After months of planning, researching and many 20 hour days, we decided to Pre-launch Fit Caffeine, and take some pre-orders.
After announcing to friends and family on Facebook, we turned on our Shopify store, created a Facebook advertising campaign and set the store to accept orders with negative inventory.
The Coffee research had been finalized, the packaging was designed and on order from a manufacturer in China... so all we had to do was wait.
Slowly orders started to come in, and the amazing sound from the Shopify app "Cha-ching" would always bring a smile to our face, even, when going off at 4 o'clock in the morning!
But, then the unexpected happened. The whole city started to burn! (literally)
It is not an exaggeration when we say the city was on fire. We live in Fort McMurray, Alberta. In May 2016, there was a massive forest fire that caused a mandatory evacuation to be issued by the government. 90 thousand people were forced to leave their homes with barely any notice in order to flee the vicious inferno. The fire, dubbed "The Beast", had destroyed numerous neighborhoods, with a total of approximately 2500 buildings flattened to the ground.
For 45 days, we were not allowed back into our City to see our home. We left one of our vehicles in the driveway, along with our camper. With only one way out of town, and 90,000 people trying to escape in panic, the City was completely grid-locked. We jumped in one car and fled.
The result was about 2 month delay fulfilling orders. Now the coffee was ready, but the packaging that had been released from customs in Vancouver, was still not here. It was a very frustrating time for us while trying to retrieve our packaging in desperation, and at the same time we were booked solid with meetings with our insurance company to deal with the aftermath of the fire.
When we finally had everything ready, every pre-order was shipped with a special gift in the box. Not one cent profit was made during these pre-orders and we didn't care, because these people had spent their money to help us, and waited patiently for their orders. So, we designed and printed unique coffee mugs for every customer, and sent them with the order.
We are happy to announce that 92% of the people who pre-ordered, have made repeat purchases.
After this, our plan was to get approved to sell on Amazon under the Food category, and after 4 months of trying with an average of 6 emails per day to different support admins, we did it. Fit Caffeine is now available on Amazon Canada, USA and soon in Japan!
Quin, our CEO, has received 1 on 1 training from Amazon associates, and has daily "masterminds" with some of the most successful eCommerce and Amazon sellers in North America.
2017 is already smiling, as the brand has been receiving several contacts from investors who would like a piece, of this amazing idea.
Only time can tell the rest, but we will keep expanding the story here, as time goes by.
To be continued soon...