Small Business Wins And Losses
Part of the fun of being a small business owner is the ability to be nimble, reflexive, and fun. When I worked at big corporations that was not the case. Products were developed 18+ months in advance, there was a ton of red tape, and we were always worried about what the PR team thought of something.
If they could only see me now, making "Josh Hawley Sucks" candles. They'd die.
Anyway, back to the purpose of this blog.
I had a shower thought in early April: "What if we made a candle for stoners?" We are very 420 friendly here at GBB, which is another story for another time. A single tweet went out to see if anyone would be interested in that kind of thing. Back in April we were still heavily focused on the sophisticated luxury scents. It was a super fast "YES" from dozens of people, so, we blindly purchased a fragrance oil. Usually products spend months in development, but we felt good about the product description so we went for it. It was a preorder product with about six weeks of lead time.
One of our distributors has a long lead time - sometimes up to 12 business days to process an order. It's a huge pain point for us as a growing company, but that, too, is another blog post for another day. So we ordered the oil and waited. And waited. And. Waited. When it finally arrived, we didn't like the scent. It was the first time that happened. "Maybe we're being too picky!" we thought, so we pour
We poured all the candles in the preorder and let them cure. A few days later, when the candles were ready to rock, we still didn't love the scent.
We're really proud of the candles we make, but we felt like this one missed the mark and/but we sold a candle with a specific fragrance profile and didn't want to bait and switch you. The solution? We bought another fragrance oil that we're calling WEED MONEY. Yes, another blind fragrance oil purchase. We loved that one when it arrived, so we poured that one and let it cure.
We hemmed and hawed about what to do. Finally, The Right Thing To Do came to us - send both. Eat the cost of the second candle and the shipping increase and send the candle you originally ordered AND the one that passed our sniff test, hoping that you'd have at least one candle you love.
To us, this is the beautiful part of small business ownership - you can make the choice to do the right thing by your customers and not have to justify the rationale to the finance department. Did we lose money on this candle? Yes. Do we still feel good about the decision? Also yes. The Sexy Stoner candle was a lot of people's first purchase and we hope you feel part of a supportive 420-friendly community of candle lovers.