Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Phase Three

Back in our first blog post, we shared with you our belief that sandals shouldn’t be hard. We definitely believe that. Apparently, however, starting a sandal company should be.

It’s taken longer than we hoped, but after finding investors who believed in us and our vision, bankers willing to work with us, and a city management with vision and some
cajones, we got the keys to our facility and our equipment is finally on the way. The next few months are going to be absolutely crazy as we clean and build-out our nearly 100 year old facility, install our equipment, hire our workforce, and start to build some sandals. Fortunately, we’ve been preparing for this day for over a year so, we’re ready to go.

You can see in the pictures that we have quite a bit of work ahead of us to get the place cleaned up--and that doesn’t begin to address the aesthetic challenges (really, bright blue walls?). The good news is that the building has great bones, and a rich manufacturing history. It has a rich family history too, as my great-grandfather worked the line in this building when it was the American Can Company in the ’30’s and ’40’s.

We have the opportunity to make some positive changes to the space by enhancing the appearance, creating more natural light, and decreasing our energy consumption. Stay tuned for updates on that front - it’s amazing how energy efficient buildings were when they didn’t have the option of air conditioning and fluorescent lighting...

On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve been on the road pre-booking some sandals and have had some good success on our trips to Virginia and North Carolina, and again in Florida. The early results have the Al and Josie showing the best results, with the Louie and Angie close behind - although we’re placing all seven styles with some consistency (sneak-peeks coming soon).

We’re off for Texas for a couple days with our sales rep, hitting Houston and Corpus Christi beginning Wednesday. From there, Southern California for a few more days to catch up with old friends, get in the water, and sell some sandals with our rep there.

We have plenty more going on, including our first booth at a trade show. Stay tuned.