Our October has been packed with Standard Spoon business, and though I've been waiting for the final, signed, purchase-order-has-been-placed, no-turning back point to write an update, we're still not there yet.
You're with us on this journey, so here's a process update. Even though we are pushing as hard as we can to get to the point where we write a check and submit the purchase order, we're dealing with many different entities and the process is slower than anticipated. In our last update, we were set back to the point of selecting a new manufacturer. The Forging manufacturer had a proposal that really was "too good to be true," and some concerns were raised about the Investment Casting manufacturer, both from a materials waste and cost perspective.
We also ran into a week-long Chinese holiday, during which all business stops dead in its tracks. We took advantage of this time to triple-check our design files, and draft a specifications document, which we'll use as a manufacturing contract to clearly communicate all of the final design decisions to the factory.
We are now in communication with a second Forging manufacturer, and are reviewing final design elements with them to ensure they understand our specifications. They have experience working with cutlery, which is a bonus.
The Long Hello
Shawn Michael and I have been dealing with some (ok, much) frustration regarding how long this process is taking, and when we'll finally get to meet our finished spoons. We've made a commitment to you, our backers, to deliver a quality product, and gave you a delivery estimate that has long since expired. The extended timeline is discouraging for both of us, even though we know we owe it to you and to Standard Spoon to produce quality goods.
During the last two weeks we traveled to Seattle and Portland to meet retailers, bartenders, and friends, and ended our trip at Portland Cocktail Week (PDXCW) - even meeting a few of you! We sat in on some of the Innovation and Development classes, and spent time talking to people who've started distilleries, bitters companies, and bars. One of the things that was very encouraging to hear (over and over again) is that things like this always, always, always take longer than expected.
So thanks for hanging in there with us. This week we're back in the office, communicating with China, and being productive during the waiting periods. We'll keep you up to date here, but be sure to visit our Facebook page for frequent tidbits, and the Standard Spoon Blog for additional information and musings.