Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Barcode: This week's final frontier.

Hello =)

It's so funny- there are a million things that I would never have ever thought of before starting this business that now, seem to somewhat haunt me! Think about barcodes, for example: who makes sure that they all scan properly? How do you even get a barcode? Does GS1 Canada send you several formats of barcode options, which you can choose from depending on your packaging specifications, or do they just send you numbers and a booklet of instructions a week after your application is processed? (... it was the latter, fyi.).

This is one unforeseen hurdle I've encountered since December, when "I know.... I'll start a chocolate company!" first popped into my mind. And one that I would never, ever have anticipated to be a problem. They're lines- lines- how difficult can that be?!

Well, more difficult than expected, apparently. But I've gotten most of the steps crossed off the list:
1. register for codes with GS1 Ca
2. call GS1 Ca to figure out what to do with the list of numbers they sent me ("... so... where are the line-y bits, please?")
3. Spend way too much time google-ing barcode generator programs, to get said line-y bits
4. Found a program!
5. ... why is it so low res?
6. ... Kitty, could you please try fixing it?
7. Ummm... actually, it's okay. But thank you! Life is busy, I hear.
8. Exhaust my own resources. Word. Paint. Word. Picassa. Wait, Picassa does nothing for me here. ... Paint? Word? ... ... Word!
9. Print samples....
10. Well that looks different in real life. Maybe it'll scan anyway.
11. Go to IGA "Your barcodes don't work."
12. Go to Chevron: "Yeah, is not in system. You want Chevron to sell your chocolate?" ... desperately. 
13. Find professional.
14. Spend life savings for professional.
15. Repeat steps 11 and 12.
16. Professional was not entirely aware of GS1's standards.
16. Send newly received GS1 Ca standards to professional.
18. Wait in nervous expectation for new quote.
19. "You should really have a splash of colour for each different flavour!" ... ahhhhhhIknowthat!!! "Yes, I was thinking that could be great as well- just trying to sort out the different shades of brown for the Nib'd vs. Kaffee vs. Chocolate Ganache."
20. Present: will help me sort out the different shades for the different flavours. Please.

Today I went to an open house party for my friend Katie Kitson's business, Juicy Juice Bar. She was so kind as to suggest I sell my chocolates there, which I did (... so what if she bought and ate most of them herself? Appreciation is appreciation!). Anyway, the chocolate looked phenomenal, if I may say so myself.  And it was lovely to hear all the positive feedback! I wish I could have brought more flavours, but I didn't get out of the kitchen until after 4pm, then rushed home, then tried to package the last little bit up, decided there wasn't time for that, was questioned if I planned on brushing my hair before trying to represent my company or if looking like a bag lady was a better approach for selling chocolate, successfully brushed hair (it was a very good day. Indeed.), found out that I was insured for the courtesy car (no way I was allowed to drive the SUV I just backed into the neighbour's brand-new, grass-coloured, parked vehicle. ... oops. Increased insurance premiums can count for my grad present...), and successfully made it to Juicy Juice Bar without hitting anything!

Told you it was a good day =)


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