It's ToMA's 1st birthday! We're sharing our biggest boo-boos.
Posted on March 04 2020
We just turned one! And like every one year old, we have had some bumps and tumbles. I thought I'd share them here. After all, we can all learn from others' mistakes!
Mistakes can be hard to handle. Our biggest one this year (or, at least, the one that hurts me most!) was getting THOUSANDS of glass straw boxes printed with "dishwater-safe" rather than "dishwasher-safe." OUCH!
That typo? It wasn't my doing. But as a writer with a penchant for perfection in my spelling and punctuation, this one caused me some serious pain. I am not afraid to tell you that I cried over this.
Maybe even a couple of times.
Also: I was not my nicest to the person (my poor husband) who was in charge of overseeing the box production process.
So, what do you do when you have thousands of boxes with typos? You use them. At least, that's what we're doing. After all, we spend a lot of time trying to minimize waste. Heck, that's why we sell our straws in 25-packs in the first place: to reduce the amount of packaging per straw for bulk orders. (Also: we want to encourage sharing.) So, dumping these boxes and getting new ones is out of the question.
But still, I cringe knowing that our packaging is flawed.
That's the thing about business, though. Sometimes you have to move forward with something that is less than perfect in order to serve your customers.
Speaking of customers, we made a mistake in the very beginning by assuming that our main customers would be restaurant and bar owners. We had good reason to think this, because our co-founder was using the straws successfully in his restaurants, and everyone loved them.
But not every restaurant owner was as open to change. There were worries about breakage, even though we could point to restaurants that were not having that problem.
Back then, we were trying to sell "collections" of 150, 200, and 250 straws. Well, a few owners thought that was great, but most just wanted to start with a single box of 25.
Other folks wanted to know if they could buy a box of 25 for a party or gift. We didn't see any reason to say no. In fact, we embraced this concept early on, as we knew that getting glass straws into more people's hands was part of our mission to spark awareness about personal choices.
We reached out to wedding and event planners. We worked with DIY brides and grandmothers hosting family celebrations. We connected with dentists and spa directors.
Over time, we learned that there isn't just one customer type (like restaurants.) There are many.
Like the resellers who order hundreds of our straws every month for their own shops or online stores.
Or the people selling our straws as a fundraiser for local charities.
Or the salon owners upgrading their proffered beverages to their clients who sit for hours getting hair treatments.
All this to say that it's been a big year of learning to crawl, stand, and finally take our first steady steps.
Thank you so much for your encouragement, your orders, and for being right here. We are so grateful.
Happy birthday to all of us.
And remember: our glass straws are dishwater-safe. :-D
With clear love,
Event with typos, people love our 25-packs!