Phew, what a year it has been…! I personally felt like it was one where Kinder Soaps was forced to “grow up” – or maybe it was me who experienced it. :) There were many ups and downs, the biggest and most tumultuous being the dreaded GMP audit in April, and having the shop raided in October because our products’ notification numbers with the NPRA had expired, and I had forgotten to renew them (that’s a whole different story for another day, but suffice to say that it’s all been sorted out now, thank goodness).
I wish I had more to share about exciting new products for the coming year, or that we have been successfully expanding our distribution to bump up our sales – but in reality the whole of 2017 felt like we were in survival mode most of the time. Whatever you’ve heard about entrepreneurship being a lonely journey for a founder, it’s all true. Being one who is also acutely aware that time spent with family and my children is of paramount importance also prevented me from spending more time on developing the business. So we trundled on with attacking the daily grind without looking into growing aggressively.
And yet we’re still here. And there have been so many moments where I stood back and felt amazed at this reality. Knowing exactly how I work (chaotically, and in bursts of effort), I can confidently say that this is because of everyone who comes into contact with the company. Not me.
Firstly, we have been blessed with an amazing team of staff at Kinder Soaps who have done a terrific job of keeping the studio running smoothly, the paperwork tidy and customers happy through the year. They work with care, and because of this, I barely have to check in on them and yet work still gets done. It’s easy to take this for granted, and I hope that I can do them justice by doing whatever I can to make sure they always have work to keep them busy, and to provide them a safe space for them to call their second home.
Secondly, our customers. Despite our many (embarrassing) disrupted supply situations, despatch hiccups and idiosyncratic shop hours, you have stuck by us through these years, and even recommended your friends and family to try our wares. We must be doing something right… :”) But even so, we are always looking to do better, bit by bit. Our purpose of being is to serve you, and if you have any suggestions for us on how we can improve our products or services, please get in touch with us any way you feel most comfortable with, whether by phone, email, or coming over to chat with us at the shop. I cannot promise that we will act on every one of them, but we’ll certainly try to take on the ones that make the most sense.
Thirdly, our vendors. We demanded a lot from you in this past year – and you delivered. Thank you for building a mutual trust between us, and we even became friends. I personally discovered how incredibly useful it was to have Gogetters at the ready to help us with handling tricky despatches (who else would want to handle and deliver 25kg cartons, sometimes containing caustic sodium hydroxide, at a tip of the hat?), and even braving unfamiliar government offices to take care of paperwork submission? If you haven’t heard of Goget.my, you really need to check them out. The time (and heartache!) they saved me was invaluable. Thank you all for your support, and we look forward to a more prosperous 2018 for all of us.
Finally, my family and friends. You encouraged, chided, lectured, and most importantly, loved me for the broken, imperfect person I am. I cannot thank you enough for this. I feel like I haven’t been a very good connection in the past year, and I’d like to fix that. :”)
So this is my piece to round off the year (and so that I can finally check off this to-do item that has been sitting in my journal for months…! :p). We look forward to continue serving you in the year, and many more, to come. :)
Michelle and the Kinder Soaps family