We are celebrating 10 years of personalised stationery and it’s got me feeling vey nostalgic.
There is a quote along the lines of “things gets better with time” good wine, good cheese, good relationships and good businesses. HoneyTree has had ten years of good times to ferment and improve with age, we have had fun times, hard times, frustrating times but all the way along we have never fallen out of love with what we believe in.
I can look back on our first decade and think “my goodness that has flown past” it can make you feel a little bit older, a little bit more tired or it can give you a metaphorical slap on the back and a happy dance and a “well thats been fun hasn’t it” kind of a feeling.
It took over a year of working with web builders to get the website up and running. We were completely naive in thinking that we would be ready to launch after a couple of months. The more we became involved in the workings of a website (functionality, flow user experience; all phrases we came to learn) the more complicated it became. We were fixated on ensuring it was seamless for our visitors to design something perfect.
The consequences of making a change in the operation of the website had repercussions that echoed way beyond a little tweak that was its intention. But we learnt fast and never wavered from the product that we would want to use ourselves.
Launch Day; our first order of personalised stationery
The day of the website launch loomed – 7th Oct 2009. I remember waking up early with a feeling of anticipation and a slight ache in the pit of my stomach. Once we pressed the “go” button what would happen? would the great unknown masses surfing the web that morning all turn to us?
The first order arrived at 12.13. Like a new born baby Sebastian and I saw a real life order manifest before our eyes. It was perfect… a pack of 30 correspondence cards with a Victoria Sponge cake illustration on the top. The customer had chosen pink script font and the card was cream.
That day we were glued to the computer. Every time an order appeared in our in tray we shrieked with excitement. It was so wonderful to see that what we had been building was actually becoming something tangible. That day we received 10 fabulous orders. Life was great, the website worked, the customers understood our concept, we were up and running!
In at the deep end
Having been so involved and working so hard on the website I had neglected the practical side of the operation.
Our flash new printer had arrived a few weeks before, but I had been so busy with the digital side of things that I hadn’t had time to sit down and work out its intricacies.
I had card, paper, envelopes, gift boxes and ribbon but I just hadn’t produced an order in it entirety yet! A very patient rep from the printer manufacturer had given me a tutorial on the day of delivery; but since then I had not really had an opportunity to use the machine.
The first order was ready and waiting to be printed… but I had forgotten where the power button was to turn the printer on. 45 mins later I was still on my hands and knees trying to locate the switch. A phone call later to the help line and hey presto! we have lift off!
I will never forget those first few days of actual trading. It was so exciting to see the finished product, snuggly wrapped in its special box. Ready to be rushed to the post office before it shut.
It makes me feel very proud and content that we are still going strong after 10 years.
These days I am not involved with the printing as much. We have far more qualified people who know where the on button is located!
All our busy bees are mad about stationery and help with the creativity of the products. When the phone rings in the studio we have helpful support staff to talk you through any queries. I no longer rush out to the post office with a few boxes; the postman and DHL now come to us to collect the parcels (sometimes twice a day).
So, yes, everything does get better with time, but I strongly believe the journey is the fun part. Here’s to another 10 years of personalised stationery – striving to keep improving and getting better!