Last week we shared our stories about how it all began - but you know what they say about inspiration and perspiration… and there have been many moments of chaos and uncertainty amongst the excitement over the past months.
For me personally, trying to balance work with parenting, there have been many failed attempts at trying to get work done with Sarina around, usually ending with her on my lap pounding on the laptop or scribbling in my notebook.
Whether a smart or foolish decision, I don't know, but I have always been against using the iPad as a babysitter. And as many new parents probably know, the whole 'go play with your toys for a bit while mommy finishes her work/cooking/cleaning/emailing/whatever' doesn't work :)
Anyway after a few frustrating attempts to do work with Sarina around, I realised that it would be more satisfying for both of us if I didn't. So with limited Sarina-free hours to work during the day - there have been many many late nights spent on the laptop working away to glory (while munching on my newly-discovered gelatin-free gummy bears).
Working on what, you may wonder? Here are some highlights of what we’ve been up to:
Company Registration in India (what a battle… don’t even get us started on this.)
Settling on a Brand Name that we liked, that meant something, and that also had an available domain name (it took forever but I think we settled on a pretty good one! In a future post we will explain the mystery behind 'why zeezeezoo' - so many people have asked this one!)
Developing the Company's Core Tenets- essentially the mission, vision and values (which led to some very important strategy decisions, including the decision to go organic. We will talk more about this in a future post too.)
Educating ourselves on Fabrics and Printing Technologies. This was a biggie. We needed to learn a lot here, and thanks to hours on google and lots of interesting exploratory meetings (in various parts of India), we were able to get informed relatively quickly... There was one especially memorable meeting where the head of this one manufacturing company decided that we were too ignorant for his precious time, and walked out of the meeting with some lame excuse, leaving his assistant to field our questions (definitely embarrassing, but a story for the books), and another especially memorable one where the head of another manufacturing company had some faith and invested an hour with us - talking us through many of the details and processes. (Guess which one we ended up working with?)
Creating the Concepts - that would be culturally relevant and fun for babies (this was the fun part… and we've come up with some good ones - if we do say so ourselves ;) )
Finding a Capable Illustrator to bring our fun ideas to life (thankfully, we found an amazing one- check her out here)
Deciding the Product Range to create for our test collection (based on the limited funds we have, we are limiting the launch range to baby apparel and accessories)
Finalising an Appropriate Manufacturer who is GOTS certified and seems up to the quality mark (check and check! First round strike-offs just arrived this week. So exciting!!)
Getting the Website Up and ready (which took a while, as we realised that we wanted our first impression to convey something and be more than just a ‘coming soon’ page)
Piecing together the Logistic puzzle (this has been a big one of late… trying to comprehend how everything needs to efficiently work together - complying with various laws, and across various geographies)
Understanding the E-Commerce Process (with payment gateways and merchant accounts, and trying to limit the amount of extra charges and fees)
And the list goes on, but I will stop here for today...
p.s. A major thanks to Skype for allowing our long distance partnership to thrive freely (pun intended), and to those gelatin-free gummy bears, who make the midnight oil shine a little brighter :)
Until next time!