Okay, I know the old saying, “if it was easy everyone would be doing it.” Well, that really resonates with what I have going on right now with my Big Kidz Jeanz company. Back in January when I thought of this whole idea, I knew it was going to take some old-fashioned hard work and determination. I figured I would have to draw upon my years of experience running the company I started in 1999 (SAF Print & Promotional Products.) The last 5 years have certainly not been easy, but I’m surviving and proud of that fact. I’m also proud I’ve been able to provide a good job for a tremendous sales assistant who relies on me for a paycheck every month. There have certainly have been a lot of months when I made sure she got paid and not myself.
I'm also blessed with a tremendous network of friends and business associates who are very successful and some own businesses as well. I rely on these people to bounce ideas off of and help give me direction at times. Initially, I received great support and encouragement for my idea and wish to build Big Kidz Jeanz in the first place. I can tell you one of the first conversations was with my sister, Evelyn, in Rochester, NY. I respect her opinion and guidance very much (she is a NYS Supreme Court Judge.) When I told her my idea late in January, she thought it was very viable and encouraged me to start my company. It certainly has not been easy though.
I guess what I did not foresee was the amount of lead-time involved and difficulties with my supplier in NYC. My initial launch date was supposed to be in June and was pushed back to July, and now that may even be in jeopardy. I’m really hoping to launch and get my feet wet before school starts again in the fall.
My pre-production samples for the BKJ Jeans and Athletic Pants (also called track pants) came in, and they were not up to my specifications. This was a real set back but we are working through it. One of the major flaws was the built-in, invisible, comfort stretch waistband for the jeans. I have been marketing this feature all along, and it came in wrong. Instead of built-in elastic, which automatically has give and stretch, it was the pull-stretch elastic with holes and buttons. This I know I can not stand when I have tried to adjust on my boys, and I think many people feel the same way about that as I do.
Everything else has fallen into place. Trademarks, BKJ web site, marketing, banking (being able to accept and process credit cards on my site), shipping, etc. BUT the product is becoming a real hassle and has caused many sleepless nights as of late. Fortunately, things are getting straightened out, and hopefully things are back on track. My big concern is how it has delayed things and tied up a lot of money I do not have. Yes, I’m into my retirement, I sold off most all of the liquid stock I have, and thank goodness for those good old bank checks (you know the ones they send you with your credit card statement with 0% interest for a year but you pay 4-5% transaction fees...)
It would be really nice to get up and running soon here in July. I’m really trying hard to do it right and build my own brand (BKJ) that I would be proud to have my boys wear. I also want them to be proud of what they are wearing and also comfortable. I’m working hard to provide parents the quality and convenience of ordering a custom pair of pants shipped to your doorstep that fit your child. It has been 4 months now since I sent a purchase order, and patience is wearing a bit thin for sure. So, all that being said, remember nothing in life comes easy!