Growing a Small Business – COVID-19 Edition

I took this photo while I was in a meeting, on a boat for what I thought was my DREAM job. Little did I know that this would quickly come to an end because of coronavirus. When I look at it now, it is a reminder of simpler times and just how much things can change.

Casual Work Day Video:This was one of my first days playing with Caleb Coffie’s laser. Its crazy to think that THIS IS WHERE IT ALL STARTED. I had never even seen a laser, much less did I know how to use it- I don’t even think at the time I knew it went pew pew. All I knew was, I felt like I had lost my purpose and needed to find it. I had put all of my eggs in this dream job basket which I literally lost within the first week of COVID. I was fragile, lost and now that I think of it- slightly crazy for diving into something I had no idea about. Before even starting The Coffie Cutters I spent months searching and learning. At night, Caleb would stay up teaching me and during the day I would test my patience trying to put my new learned hobby to work. Little by little, I learned Adobe Illustrator, EZCAD, Light Burn, How to Build a Website, SEO, Photography & Editing, and how to use multiple different machines – galvo CO2 laser, gantry CO2 laser, Fiber laser and the list goes on and on. *thanks Caleb 😘*

Fast forward to October 2020, when we launched The Coffie Cutters. In our first month we only had 19 orders. I felt so DEFEATED but I wasn’t going to let Etsy win, so I doubled down and just poured more of my heart and soul into it. Everyday I would work on listing new items, taking better photos, creating new designs and just hoping for the best. Then on Black Friday of 2020, we somehow made our way to the front page of Etsy (lol from ads we paid for) and orders poured in. In fact, so many came in that Etsy STOPPED INCLUDING US ON SEARCH RESULTS because they thought we wouldn’t be able to fulfill the orders within our processing time. Little did they know, we had prepared to scale- thanks to my mom, dad, Destiny and Angel for really showing up when we needed you the most😏 Peep the video of our dining room being taken over by inventory! So began the bi-polar month of December which consisted of Etsy turning our ads off and on throughout the month. Some days were really great, while other days we would be lucky to make a sale. However, by the end of the month we noticed that while our sales were volatile, they were phenomenal. All I could think was- IF ONLY THEY DIDN’T SHUT US DOWN. 💸This triggered our hunger so we dove deeper and decided to start building a website to avoid relying on Etsy. Meanwhile, we would slowly be growing and adding more machines which meant- we needed more space.

This footage of our garage is the the essence of a small, growing business 🤪 We started in our house garage and even had to add AC plus re-wired the garage so we could have more power LMAO. You can literally see the wall we ripped out. Come March 2021, we decided if we wanted to grow anymore that we would need a larger workspace. I could no longer live with our inventory now taking up multiple rooms in our house. It was incredibly overwhelming 😅

The part where we get our own warehouse. We moved into our warehouse in March and we really haven’t stopped moving or growing. Caleb still has his day job and I work full time for The Coffie Cutters. I don’t take a pay check because every single cent we make goes back into the business. In the past 30 days we have done better in sales than we did during Christmas 😎 This week we even went viral on TikTok- boy has that been a RIDE!

Our days are VERY long. Caleb spends all of his evenings trying to figure out how we can scale and I spend all day and night trying to keep up. *Growing Pains* Now we are talking about an even bigger warehouse & employees without even being open for a year!!

This small idea💡 has become something SO MUCH BIGGER than I even imagined. Lately it has been so hard to see the bigger picture as I try not to get overwhelmed with growing. However, it is so sweet when think of how much as changed since that day on the lake when I thought I had my dream job.

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