i had my first massive small biz fail. i'm lucky this is my first (major) one, but WOWZA was it big. if you're patient enough to watch my 200 insta stories at any given time you might be familiar. if not, let me explain what happened here 😌
i have my "ur hot" launch coming out tomorrow (depending when you're reading this! it launches 9/22 at 11am eastern), and it should have been launched over a month ago. i haven't had a launch since May, and that launch was half-ass at MOST. i had a death in the family and barely marketed for it, was in the middle of moving, etc., so it wasn't as successful of a launch as i had wanted. theeeeen i was moving into my new place and settling so it's been quite awhile since i've launched a substantial amount of products. to say business has not been booming would be an understatement LOL. but that's why i was so excited for this upcoming launch!!! i went back and forth between colors and fonts and tees for so long and was super pumped with the turnout. i sent over the files to get screen printed, got them shipped and opened up the box and immediately started crying. because hot girls cry.
if you're a graphic designer or know anything about adobe this will make sense to how idiotic i was, and if not i will try to explain as best i can. i hand draw all of my shirt designs on my ipad, send them over to my laptop and put them into adobe to rasterize the files. when you doodle on an ipad it's super clear and crisp, but if you zoom in a ton it becomes grainy and blurry which is no good, so i can't send in the file directly from my ipad. it has to get touched up in adobe on my laptop and made into a vector image. basically it means you can zoom in as much as you want and it won't get grainy. it's optimal quality and needed when it comes to sending in files for artwork. to make your artwork a vector you have to use a feature called "image trace" which is a life saver IF YOU'RE CAREFUL. i, however, was not. it doesn't make a vector perfectly and you generally have to go in and manually edit some bits and pieces of it. i have 0 clue how i didn't notice, but i left a few parts of it messed up. so i sent in the file messed up. and it came back messed up. 100000% my fault. and i cried 🤠
i showed my fam and friends and they didn't notice at first unless it was pointed out. but they have to say that don't they? i was debating whether or not to say anything, and in the mean time planned to take some product pics with my 2 friends. so i'm going through the boxes to grab their sizes and realize that a lot of the shirts had missing bits of ink, lines not matched up leaving gaps in the outlines, and some random stains on them. lovely! so i email the company and send pictures. they were super nice about it and had me send back the shirts that were messed up to fix them. it turned out to be like 60% of the shirts. there must have been a mistake on the screen. mistakes happen, whatever. it wasn't one person's fault specifically but i definitely didn't feel comfortable selling them to my customers.
so they fix the shirts and send them back. i'm now around 2 weeks late on the timeline i had in my head for the launch. i open up the box and they were messed up. again 😁 the issue this time was that the designs weren't centered. it wasn't all of them, luckily. again, mistakes happen, but for it to happen twice?? on top of my own mess up?? IN THIS ECONOMY??
they offered to take them back again to fix them but at that point my excitement for the launch was dwindling and i wanted to show them to you all before the levels dropped to 0. i looooove love love the designs so much and think the phrases are silly and on brand and i want to see you all in them!!! so i decided to keep the mess ups*, launch the one's that are still good to use, and figure it out as i go!!
i posted earlier today pointing out the mess ups and had the most kind and positive feedback from my pals on insta and it made me feel soooo much better. i've been stressed with the debate of whether or not i should acknowledge the mistakes and now make it obvious to customers viewing them, or if i shouldn't say anything and hope no one notices. i'm really glad i said something because if i were a customer, i know it's something that i personally would notice, just because i have an eye for detail. and i'm sure some of you would notice too! so it wasn't worth the risk. it also would make me feel sketchy and schemey (is that a word), and if nothing else i would want my followers to trust that i'm giving them nothing but good quality from my lil shop.
the bright side of this is that it gave me more time to order some claw clips to add to the launch!! i originally launched the 5 inch clips for gals like myself with obnoxiously thick hair. of course i'm biased, but they are the only clips i've been able to find that hold all of my hair up. my saving grace truly. but i was hearing that the clips were too big for some people who don't have super thick hair, so i found smaller ones too that are launching along with the 5 inch OGs. AND I CANT WAIT!! they're suuuuch good fall colors and i think you guys will love love love them.
all of this is to say that mistakes happen all the time when owning a small business!!! & that's ok. if you're a small biz owner and ever experience something similar, i'd recommend being as transparent as possible to your followers. from my experience today talking about it, i noticed that my audience seemed more appreciative of the fact i was open about it rather than acting like everything was perfect. it also goes to show that these things we produce and sell are handmade w/ love :-) it stressed me tf out but it's handled and although it didn't go as planned, the shirts and stickers and clips still make customers happy and that's the whole reason for the launch. so i'd call it a win.
i hope you guys love this launch as much as i do!!!! it's such a light hearted and fun combo of tees that are so fun to look at and comfy as h*ll. i am SO EXCITED for tomorrow morning's launch. it's been so long since i went to bed anxious over a launch and ohhhh my did i miss that feeling.
SEE YA AT 11AM TOMORROW BESTIES
*i do plan to sell the mess ups at a really discounted rate in the future once this launch is over. or maybe i'll have some sort of grab bag situation with them like i've done in the past? if you have a preference i'd love to hear!!!! DM me :-)