The Big Launch
Last week I told you all about the difficulties of setting up a company during a global pandemic and BREXIT and this week I’ll be going through the actual launch and the public’s reaction.
Launching Old Mother Hunt was one of the most nerve wracking things we have ever done (ha, definitely scarier than birthing 2 big babies). We’d been building up to this point for so long and the actual launch kept on getting delayed by production issues, licences, delayed bottles etc so when we were finally ready to launch it felt too good to be true. We launched on Wednesday 4th November 2020. Matt forgot that we had agreed to go live on that day so he said to our little boy that he could have the day off nursery as a treat. Trying to launch a business and coordinate the release of social media (I didn’t realise at the time that you were supposed to launch social media prior to the physical release to build up interest!) while looking after an energetic 3 year old was enough to give anyone a minor breakdown.
My Dad, Peter, was the first person ever to buy a bottle of rum from our website. When I told my family that we had launched, he drove straight back home with his wife, Mary, ran to the computer and placed order #0001, and then sent me a very proud screen shot! We’ve been so lucky throughout our whole journey to have the unwavering support and love from both sides of the family and everything would’ve been a hell of a lot harder if we hadn’t. They were, and still are, a great sounding board and a constant source of encouragement. Despite this amazing support, it’s still hard not to get overwhelmed with worry sometimes- will the business be successful, will it be enough to cover the mortgage, will it survive the dreaded 3 year period where a colossal number of new businesses fail?!
These worries tend to sap my creative abilities and sometimes, the amount we need to learn and master seems extraordinary. The ask is too big and it’s easier to bury my head in the sand for the day. Add to the mix, two insanely active and loud children and I think it’s safe to say I’ve gained a few wrinkles and grey hairs! Every dawn is a new day though and we have no choice but to pick ourselves up and try again. I made a spectacular fail the day after we launched where we’d had a few celebratory OMH’s before I settled down to write our first subscriber email and unwittingly flaunted GDPR! Luckily we’ve learned from every mistake we’ve made and we’re streamlining our business along the way. Slightly less embarrassing than the Father Christmas hats that Matt ordered for the bottles- they were so small they wouldn’t even fit the kids’ Barbies!
I couldn’t believe the reaction in that first week- it was a time I will never forget. The orders came flooding in, my phone wouldn’t stop buzzing and we sold out of all our stock in the first week. A silver lining of the delay to launch meant that we had more stock in than we had intended so we were able to keep up with the demand relatively quickly. The local shops were incredible and it was one of the proudest moments on my life to see our rum sitting in the front window. We also featured in our first news paper article with the headline- Pilot Turns to Drink, which is framed and up on our wall. Something to keep us focussed when it all gets a bit much.
This is only just the beginning of the rest of our lives and I cannot wait to see where it takes us.