Yes, yes, yeees! And… no.
After 8 months of working tirelessly on the first model in The Gemini Rebirth collection, The GR1, 1 month awaiting my shipment, and nearly 2 weeks having to wait for clearance with customs, I finally received all 250 handcrafted pairs!
If you’ve read any of my earlier posts such as The Journey To Molly: Behind My 8-Month Prototyping & Production Phase, you would know the stress and obstacles I’ve had to overcome in order to see my beloved project to a finish; the hassle to receive my shipment on time and intact *major emphasis*, for example.
As an entrepreneur receiving a relatively large shipment for the first time, I had such an unpleasant & unprofessional experience with the freight forwarding company selected by my manufacturer. Tbh, I had zero prior knowledge of how forwarders operated, so I placed that responsibility on my manufacturers, and in doing so, failed to ask any questions about the company or review them due to the trust I had developed with my manufacturer so far. Either this must have been the first time they selected this forwarder as a result of the proximity to my requested port or this was the first time they had experienced anything of this nature, because they seemed equally as appalled as I did upon learning that a good number of my packages had been damaged in a very intentional-looking way.
Despite the fact that I had paid an insurance fee covering my cargo shipment, when I contacted the forwarding company about the damages incurred I was met with RADIO silence. I knew better than to dwell on this situation, because I was sincerely just happy to have received the manifestation of my hard-work, however, that did not change the fact that it left a really sour taste in my mouth. Since I basically have no help in Montréal, I had to go through all 250 boxes and examine not only the packaging, but the shoes as well, in order to figure out how many products were possibly damaged. Twenty-two… 22 boxes out of 250 pairs unfit for sale. Now for a larger shipment, this number might seem minuscule, but for my initial order of 250, 22 pairs was one too many. It would cost me close to $1000 to replace all the damaged shoe packages and have them sent over by our regularly trusted source… just another unanticipated strain on my pockets. I’m just grateful that The GR1s were created sturdy enough to withstand the damage caused to all the packaging.
Now that my shoes have arrived, there are still a few more things I have to take off my to-do list before my website goes live on March 15. Finding a reputable print company that can produce my additional packaging items as accurately and as high-quality as possible is proving more difficult than I thought. What I imagined would be a 2-week maximum purchase order turned out to be a 3-week search for a company that would take on my print designs, 1-week consultation & confirmation process, and then finally, a 2-week print work. Overall, the final step to complete The GR1 packaging took 6 weeks and about 3-5 days to arrive, but when it did, I could not have been more pleased with the outcome and the Print company I selected. All I have to do now is network, market, and try to make sure that I don’t get discouraged along the way because The Journey To Molly is definitely a never-ending discovery of possibilities.
- Make sure you do your research and check out reviews of your freight forwarder before selecting an import company.
- Have a budget on-hand for unexpected expenses.
- As much as I hate to say it, anticipate things going wrong such as delays & damages, and figure out a solution before they do. This way you’re not stuck or struggling to figure out your next step when it happens.
Until next time,