Waiting and waiting and waiting and...

This is the part of the process no one really talks about.  It’s been almost a year and a half since I sat down to write a business plan, formed an LLC, started creating branding materials, and submitted trademarks.  When you’re starting out there are always things to do, and of course some tasks are larger than others.  Some take longer than others, so you want to start the process early.  It feels like a rubik's cube - Everything's out of place at the beginning and all you can do to get all the colors to align is just to start turning the cube.  Some things or colors come together quicker than others, and some you don’t see through to fruition until the last twist of the cube is made.

That’s 1000% how it’s felt for me at least.  Starting out there seemed like a zillion things to do.  Setting up bank accounts, learning CAD, finding manufacturers, finding suppliers for chains, picking a packing manufacturer, designing, line sheets, pictures, and so much more.  And ideally (For me at least) the pendant is in hand before you make all the other decisions surrounding it.  But that’s not realistic I’m learned, because everything moves on its own time table.  If I waited on the final product to be in my hands, I’d have another six months worth of tasks to complete before I could bring them to the market.  So in the interest of keeping forward motion, I did all the other things.  I spent about 3 months sourcing packaging from China only to go with a supplier out of Italy.  And then I had to wait 60 days for that packaging.  I ordered samples upon samples of chains, sent my pendant samples off to the chain manufacturer for matching, and then waited for them to manufacture my specific chains. Then they weren’t the color of gold we wanted, they went back.  And I waited some more. Website development is always ongoing to tweak and fine tune the customer experience and improve SEOs.  These processes are all different and all have their own timelines.  And to top it off samples of my pendants were running 8-10 weeks, and then another 4-6 weeks to produce quantity once I’ve placed an order.  So with maybe just one or two reworks I had to account for 4-6 months of manufacture time for each and every design.

I still keep a running to-do list by week and month.  The one by month is just a page long.  But it gives me a quick snapshot of where everything is in process compared to each other.  The more tasks I did,  the more real the process felt.  Even on days when things were quiet, I did something…Write a blog post, check on the status of my trademarks, work on marketing materials, etc…But even with that, I would get to a kink in the chain where I just have to wait.  Sometimes the waiting was my fault.  Like I knew I needed to make design changes, but honestly didn’t know how to make the changes with my limited knowledge of CAD.  So I had to go back and dive into CAD and relearn.  Sometimes the manufacturers didn’t get back to me for a week after an email.  And in my head I’m like - great, that relationship is over…They’ve figured out I’m a hack and said - PEACE!!  Fortunately, about the time when those thoughts would creep in, I‘d get a response back that would pump the brakes on my imposter syndrome.

I had to learn very quickly that there are seasons of production, and everyone is concerned about existing customers and making sure they get their products on time.  I’ve got to wait for my turn.  I had hoped to make it to market before the holidays, but that was unrealistic and I now know it would have been rushed.  And you only get one chance to introduce yourself to the market, so I’m waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  You get the point.  I’m playing the long game to make sure that I give you guys all I have and that if I do it, I do it right.  Fortunately, the light is at the end of the tunnel, and I can’t wait.
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