Almost a year and a half ago on a rainy day sitting in Percy’s & Co. in Seattle, Haleigh and I decided to be business partners.
It started with a day full of good eats in Seattle with Benton & Devon. Haleigh and I barely knew each other at that point and I remember wondering what it would be like to spend an entire day with her. Now that seems so funny! As we made our way around Seattle we got to talk about many things and in Percy’s & Co. it turned to business talk. It started with Haleigh expressing her desire to create a baby gym that would make Mom’s lives easier and stylish. Haleigh is amazing at design, marketing, social media and has experience in online businesses and customer relations. Yet, she told Benton and me that she needed to find someone who had the business, operational side to partner with her.
I heard her idea and immediately suggested that we should be partners. Having 4 years’ experience helping businesses with operations and strategy and a strong desire to be left to my own devices (without a boss) I knew we could partner and take on the challenge.
I felt embarrassed after I got home, because I realized I had just forced my partnership on this girl that barely knew me.
Thankfully she wasn’t weirded out by it, so we continued our business pursuit. Haleigh and I worked with our designer who is absolutely amazing and he drafted up the design for the product. Then came the challenging part of finding someone to create the prototype.
We started our search for a prototype, which led us downtown Vancouver (where we took the above photo). We drove there to have meetings with prototype manufacturers who literally made plastic models for people. Not exactly what we were looking for! One of the prototype manufacturers greeted us outside of his hole-in-a-wall ‘office’. We walked in and heard the door slam shut behind us, the dark hallway led us into a room with costumes and Chinese dragons everywhere. We definitely thought we were going to get killed. But, he ended up being a really nice guy – useless to what we were looking for, but nice nonetheless. Subsequently I realized I had forgotten my wallet and got us completely lost! Even though we were so far from where we should have been, we felt like this was the beginning of something amazing. I remember sitting at Joey’s happy hour with Haleigh, talking about all of the details we needed to get in order and feeling like we could take on the world.
We ended up making our partnership official that day and had a million experiences after that! I thought finding a prototype manufacturer would be simple, but it ended up being a long road for us. It ended up taking us almost a year and a half from the time we got the design files to the time we received our first order. Which, in the grand scheme of things isn’t that long.
Since then it’s been great to see our product being sold and people enjoying what we’ve created!