It is midday on Friday, July 31, 2020 when UPS hands us the package with the four prototypes. The whole team is there when we unpack our mermaid and our octopus from the box and spread them out in front of us. We are all absolutely thrilled! The colors look great and the fabric feels really comfortable. It's really a great feeling to see the result of almost a year of preparatory work and to be able to touch it with your own fingers.
Even if we didn't think so at the time, it will still take almost exactly 3 more months until the finished bed linen will be available in the online shop. The time until then is packed with
1. Start of sales activities
2. Revision of the designs
3. Building the social network.
4. Hoping and fearing that everything will go well
We get down to getting the bed linen ready to take the first photos. Even if we are not professional photographers, the result is impressive. The result is a first video, long shots of the motifs, numerous close-ups and ambient pictures - sometimes with and sometimes without children.
The visual material is extremely important to us because it allows us to start going "outside". As a first measure, we are building our website. Our website sufing-gorilla.com gets a first face.
At the same time, we are launching a Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter is a cool platform that enables founders and startups to finance their product ideas through so-called crowdfunding. For us it is an attempt to make our bed linen known through this channel. In addition, we are planning a distribution partnership via Amazon.
We also deal intensively with the quality of the bed linen. The prototypes already look great, but we still have numerous ideas for improvement. Now it is time to implement it!
The transitions of the extensions are not optimally sewn, buttons and lacing are replaced by a zipper and the back of the bed linen gets a new look. For several days we are in exchange with India and revise the design templates over and over again. As is well known, the devil is in the detail - and the result should be almost perfect.
We also learn a lot about social media during this phase. We set up a surfing gorilla account on Instagram and Facebook. We'll start sharing pictures and building followers. Even if there is a lot of work behind the posts, you are regularly rewarded. We get a lot of encouragement and praise for our bed linen. That's great and motivates us every day. Thanks to everyone who supports us!
Another milestone: The production of the first revised designs will start in mid-September. The aim is to have the bed linen with us by mid-October so that we can start selling shortly thereafter. However, we must learn that reality will throw a spanner in the works. Corona has thrown the whole logistics market upside down and there are significant delays in transport. Our bed linen embarks on a veritable odyssey. Sometimes we don't know whether the shipment is actually on its way or where it was.
In the end, however, the delivery still reaches us - albeit with a delay of almost a month.