One year of Wildling
At age 38 the ticking clock goes only one way – faster, faster, faster…
This time it feels different, though. Looking back, it seems impossible that only one year has passed since we pushed the start button for our crowdfunding campaign. A moment of heartbeat and excitement, and then the relief and joy when the first orders came in.
At the same time we knew that this was merely the first step – the real work had only just begun.
Since then so much has happened.
Production started, our very first shoes were shipped. You kept us up to date with your feedback (positive and critical) and helped us continuously improve the Wildlings. We worked really hard – rarely less than 70 hours a week – and had to battle a lot of unforeseen problems. “Live” testing of a new product with you, miscalculations (we never expected it to go so well so quickly), regular flights to Portugal to our producer, material research, trade fairs, orders, deliveries, endless Excel lists, hundreds of packages and many, many hours in conversation with you – by mail, Facebook chat and phone.
It was an unbelievably exciting and fascinating time, but it would be a lie to say that it was always easy 😉
In May we finally dared to take the next step and enlarge our team to help us with customer support, warehouse and logistics.
These are the people who were crazy enough to join us:
With the help of our team, we withdrew from customer support. I wanted to briefly explain the reasons behind this, since I know that we disappeared from the scene quite suddenly.
First of all we were running out of time. Customer support had turned into a full-time job that we weren’t able to handle, having to deal with many other tasks, too.
Honestly, though, it was also taking a toll on me emotionally. When you develop a product, you are very deeply involved with everything. I tried growing a thicker skin and taking things – praise, criticism, nice words, small wrongs, joy and disappointment – from a distance. But I failed. Therefore I decided to withdraw a little.
It is very important to us that you know that we are still following everything from up close. Our wonderful team does take care of the direct communication with you, but we have a daily meet-up to hear how it is going with our customers, which topics have come up and most of all what feedback we have received. We know many of you by name and it should stay that way. The Facebook page is being managed by Tina, but we still write the posts ourselves and try to allow you frequent glimpses behind the scenes. Our blog will also be revived soon.
We promise to keep in close contact with you, since there is nothing more important for us and Wildling.
After one year we have gained some experience, but still have a lot to learn of course. Production management stays challenging, but we are slowly improving. Our focus and big goal is still to create the perfect shoe for kids – with and for you. We have gained experience with our first models, materials and the general fit, and have been able to optimize those. All smaller problems have been solved and the producer is also getting better at manufacturing this unusual product. Still we are continuously working on new solutions and improvements and are very grateful to you that you make this possible by providing us with feedback.
We have lots of plans in the pipeline and are hoping that you will continue to accompany us – at least for a bit of the way.
Thanks a million, once more, for making Wildling possible!!
Anna, Ran and the Wildlings