Labor Day weekend of last year, Balance Bead made its first public appearance. I set up a table at a local craft fair down by the pier in my hometown of Huntington Beach. My goal was to test the market—to see if anyone would be interested in my little idea. Granted, my extremely supportive friends all told me the idea was great, but I had to see if anyone outside of my circle would think it was great enough to purchase.
I’ll be honest: Balance Bead wasn’t a runaway success. Tons of people visited the area that weekend, but person after person passed by my booth barely making eye contact. But I made five sales! No, five wasn’t a lot compared to what my colleagues earned that weekend, but it meant that five people understood my idea and were willing to spend their hard-earned money on my product.
I exhibited at a few more craft fairs over the next couple of months. Over that time, based on feedback from customers and colleagues, I improved my product, improved my packaging, improved my display, and improved my pitch. At the last craft fair before Christmas, I sold ten times what I’d sold on that first weekend. I still didn’t come close to earning what my colleagues earned but I knew that Balance Beads were going to be in many Christmas stockings that year and that was success for me.
As I approach Labor Day weekend and begin preparing for the holiday season (gasp!), I can’t help but reflect upon the year since product launch and wonder what’s in store in the months to come. No doubt there will be changes to the product line, changes to our communication approach, and so on and so on. Business, like life, is and endless cycle of learning and redirection. And the only way we learn over here is through feedback from you, so please be in touch. Let us know what you’d like to see from us in our second year of business.
Here’s to a great Year Two!!!