Then it is time, like everyone else, to take notes of 2020 – the year that has passed.
Status of 2020, the year when you could only come to work with a negative test and smelling of alcohol!
We started the year with having only one plan; to participate in the Creators Community at Formland, to see if anyone at all showed interest in our designs. Destiny and a little illness made us rethink our lives and participating in the Creators community turned out to help us follow steps towards newfound paths. We had no idea what we were going into, but Creators and Formland exceeded all expectations and more. I will write a longer post about our experiences when approaching our first anniversary with the Creators in January 2021.
We were flying high after 4 days at Formland. We closed agreements with our first retailers (which we never even dared to dream of when we left to go to the fair). We talked to a lot of amazing people about collaboration etc. and received lots of amazing responses to our products. Unanimously we put a plan together to finally go all-in on launching Design Rocket. 2020 was meant to be spent on participating in a lot of fairs and trade-markets, showing off our products.
Arms above heads due to agreed meeting with major retailer
Fairs were planned for both spring and autumn. We ran from one networking meeting and various other events to the other. All, to make connections to people in this new world that none of us had known before. There was simply so much we had to learn. But we were bursting with energy and the belief that it was going to be a great year for us. By coincidence, we met a contact from a large retailer (one of the largest on the market, metaphorically being a blue stamp way in for us). Before we even had a chance to turn around, we had a meeting with them! Do I have to mention how thrillingly we threw our arms above our heads? We spent ages preparing. The night before the meeting the car was packed, the clothes laid out and the sales pitch was spot on.
COVID19 took Denmark
We were totally ready for the meeting, which was to take place on Thursday, March 12.
Now you can probably figure out what happened; we sat totally baffled listening to the news, just like the rest of Denmark. An email checked in; the meeting had been postponed. Like everything else – including our daughter’s 3rd birthday party a week later. Initially, the meeting was postponed. Then the retailer was not allowed to bring in new suppliers due to uncertainty, but we kept on being persistent and invited them to Formland in August (where fortunately, they were very impressed). A new meeting was agreed, but that also got postponed due to restrictions, followed by a further postponement. Due to the continuous COVID19 restrictions, we are looking forward to another meeting to be agreed upon.
Was that really the biggest hurdle in 2020?
No! Numerous fairs and trade markets have been postponed until “who knows when” so far. Without any refund and being unable to receive any so called “COVID19-aid packages” from the Danish Government, it honestly hurts being a small start-up business right now. We were really looking forward to participating in all the fairs in 2020, but we won’t give up. Having high hopes for events to take place again in 2021, we are ready and so much looking forward to meeting each and every one of you and presenting our products to you.
Sometimes you just gotta’ take the plunge…
Being frank, perhaps it was a foolish thing to throw ourselves into a new business, selling interior and design through retailers/stores in 2020. Would we do it again if we knew what the year would bring? Maybe, maybe not. The year of 2020 was troublesome and we had far too many concerns. But as our sweet and amazing mentor said; “You will still have the same concerns even after 35 years with your company”. We have met a lot of amazing people who would like to come along with us on our journey. For example, our mentor that we got through the Creators Community at Formland and who we are so lucky to still have available.
Not to mention that we also met our partners-in-crime, Znorki and Designed Learning, at Formland in January. We joined forces in summer to share a fair stand at Formland in August and the plan was to participate at fairs and markets in the autumn and winter together. We love working with these amazing girls from the two companies and love the way we can support each other, sharing joys and problems. We look forward to much more collaboration with both of them in the future.
Marketing on SoMe
There are some amazing influencers on Instagram that we have had the pleasure to be working with. It was great to have people on board who are so profoundly steering SoMe and all there is to that – it is certainly not one of the strongest competences that we have. In addition, there are also 21 retailers, both physical and web-shops, who have chosen Design Rocket’s products to be part of their range! It is crazy and we are deeply grateful to each and every one of them.
The future is bright and vaccinated
So, we are sitting here, almost a year into our journey and are grateful to all those who support us. Both retailers, partners and most of all the people who buy our products. It is such an exhilarating feeling.
We sit back, reflecting over what we have learned: “If you are able to endure such a heavy start as the one we had, then nothing can hold you back.”
We start 2021 with a lot of plans and dreams for our business.
We are welcoming our student intern on January 4th, who will (amongst other things) help us with translating our website into German and English. As we are starting to get a lot of inquiries outside Denmark’s borders, we also truly hope for Formland to take place in March. Then, hopefully followed by all other fairs and markets addressing the private market. We have also been invited to a large trade fair in the big-city, Copenhagen itself (there we shall see if 2 “Jyder” – also referred to as the Danish Hill Billie’s, have the guts to succeed). The Copenhagen fair is not quite official yet – so we can’t say more just yet. We also started 2021 by sending a bunch of stacking boxes to a museum where they will be used in their children’s section.
So, lots of exciting things are happening and awaiting in 2021 and we are going to throw ourselves into it with just the same excitement and fighting spirit as from 2020.