Founder Notes: October 2020
I wanted to get in touch to update you on a few things happening at Fix8 HQ.
I wasn’t sure how far I’d get in this note before mentioning *the turbulent times* - we can and certainly should acknowledge it’s been a bumpy year for lots of people, families and businesses. Despite an eternal optimist.. I figured it was time for some real talk.
So, meet our first ‘Founders Note’: - a personal summary of the month just passed. The intention is to share some insight, a bit of humour, and the highs and lows of running a start-up in the age of…
Before we touch on October, some highlights of the year gone-by and worthy of a mention!
- The Fix8 April Fools (watching Helen drink wee – it was just kombucha guys)
- “Bucking shrinkflation” with our new 330ml bottles
- Locking ourselves in my Hackney kitchen and going a bit blooping mad
SO – onto October:
‘Rona round up
Lockdown as we once knew it has come and (sort of) gone. In March, almost overnight our ‘out of home’ sales channel dried up and we were forced to funnel all our energies onto our online store. Thank you to everyone that purchased (and still does!) from our online store – you guys kept us going when the world was going a bit bonkers...
One of the exciting things about start-up life is the ability to move fast. In a matter of days we had curated a ‘homebrew kombucha kit’ to offer on our website, bringing more kombucha and fermentation education into the household. These sold like hot-cakes! It’s been genuinely amazing to see how many of you are homebrewing and learning about kombucha in the kitchen – long may this continue.
Big shout out here needs to go to our head brewer Chris… who some of you might know as “Scoby Guru”. Through lockdown, not only did he frequent the brewery daily to keep production going and parcels going out, he has also guided hundreds of you through your homebrew adventures. Thanks Chris, Fix8 wouldn’t be the same without you.
All in all, lockdown certainly challenged us, but also provided us with new opportunities. We now have a thriving online store, we established our homebrew kit offering, and the team is closer than ever. It’s exciting seeing our partners opening their cafes, bars and restaurants again… you can check out them out to support here.
The Bottling Debacle
The joy of running a start-up is how much it will test you at times - when things inevitably go wrong.
Of particular note this month was when we got a call from one of our biggest wholesalers to inform us that all the date stamps were rubbing off– and they could not sell them. After a few hours of fluctuating between calls, panic and helplessness... we decided to recall EVERY-SINGLE-BOTTLE.
In an ideal world, we’d have paid to ship this off and be re-stamped. However, the case is a bit different for a small business - we pulled our sleeves up, dropped all arrangements and headed straight down to the brewery.
Every day for a week, Chris, Helen and myself set up a conveyor belt process and each had a station: unbox, wipe clean, re-stamp, re-box, seal. Each and every single bottle. It was sweaty, it was tiresome and we certainly all lost a bit of sleep.
Luckily, we enjoy each other’s company and actually had some quality time together to share stories (like learning how Chris accidentally ruined Christmas one year), listen to podcasts and actually enjoy some time away from a laptop.
Thank you, Helen and Chris, for your no-nonsense attitude, pulling together and unwavering commitment. Beers on me soon.
Overall, some lessons learned. Things don’t always go to plan but we have to adapt and get on with it. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you…
I’ll keep this one short as there’s more to come on it. But, for several months now we’ve been working on an extremely exciting new product offering.
We’ll save the juicy details for another time – but a few things to give you a clue it will be 100% recyclable AND you can have it at a festival, on a plane or train…
With any new product development, there takes a serious amount of preparation; working through designs, commentary, strategy, testing, logistics, commercials and countless other aspects. So, we’re excited to see these come to fruition soon.. stay tuned.
That’s all for October…
Thank you again for supporting Fix8 so far this year, it’s the reason we are all excited to get out of bed in the morning and do what we do.
Until next month,