Despite summer time, vacations and lack of posts here, times have been far from calm or summer lazy. After the fire, we’ve been terribly busy renovating and getting things back on track at the studio. While assessing the actual damage, things got painfully realistic: basically all raw materials on stock were burned, while Copa Copa slippers, lovely Torbuschkas, daring Hendee XL together with almost all products in stock were more or less so damaged by smoke that they had to be written off. No words can describe the feelings when so many products, very dear to me, had to be trashed. Putting aside the financial blow for Kaaita, it proved to be an even bigger emotional blow for me personally.
Time heals all wounds…
They say, like they also say that everything happens for a reason. To my utmost surprise, I slowly began to realize that letting things go actually made me feel good. Really good :) As long as I can remember, I've loved vast clean empty spaces. During the past years Kaaita has been through a lot and as a result, we accumulated a huge amount of Things. Materials samples, prototype models, documents… As it goes, they all seemed indispensable, because they were important for the Kaaita DNA. But, that was really just an excuse for never taking the time to sort them all out. Not that we didn't try, we just didn't try hard enough. So it comes that it took more or less ten minutes of fire and smoke to sort it out instead and prove us wrong. We’ve been proven that nothing is really so indispensable and most important: the Kaaita soul is not only in things. Plus, we've also been blessed with my beloved vast empty space.
Empty studio space.
Energized by letting go
Only by letting things go, new, fresh ones can come in. And this goes equally for physical and nonphysical things. No-inventory business model that we’ve been unable to implement for years has been implemented for us in less than an hour. Processes, previously facing so many obstacles, have been successfully implemented almost over night. This has forced us to rethink fundamentally, how we perceive the business side of our business. In the aftermath, we've realized that far less is needed to do so much more. It has even proved to be easier that way. Efficiency increased. And with that, the satisfaction reached all new levels too. Surfing on that mood we've seized the opportunity to implement some fundamental changes in the way we do business. These are the resolutions that we came up with and might be of help to other creative workplaces.
1) CREATIVE ORDER AND FREEDOM OF SPACE
We made a commitment to spacious and well-organized workspaces and packaging corner. Everything should be arranged in a way enabling us to deliver our packages with a strong emotional appeal, as our customers love it most. All the new equipment is unfortunately not delivered and installed yet, so I can't share any images, but I have a clear vision of what I want. Meanwhile, I made a wish list of selected items on Pinterest, so you can get a hint of what is coming =)
2) MINIMAL STOCK LEVEL
We should only stock products that cannot be produced in a minimum time and small quantities. Others should be produced when orders come in. This has two lovely consequences: shipped-off products are fresh and cheaper since we reduced the cost of maintaining stocks. Lowering of costs has particularly affected the products at lower prices. Many of them can now be purchased at friendlier sums in our online store.
3) GIVING AWAY
Since we're passionate about giving waste material a second chance, we decided to also use it for producing small inspiring giveaways for our costumers. The goal is to change them regularly and keep you posted about them here (unless you're a regular shopper and you'll get one anyway :). In case you don't want to miss out on the opportunity to receive these fab creative by-products, make sure you subscribe to Letters from forest updates at the bottom of this page.
Even if the situation has been quite stressful and I’ve been busy with renovating instead of planning new product lines, I’ve never felt better about the future. Kaaita entered a new period, the post-fire period, stronger than ever. What only weeks ago felt like free fall is now an outset for new Kaaita chapters. They will be written in a space, freed from clutter and useless necessities, from which I hope to report again shortly.