Over the last couple of weeks I’ve seen the team put in a massive effort. We currently have a container of outdoor fireplaces leaving our factory every couple of weeks, on top of that we are in what seems to be our busiest time in history.
Shipping a container load of fires creates a big work-load. It concentrates effort around a single event – the day the container has to leave. I guess part of the challenge is the production always seems to come on top of national demand, which this time of the year is already stretching us to our limits.
Not to mention the hard work of opening up a new market in the first place! We went to Canada in March of this year, there were whispers of Covid, well, let’s be frank, it was the only thing on the news. But being the eternal optimist, I never thought it could impact us!
The March trip was to launch Flare Outdoor Fireplaces into Canada at The National Home Show. We spent three day’s setting up only to find the event cancelled on the morning the doors were to open. I will never forget getting to the show only to find the handwritten notes on the doors explaining the show was closed due to Covid 19. I was stunned.
There we were with a container load of masonry outdoor fireplaces, shipped all the way from New Zealand, all on a hunch that the Canadians would love our kiwi design and innovation.
We went back to the hotel, bought a nice bottle of wine and some good food and tried to get our heads straight. We spent the next few day’s packing up, and even fit in a trip to Niagara Falls to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary with our good friends the Elliot’s, who also happen to be our Canadian agents.
We came back home to New Zealand the week us kiwi’s went into lockdown, things looked grim!
Who would have thought that first container of fires would sell themselves and we’d be out of stock in Canada within a couple of months.
This second container will complete some of those existing sales, whilst also give us some stock for the Canadian spring.
I like what Blake Scholl, CEO of Boom Supersonic says: “You have to be naive enough to start, but wise enough to finish”. I completely agree.
There is no doubt exporting is hard, it teaches resilience and determination. It consumes considerable cash and energy, but it sure is fun…especially if you have a great team. There is no guide for exporting solid masonry outdoor fireplaces around the world, but our team seem to be working it out!