The Rancillio espresso machine has been on overdrive this last month. My American boy has been in California getting the house set up ready for our imminent arrival. His priorities were to get wifi, a coffee machine (given!) and a car - no more hoping on the tube over on the West coast!
It was really sad having to temporarily close the online store whilst we move, but realistically everything has to go in boxes and loaded onto a shipping container in just over a week! I also need to close down the business here, and re-open it Stateside.
With the help and expertise of Delia at Business Clan we have mapped out a plan for the next few months. I have a rather large 'to do' list to get the business rolling in California. As I'm discovering setting up a small business in the USA is a little different to England. To start with you need to apply for a business license. I also have to research my local market, find suppliers and manufacturers, retail and wholesale fairs etc etc.
It's a great time to take a pause, and take an objective look at the business. The collection has organically grown over the last year to reflect the demand and feedback I have received about Muklet. When I started just over a year ago I designed and produced Kidswear from age 2-7 years. That has now grown to include apparel from birth through to XXL Adult!
I have become known for what I've called the 'Lil Letterman' products. Clothes, Accessories and Homeware that I have customised with personalised Varsity Letter patches made in the USA. What I didn't realise when I was adding new products with these letters, particularly on clothing, was that I was creating a crazy amount of skews (variations), making it difficult to stock and store.
Take the Varsity baseball T-shirt for example. That comes in 6 Child sizes, 5 Adult sizes. Multiply that by the Alphabet, and that's 286 variations just in 1 style in 1 colourway! I still plan on stocking 'Lil Letterman' products, but I will be analysing the sales over the past year, and probably focusing in on the best sellers.
I'd also always planned on creating a 'collection', something that would cover different clothing categories. The designs have been in my head for a long time, and I really want to make them a reality. If I can make that happen I can also then move the business into Wholesale, and start showing Muklet at Trade fairs to then sell to retailers.
I realised that my social media handle of @mukletkids on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter no longer reflected what the brand was. I've been able to use Muklet on Pinterest & You Tube, but they've already been taken on the other channels. So, I needed to think of something else. Inspiration came from picturing the ole Mom & Pop stores in the 1950's. Picturing the old signage that I've been so inspired by recently. I love picturing the old haberdashery display cabinets inside, and the personable service. This led me to come up with @mukletstores. Fortunately changing your name on these channels is super easy as long as it's available. That way you don't get to lose your followers, but you do have to let people know you've done it. So, here you go - letting you know I've changed to @mukletstores on Facebook and Instagram!
I've also come to realise I need to make my Muklet Instagram feed more brand focused. I felt it was time to separate out the blog, vlog and behind the scenes part of muklet. So, I've also just set up @survivingthemuklets to do this. It's still early days, but give us a follow - I'll be posting more about our moving shenanigans over there!
Momma Muklet x