Almost a year ago to the date, Shari Raymond hit the green light on Milton & Goose, and she was in business.
“When I started Milton & Goose one year ago, I had high hopes for the company, but tried to manage my expectations by taking things one step at a time,” Raymond said. “I launched the business with a modest run of play kitchens and really had no idea how long it would take me to sell them (a month? Six months? A year?). I couldn’t have imagined that by my first holiday season and before year-end, Milton & Goose would sell out of inventory three times.”
Now, Raymond is taking stock of all that’s occurred in the last 365 days of business.
“Because I started by just taking the first step and seeing where things went, I feel good about where the business is today, one year in,” she said. “I feel poised for growth and am excited about the next year to come.”
As can be expected with any new business, there were some issues that arose as Raymond learned the ins and outs of manufacturing and selling, and got a much better idea of the timelines involved with creating her play kitchens.
“It’s really incredible how much time and energy it takes to develop a product,” she noted. “From manufacturing limitations to safety regulations and shipping issues, we’ve encountered many unforeseen challenges along the way, but one of the most rewarding things is brainstorming and developing a solution.”
Raymond realized she had a packaging issue that needed to be dealt with quickly, for example, as she began sending out the first shipments.
“While we spent a lot of time designing packaging that could safely transport a big and heavy wooden unit (that ships almost fully assembled!), the first few kitchens arrived damaged. It was a nightmare!” she recalled. “We of course replaced all of the broken items immediately, but that put us right back into development mode as I was simultaneously building the brand and communicating with customers.”
Now, however, the redesigned kitchen has reinforcement in the areas where it was breaking during transport, and the packaging itself was rethought and improved. “So now our kitchens almost always arrive in one piece and ready for play!” said Raymond.
For the business owner, customer feedback has been the best part of the last year. “While I obviously think the design is adorable and the quality excellent, hearing the positive feedback from our customers has made this whole journey so rewarding,” she gushed. “We also always love seeing pictures of kids enjoying our play kitchens!”
Looking ahead, Raymond is very excited about a few things that are in the works, including a variety of accessories to complement Milton & Goose’s current products.
Be on the lookout for more news from Milton & Goose as Year Two gets underway!