Updated: Jan 15
Some might say “things like this don’t happen to people like us”, and in some instances they may be right. But in actual fact it does, and we are living proof! We are the walking & talking example which demonstrates how it happens to the people who put their heart and soul into something challenging, something way out of their comfort zone, and above all, work tirelessly hard to make it all happen.
After months of ‘trial and error’ development, we had a product to send to the market. So, we did just that. We launched, we sold, and within no more than a month we were oversubscribed. From this point we developed a further five related products from which our sales were exceeded by more than 250% in less than two weeks, much more than we had ever imagined. But we weren’t expecting one particular door to open to us, certainly not after only a mere handful of weeks of launching our first product.
We love Mondays!
On Monday 19th October 2020 we received a very interesting email from the Chief Financial Officer of a large, food productioCompany in Kuwait (Name private) requesting that we consider supplying one of their subsidiaries with our remarkable Edible Flower Brownie products, with the idea that they would be offered in their many outlets in Kuwait City, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar, creating a brand new marketing opportunity for themselves across their franchises.
It was clear from the outset that the distance between us, the quantities involved and the production time-scales required to achieve such a task, that we were not in a position to help in that instance. However, through further emails and telephone calls over the days that followed we were all in agreement that the way forwards, and the solution to introducing our products to the Middle East, would be to create & provide a training programme focused around our products, systems, methods, our special, natural ingredients and our ‘Naturally Remarkable’ business principles.
Within a few weeks, dates were set for us to fly out on an ‘all expenses paid’ trip to Kuwait, with flights, accommodation & food all provided. All of our natural ingredients & edible, pressed-flowers would proceed us in preparation for our arrival and an almost immediate commencement of our training programme. We planned to spend at least a week in the company of their food production team in their own, busy, commercial kitchen.
And then, disaster struck!
While we were working late one evening, inundated with pre-Christmas orders, we were dealt a major blow. A news report on the radio announced that flights were being prohibited until further notice from the UK to Spain, Italy, France…and Kuwait! Unbelievable.
‘Now THIS is what happens to people like us’ we laughed.
Every project has challenges, and every project has its rewards.
The following morning we spoke with the C.F.O and decided between us that it could still be possible to continue with the training project via a mixture of recorded, written and live Zoom-call training. We could compile a ‘how to’ .PDF file and record a series of videos which would detail every aspect of the product, from the secret ingredients, through the systems, methods and everything associated with the finishing & packaging of the products in order for them to look their best and achieve the desired reaction from a purchaser or gift recipient. Following this, on-going live Zoom-call sessions would be utilised until the Kuwait team had complete confidence to take the products to market themselves.
Sounds simple, right?
But we had spent so much time organising the trip in order for everything to run like clockwork that we now only had five days in which to produce the videos, ship the ingredients & pressed flowers, and also to produce the guide to enable the staff in Kuwait to use them collectively and learn the processes involved prior to the Zoom-call sessions. Friday evening was our deadline and it was already fast approaching Monday afternoon.
No pressure then?
So, we spent three of the longest and most stressful days in our living memory producing our written guide (whilst keeping the orders rolling out as usual). For the next few days, at every available opportunity until gone midnight, we typed, noted, illustrated, quoted & referenced. We included everything, from the smallest of ingredients, right through to flower positioning diagrams, cutting templates, packing & storage guides. Nothing was left unexplained.
Did we mention that we’d never made a ‘How To’ video before?
Wednesday PM: With the PDF guide almost there (apart from a hour of tidying-up), we were now left with just two days in which to produce & edit the videos which were to accompany the written guide.
“How hard could it really be?” We said to ourselves.
Well, things didn’t get off to the best of starts. We ordered some Microphones.. they didn’t arrive on time, and with all local shops closed to due the full UK lockdown, we had no choice but to record without them. A very minor setback.
Thursday AM: We had everything packed-up ready to go.. Light deflectors, written notes, camera stands, tripods and so on, but on the morning of filming day #1, we awoke to find we had been treated to one of Northern England’s greatest gifts… three inches of snow! We were going nowhere. Welcome to minor setback number 2!
Undeterred, the only options we had were to walk 8-miles in the snow, carrying all of our equipment, or to set up at home, in the kitchen. And that’s what we did. (The kitchen, not the snow).
There were no real plans or scripts for the videos, just points to remember from the written guide and a few mental notes in general, so we simply rolled with it. We just did our thing and spoke about every aspect of what we were doing as we went on. There were some photos taken along the way for the written guide too and although we were newcomers to video recording, the entire two-day filming process went without a hitch. (Except for the part where we felt a little bit of nervousness perhaps and accidentally advised on the wrong amount of flavouring to add.. We’re not perfect. Not yet.)
Friday PM: No less than nineteen 5-minute length videos and a 26-page PDF guide later, we were all done. It was 2:00 am on a Saturday morning, the videos were being uploaded and the general mood was a mix of relief, mental & physical exhaustion, accomplishment and well-earned pride.
The only stages left as we write this article are the live Zoom-calls which will begin in a few days time when our consignment of goods arrives at the Kuwait kitchen. We’re looking forward to the live interaction stage enormously and there’s no doubt in any of our minds that they will not be anything less than a huge success.
We will no doubt keep you posted!
The whole Kuwait training project has so far been an extraordinary milestone for the business, and the relationship we’ve created with our client and the team over the last two months is priceless. There will surely be more opportunity for us all to work together on new products to take to market in the future.
We are 110% confident that, with our help, they will take everything on board, master the art of the edible-flower brownies, disrupt the food markets of the Middle East with unsurpassable force, and we will be beside them all the way.
Who would've imagined that all this was possible? Just because we had an idea, we believed in ourselves, gave it a go, worked hard and made it happen.
Here’s to the next exciting chapter of 2021.
Thank you for reading.