Sunday, July 17, 2011

FedEx at 1 am Fun.

Hello =)

A bit of an update on Zimt is overdue- then again, things have been.... busy.

I think that a couple of things are to be of note (I'll try to keep this short. Really.)

1. Product Integrity
2. Company Integrity (it's all in the details... which include glue).
3. Paying up- when getting it done is worth the price.

A couple of weeks ago, I had received a product from a supplier that was, to spare the details, not up to standard- quality wise. I wrote them about the issue I found with the product and they gave me several somewhat confusing options, including (as I deciphered): 1. keeping the product ("If you feel comfortable with it."- No....) 2. sending back the product (they would pay for shipping and send me a replacement, and would charge me for the replacement until they got the original, unacceptable product in return- my credit card really loved that one!) 3. ... another option I'm a bit too tired to remember right now.

Basically- I want to provide my customers with the best product possible. I don't want to ignore defects or issues that should not be, even though I could get away with it. Yes, it is an inconvenience- last night after spending some time with a dear friend, and after crating around this shipment to return, I thought enough was enough, and went to the FedEx office slightly before midnight (open 24 hours- very convenient!). It took over an hour to fill out the paperwork, including making an account online for the FDA (???? alright.), but that was the option for the situation. Just ignoring the problem was not. Although the FedEx employee was really helpful and kind, it was not a fun way to spend a Friday night, but, hey, it goes with the territory.  There is no Friday-at-5pm-I-am-done-until-Monday-at-9. No way. I'm the one responsible for providing a safe, quality product and if I limited myself to 40 hours a week, well, I just don't see those standards being adhered to! One day... it'll be a little easier.

Glue. It keeps the wrappers together. I've got the plant-cellulose fiber bags for the chocolate, but for the wrapper, well, I needed 100% post-consumer recycled paper and... glue to hold it together! I am not even entirely sure what goes into regular Elmer's glue, but there is no specific attempt to make it environmentally stable, or at least this is not advertised (and you bet they would advertise it!). So, a couple of months ago, I started looking up other options. First I tried to make my own glue. Out of rice... it's possible! But didn't work quite well. So, after I don't know how many hours of Google-ing "eco friendly glue", "environmentally-friendly glue", and ""green" glue", I finally found something.
Only problem was, those wishing to purchase had  to use a US credit card... which I sure don't have. But, I do have American friends, and my friend Kiley kindly allowed me to use his CC info to order. And then brought it up to Canada with him this weekend. I just met him downtown to pick it up and.... now I have eco-friendly glue! I bought lots, so I shouldn't have to bug him again about it for quite some time =) (Thanks a million, Kiley!)

It's all in the details. Regular glue would not do- walking the walk means the whole stride, not just wherever your feet end up.

And about those labels...

I was quite done with fiddling with Paint and Word and bothering friends to help me, so, (and I think I already mentioned this), I hired a pro. And now the UPC barcodes are no longer fuzzy! They work in retail locations. Once they get printed (on that 100% PC paper, using vegetable dyes, of course), and the counter displays are formatted and printed, then it is off to retail locations throughout Vancouver (and apparently one on the Sunshine Coast, thanks to my friend Jaymee who has connections.).
There came a point when I was just so frustrated with not getting anywhere despite the effort. Getting somewhere is going to cost a pretty penny, but it is an investment. Without it, the labels would not be done, and I would not be able  to sell Zimt chocolates in stores, and doing so is really the goal anyway! So, don't spend a ton of time working on something you don't understand. Don't waste other people's time who also don't understand but are trying to help, and... make an investment! A better product in the end is worth it.

Thank you for reading =)


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