I got a question on Facebook that made my heart sink. Not that it was a bad question. It was a perfect question. But it's just that I wish I had a different answer. Here's what it said:
"I have a question. I'm a returning customer getting ready to place another order. Just curious are there less flavors then usual? Sorry just thought there was more."
The short answer: this person is 100% right. There are way less flavors than usual. And we're working on restocking all the things by the end of this month. We'll be having a double points day when we do, and you'll be the first to know about it.
But if you're interested in the long answer, I thought I'd share that too.
So here goes.
For the past two years, this business has been a roller coaster. During busy times, it was a lot for me and Mario to handle on our own, and we had two great staff members to help us out. But during slower times, there wasn't enough work for a team of four. A few months ago, I had to face that reality, and downsizing my team was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
So now, it's just Mario and me. And for that to work, I had to make friends with the idea that two people cannot do all the things four people did during those busy times. And that sometimes, things will be out of stock. That's a hard pill to swallow for me. I always want to do all the things and please all the people. It's like it's part of my DNA and learning to slow down my pace is a frustrating yet important challenge for me to take on.
So here we are now, doing things a little differently.
Instead of making one batch of lip balm every day, a lot of it gets made on certain days so I can work on other parts of running the business on other days.
Instead of shipping orders every day, they go out every few days so Mario can answer your customer service questions and take on any of the many other things that pop up.
But it's also meant that I'm the one writing emails to you again. I had forgotten how much I loved writing emails. Honestly, when things are hard and I need a fun task to distract me, I go write you all an email. Maybe that's why there have been so many more emails lately... :-D (if you're not on my email list, you can sign up here).
So yes, now that it's just Mario and me, things are a little slower. And the shop is not as full. Some of that is due to the fact that we're just coming back from a very busy holiday selling season - something we're so grateful for.
There have also been some extra frustrations to work through lately. Nothing exciting, just supply chain issues, rejected ingredient shipments, snow days and plumbing problems. But enough to put a kink in our plans and slow things down more than I had anticipated.
Anyways, that pretty much sums up what's been happening here.
As I was typing this, the last ingredient I needed to make another huge batch of lip balm was delivered (intact this time! yay!) and it looks like we'll be able to start working on our biggest restock ever next week.
Once I know we're on the right track, I'll pick a day at the end of January to have all those lip balms go live on our site, and you betcha I'll be sending you an email about it! :-D It will also be a double points day, so it will be an extra sweet time to stock up.
Thanks so much for your patience while we find a way forward that feels good for us. And for reading all those emails I've been sending to get through it all. ;-)
PS: The other thing that cheers me up is memes. I think memes are a love language. So I have one for you: