Whew, its been a while! What a crazy year 2019 was for all of us here at Lost Penguin. Many of you have been following along through our social media accounts, but I figured I should take some time to sit down and write about all that has happened.
So, we made it, we’ve made it to 2020! I hope we will all see life a little clearer this year… get it? See better? 20.20 …. Okay, sorry, I couldn’t resist. I realize we’re well into February, but I think a quick recap of LP is necessary.
To start, its been a longtime since I’ve written a blog post, and I completely dropped the ball on our Being a Creator series, but don’t worry, I have a few new names and faces that I am excited to share with you all. I also have a little project that goes along with that series that has been on the backburner that I hope to finally get back around to this year.
In 2019, LP saw a lot of change, I saw a lot of change personally and Jayme and Lincoln did as well. Our year started off slow business wise, and I had a few worries leading into the second half of the year. Things began to pick up as I started to shift my attention to focusing more on the wholesale and private label products we had been producing sparingly.
This decision was a little difficult for me at first. I started working with leather as a creative outlet, and making custom products has always been a lot of fun, as well as fulfilling. However, in the past couple years I have learned (and have mentioned in the past) that time management is key to any success LP receives. Custom work was becoming difficult to work into my schedules and that was causing my retail items, showcased on our website, to suffer as far as inventory availability went.
Our show season, August through December did not go well. While we did not attend many shows in ’19 (4 in all) , we saw much lower numbers in sales and interest versus the past two years. This came as a bit of a shock to us, as the holidays are typically our busiest time of the year. Although our shows did not do well, we were starting to pick up with wholesale items. We were doing a lot more than we have ever anticipated.
To be clear, when I mention wholesale or private label items, I am referring to key chains, coaster, and small items. For example, our friends at Ramble and Company, located here in Wichita Falls, really helped keep up going in 2019 with their private label orders. In that case we were manufacturing their key chains and coasters with their artwork and design on them. Sometimes it would be 20 pieces, and sometimes 100, and even had a run of 600 coasters!
Thanks to Ramble, we began to realize the direction LP needed to move and we are incredibly fortunate to have built the working relationship that we have with Ramble. We started to push the large quantity items and were able to knock out a lot of product in 2019. I was able to acquire some new equipment that allows me to work more efficiently and build a better product. Since then, we have been working with several brands and companies, both locally and across the US, that are ordering regularly.
So, that pretty much encompasses our ups and downs of production in 2019, but that isn’t the only exciting thing….
Jayme and I both had a bit of a stressful year. We decided early on in 2019, it was time to find a home. A place that was ours. We were running out of room in our little 2 bed/2 bath rent home. I was running out of workspace in the back room/bar of the house. Lincoln, who is now 3 ½, and has a lot of energy was running out of space. It was time. It was a big decision. A very stressful decision.
We planned and budgeted, looked at what was available as well as in our budget…. I will note that we were first time home buyers, que the stress. We found a home that we liked, made an offer and played that whole game. We got excited, very excited! only to find out that we were outbid. We got really upset but got over it and continued to look and found another… made an offer, at asking price…. we were outbid again!! Jayme was devastated…. Me a little grumpy and feeling down on our luck. We were feeling defeated.
Alas, we decided to finally go look at a home that I had found when we first started looking, but thought was going to be out of our wheelhouse. It was a little outdated, to be expected in our price range, but it was in a great neighborhood, plenty of room, and had everything we had been looking for. We chatted it over for a couple days and decided to go for it. Oh yeah, did I mention that it had a big shop as well!!! After a couple days of back and forth with the sellers, we found out that we got it!
We closed on December 27th and immediately began the move!
We kicked off 2020 in a new home! I kicked off 2020 with a new shop! I now have a space with room to grow. I also have big plans for the new shop as far as renovations go, and will be keeping track of the reno in Blog form.
It is going to be a big year for Lost Penguin and the Beckham Family. I hope you will all continue to follow along.