Hi guys! I wrote a series of blog posts about EAT on my personal blog when we first started, about a year and a half ago. I thought I would edit them, and publish them over here in a 3 or 4 part series for you guys to read!
In part one I talk about the very beginning, emotions attached to opening a store and selling products you have poured your heart and soul into, announcing our business venture to family and friends, and the first day our site went live! I hope you enjoy reading our story!
This is the first of a series of blog posts that we are going to publish over the next month to introduce to you to EAT, and show you some behind the scenes of how we got to opening day.
From almost the beginning, we knew we wanted to send out samples of our product to family, friends, and nutrition colleagues of mine. When we got close enough, we set a date to go live: Friday. We sent out the samples a couple days before we went live, and on Thursday people already started receiving their samples and started sharing it all over social media. We were thrilled! You mean people actually liked OUR product?
All the while, I was in my first week of classes of the new quarter frantically finishing up my 50+ page, 12,000+ word case study that was due Friday (launch day). I am usually not a procrastinator about things, but still ended up staying up until the early hours of the morning working away to make sure my case study was perfect.
We were on cloud nine over the love and support we were already starting to see surrounding OUR product. It reached 4am, and while I wasn’t tired (caffeine wasn’t involved for once), I knew I needed to get some sleep. I laid in bed wide awake off the adrenaline rush I received from people loving our products. I somehow managed to get a couple hours of sleep before I had to wake up around 8am. I woke right up and checked my email and already had a few orders coming in. What was this?! You mean people actually like OUR product and want to exchange money for OUR product?! It was the best feeling.
Officially announcing our new venture out into the open (see: on social media) had my anxiety going strong. “What if they don’t like it?” “What if we don’t sell anything?” You know, all those negative thoughts that surround the thought of someone else judging you. Well, I can safely say the response we got over that weekend crushed all those thoughts and anxiety and quickly replaced it with extreme excitement.
As with any business, EAT started as an idea. I (Elise) have been toying with the idea of incorporating nutrition education into every day items for about a year now. If I had a dollar for every time a person that told me “I would buy that from you” or “you need to utilize your creative energy” after showing them some of my creative work, I wouldn’t be here opening up a business. Well I probably would because I have been pumped about this from day one, but you get the idea.
Speaking of day one, officially our unofficial first business meeting happened during one of our study breaks during the beginning of June. I was telling Travis about one of my many ideas and he said lets roll with it; you do the designing and I’ll handle the business. There were squeals and high fives all around. We were ready to roll.
Right then and there, we started figuring out what we needed to do to open a business. Of course, we could produce some products and open an etsy shop within a week or so; but we wanted to have all of our ducks in a row, create a legitimate business with an appealing website and have all the nitty gritty business details ironed out before we opened up shop. Originally, we had planned to announce our business venture during the beginning of August. Yet, here we are at the end of September/begining of October. Yes, there were set backs to over come (we’re looking at you printing errors and backordered pencils), and yes there were fees we didn’t prepare for (we have to get ANOTHER form?!).
If there is one thing I have learned thus far it is that you can plan and organize all you want, and it still won’t go according to plan. You NEED to be flexible, you NEED to be open to alternative ideas, and most importantly: you NEED patience. Needless to say this has been the learning curve of a lifetime and we are only getting started.
I'll be back next week with Part II of this series!