our motto is: make a ruckus
You know what’s cool? Resilience.
You know what else is cool? Caring. Help. Support. Love.
And yes, I’m talking to you.
I was standing in the shower tonight, thinking about how to write a followup post to my last one. It feels like a tough act to follow.
Somehow all of this reminded me of being 25. Of being 25 and wanting to run a sailing center that had a board full of over 60 somethin’ men that didn’t want to listen to a 25 year old. Let alone a girl. They offered me the job, with all the work and responsibility, no power to actually do anything, and no pay raise to boot. I walked out and said I’d keep my instructor position thank you very much. Later on though, I got ballsy and made a presentation to the full board covering my ideas on how to improve their community sailing programs for all ages. My voice shook. I’m sure I looked like a nervous wreck, and I was one. But I did it. I fucking did it. And I got all done, and every board member but one acted as though I had just said nothing at all. Shuffling papers and shit. That one, his name is Frank Chivas (CEO of a Baystar Restaurant Group), stood up and gave me a round of fucking applause and said something like, “Hot damn girl, you’re going places! How can I help?”
I got fired less then a month later. By email. But not before causing one HELL of a ruckus and impressing the hell out of a top notch business man.
That was the second to last job I got fired from before depending solely on RAGGEDedge to pay the bills. Truth be told, I got fired from my last 4 jobs before this one. Think the Universe was trying to tell me something?
But I digress. I think I was reminded of that night at the board meeting because it reminds me in some weird way of my last blog post.
I wasn’t speaking, but I’m pretty sure you guys all knew that my voice was still a little shaky. I got all done, and I while I was hoping for some response, the depth of the responses that came blew me away. I had tears in my eyes more then once.
So this is where I started thinking about resilience. About how every experience you have before, prepares you for the moment you’re in, and will go on to prepare you for whatever you might encounter in the future.
I’m guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m feeling like we’re pretty damn resilient people. Christmas sales aren’t really going any better, we’re down about 25% for the last quarter so far, but we are already moving on. Christmas can’t be fixed so there’s no point in dwelling on it anymore. Instead we’re using this dip as the motivation we need to make our website upgrades, revisit our marketing strategies, improve our message, and get excited about the business again.
The last time I remember being this business brainstormy minded and motivated was when we made the change from sailcloth wallets as our main keyword (which no one really cared about or searched for) to carbon fiber and kevlar wallets (which are the keywords that put us on the map). That was 3.5 years ago. We were both sick in bed for a month straight when we came up with that oh so obvious now revelation.
We are due for another round of that goodness. And so it has begun. Website research complete, we’re going with Magento Community version, so long as our web guy gives it the go ahead from his end. We’ve already selected about a dozen extensions that will add functionality upgrades to the base platform that will allow us to do things we’ve wished we could do on our site for years! If all goes well, we’ll be mobile and tablet friendly, vastly improving navigation, product searchability, product pages, shopping cart experience, and photos. We’ll be adding review capabilities, and an affiliate program.
Plus, I’ve been brainstorming about branding too. We need to start marketing RAGGEDedge Gear wallets, not just carbon fiber and kevlar wallets. After writing that sentence, I realize how dumb and obvious that sounds, but its like a transition step for us as a company and a brand. And no small step at that. Before, when really no one knew us, the only way people ever found us was by generic keywords and/or luck. Now, while we’re still teeny tiny, we at least have a shot of someone actually coming looking for our brand. Especially if we start marketing like we are a brand and not some generic carbon fiber wallet manufacturer.
With that concept in mind, I’ve come up with this: