Wowza, it’s been a hot little minute since I last did a blog post! In my last blog post, SIX MONTHS AGO, I gave you all a brief backstory of why we started Charlie + Co and at the end of the blog post I promised to, and I quote, “do more behind the scenes stories of our new business venture”.
Well, I haven’t quite kept my promise BUT with some exciting things going on at Charlie + Co HQ these last few weeks, I thought now would be a great time to catch up with you all and give you a little update on the behind-the-scenes happenings at Charlie + Co.
Since we last spoke, we’ve had an incredible six months; both professionally and personally. We’ve managed to keep our business,
and ourselves, alive from 6 months, sold out of the majority of our first range, been stocked in a few retail boutiques in the U.K, bought our first house, launched our FIRST EVER brand ambassador search and designed, sampled and preparing to launch four new product designs. Annnndd breathe….
Along with those huge wins, inevitably comes some challenges, and our new designs have been exactly that!
In a nutshell, our new designs will essentially see us double our production order from 2 designs to 4 orders, increase our range of harness sizes from 3 sizes to 5 sizes AND add collars (casual new product mention!) across 4 sizes!
If I’m honest I’ve found this process SO much more challenging than the first time around. The first time around, when we were developing our ‘Life’s A Peach’ and ‘Keep It Teal’ range, we obviously hadn’t launched Charlie + Co yet so these designs and this process had 100% of our attention, essentially no one knew about us so we could crack on with things and if there was a delay or something didn’t got to plan it didn’t really matter because no one knew the plan and the delay only affected us.
This time around is so different!
We’re more established, meaning we’ve got a business to run, bills to pay (gross!), an online presence to maintain and, most importantly, a brilliant community/audience that are WAITING! Yet the most stressful part for me, aside from my absolute intolerance for waiting, is the the fear of not ‘keeping up’ with all the other amazing brands.
Honestly, you can hit me with “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, “Slow and steady wins the race” and “Comparison is the thief of joy”, I. KNOW. THEM. ALL. but it’s hard to remind yourself of these things when your brain moves a million miles per hour but your product development does not.
Somethings I’ve learnt in the first 6 months of business are;
90% of the actual work is boring behind the scenes things that no-one can see happening or would even care about but that are really boring important to running a business; and if you’re lucky then 10% is cute dogs and Instagram pictures.
Everything takes SO long. You know your presumptions on how long something should take? Add weeks, if not months, on to your presumptions and you’d still probably be underestimating it!
You will compare yourself to others, it’s inevitable, and not in even in a competitive way. You can and will appreciate those amazing brands in the same space as you but some days you’ll just feel abit crap. I’m all for focusing on your own vision but it’s natural to wonder what everyone is up, after all seeing what others have done and wondering how you could do it differently is how most businesses start right?
It’s not all stress and life lessons though I promise, we’ve been somewhat enjoying learning new processes, refining the way things are done, planning new, exciting projects and preparing to launch our next designs. Our new designs are coming along very nicely and although we are yet to announce an OFFICIAL launch date, I promise you they are coming soooooon! On that note, you may have seen over on our Instagram, earlier this month, we launched our FIRST EVER brand ambassador search.
When we launched Charlie + Co at the end of 2020 we decided against running a brand ambassador search straight away. Although I know many small businesses do this and it’s great, we wanted to just exist in the small business space, navigate our first few months of business and build some genuine relationships and rapport with those in the community.
Instead of a brand ambassador search we individually approached a small number of accounts to send some items too; what works for one, might not work for another but this felt the right approach for us at the time.
Fast forward 6 months and with some new designs on the horizon, now felt like a good time to search for some new faces to help promote our brand. With our range of sizes increasing, we’re looking for big dogs, small dogs, and all dog’s in-between to become part of the Charlie + Co pack. So if you love Charlie + Co, why not head over to our Instagram and find out how to enter the search, but be quick it closes on the 26th July!
Catch up with you all again soon.
Rachael, Paul + Charlie
Charlie + Co