've worked on countless launches (for other brands) over the course of my previous corporate career.  I felt totally over-confident that I knew what I was doing, and had the skills to get us where we needed to be.  But, as I'm realizing now, I completely underestimated the lack of resources we would have available to us an emerging business.  I'm used to running launches....for Fortune 500 companies.  With multi-million dollar budgets.  And unlimited amounts of helping hands, whole departments of people to help execute.  However, as an indie beauty company, GLAM 35 has incredibly limited funding, non-existent staffing, and in many ways, as the self-titled "CEO", I'm a one-woman show. I have my hand in absolutely everything....from logo design to ingredient content approvals to marketing campaigns and constant social media posts, to SEO optimization.  It's truly mind boggling once one realizes ALLLLL the crazy amount of facets that go into a successful product launch. 

This post is getting pretty long, so just to get into the details of the delay:  we had packaging produced, and for me, it just wasn't up to snuff.  There were several elements of the execution that I wasn't satisfied with, and the manufacturer had trouble meeting a few of my design requests.  I was so worried about timing, and I circumvented getting final physical samples to approve, and instead relied on photos only (BIG mistake!  Don't ever do this!  I know better! - but I guess when it's your own business, sometimes emotions get in the way).  Anyway, when the boxes arrived, I was super disappointed in the final result.  One of my mentors told me just to go with it.  They advised I could always fix future runs.  But in my heart, I knew I just couldn't.  This launch would be my brand's first interaction with the world.  The first people ever would come into physical contact with this brand experience for the very first time, and I just couldn't deliver an inferior experience.  So I scraped the packaging (and scraped any chance of a positive margin on my first round of inventory), and started over. 

I found a local supplier that I could work closely with, and get everything done to perfection.  Of course, he was super unaffordable.  But he invited me to his facility at every point of the process, from the die-cutting to the foil stamping to the color approval.  And it ended up coming out perfect.  

And so that's where we are today.  It's disappointing obviously in some ways, but not the end of the world, and not the end of the brand.  We'll launch in January, which may not have the same momentum as Q4, but we'll be poised with a more confident mindset.  The product itself is incredible, and something we are all so proud of, and the packaging, which is a reflection of the brand and our core values, is now exactly where we wanted it to be.  So it's really all good.  I personally think it will be an incredibly delightful experience to the buyer, and I'm so thrilled about starting 2019 out with a bang.  



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