Monthly Archives: January 2017

A few things…

There wasn’t anything average about today at PJP Buttonwood, primarily because we sold 600 half price tarts in under five hours.  Holla to the flash sale.  Or holla to the Pajama Jam sales fail. Either way, because it made our Tuesday completely unexpected (and if the last day of January should be anything, there are worse things than unexpected).

Here are a few other things worth noting…

  1. We finished out January fairly strong, ending up 27% over January 2016.  There are likely a variety of reasons why we did better this January than last, but WHO CARES BECAUSE JANUARY HAS FINALLY REDEEMED ITSELF.  January, I can’t even hate on you that much.  (In all seriousness, I would say cutting way down on payroll, hosting parties, and catering some large events probably had more to do with it than any lingering hate I might have had for last January.)
  2. Also, I’ve already done the math and have a general idea of what we need to do in sales each business day in February to be 27% above last February.  And yes,I’m basically competitive with my own self in this scenario.  And yes, that makes me sort of crazy.
  3. We have some fun things in store for February…Epic Pie Tasting goes on sale tomorrow (planned for February 23rd), a Valentine’s Date Night Baking Night event (planned for February 10th), and we will be at the winter wedding show on February 12th at the Holiday Inn Expo Center (rescheduled from the ice storm that never actually happened).  We are also making some fun videos with Aaron Ottis, partnering with a group of MBA students on a fun new project, and oh, also relentlessly chasing #worldpiedomination.
  4. Before I forget, we’ve also partnered with CrateJoy, an online box subscription service.  This will allow our customers to purchase a box of Jelly Jar pies on a recurring basis as a gift for someone (either a three, six, or 12 month period).  In short, it is an awesome way for someone to receive different Jelly Jar pies each month and CrateJoy provides the technology for billing the recurring service.  I set up our page myself and I’m more than a little pleased with myself, so take a look here.
  5. And this has nothing to do with anything really, but I’ve spent five days or so trying to explain Internet memes to Jeanne.  So, I’ll leave this here for her…

Now We Know.

Without question, we worked some seriously long hours over the past weekend.  After two sixteen hour days in a row, we were tired of pie by late Saturday night (and pie was probably tired of us).  On Friday, we made 714 tarts for a local event and it was smooth sailing through calm seas thanks to our beloved tart press.  Once we delivered those to the venue on Friday evening, we drove back to PJP Buttonwood and realized the Pajama Jam at Stoney Creek Inn was only 15 hours or away and we hadn’t really decided what we were taking to sample or sell.  Sounds about right.

Obviously one of the challenges of participating in a new event is that it is all a complete unknown.  We only knew the basic premise of the event (a girl’s night out, with 600 tickets sold) and that we were required to bring enough samples for everyone.  We had also been given a map of the vendor marketplace, so we had a fair idea of other vendors attending and our placement in the venue.  Which is only to say that we went back to PJP and cleaned up the mess we had made baking 714 tarts, and we then turned around and got it all back out to start making samples for 600 Pajama Jam guests and 600 three-inch tarts for purchase at $3 each.  Which, as you might guess, takes a sweet forever.

On Saturday afternoon, we set up our booth in record time and then changed into our matching pajamas…because how could we go to Pajama Jam and not?  Our friends at Fast Yeti made us the best shirts ever and we paired those shirts with pajama pants.

Because this blog is about keeping entrepreneurship real, I’ll tell you that we took 600 tarts for purchase and only sold 68 over the course of the evening.  Gah.

Our samples were very well received…we wished that we had another 100 or more to give out.  It just wasn’t the right venue for us to sell things.  Most people were in pajamas (duh, Pajama Jam) and didn’t have cash with them.  All of the attendees were spending the night at the hotel and had seemingly brought snacks and drinks to their rooms, so they were covered on late night snacks.  It looked like a great opportunity to drink cocktails with friends and have a ton of fun…just not the best opportunity to buy pie.  So now we know.  Cocktails, yes.  Pie, not so much.  Good to know.

All that said, we had fun together in our booth (as we always do).  And we met a lot of new people and talked to those people about #worldpiedomination, which is always a win in our book.  It reminded me of when we did the Bacon and Bourbon festival last year…great chance to meet people and have fun, just not a strong focus on sales…and that’s ok too.  Now that we know, we will prepare accordingly next year.  As always, two steps forward…one step back…

Also?  Massive sale on tarts this week at PJP.  Ahem.

Sort of Awesome…

Well, we are ending January with a full slate of activities over the next few days and we couldn’t be happier to be overwhelmed with things to do in the next 72 hours.  Here’s a roundup of all the activities that will make is seem almost like we are still in December…

  1. Tomorrow we host our first day long fundraiser at PJP Buttonwood.  We’ve partnered with Rock Bridge Elementary and we will be donating 20% of all pie purchases tomorrow to the RBE Parent Teacher Association.  We are excited (and curious) to see how it works, as we know this is a popular way for local schools and organizations to fundraise without selling door-to-door (and probably Shakespeare’s Pizza is the best example of leading the way for this concept).  If it goes well, we are anxious to partner with other local groups over the coming months.  We like pie and we like helping others, so it seems pretty obvious that this hopefully will become a regular event.
  2. On Friday, we have a customer that has ordered 714 tarts in varying flavors.  That sort of order used to stop us dead in our tracks with visions of all night baking sessions dancing in our heads.  But now that our beloved tart pie press has arrived, we aren’t even fazed.  We should be able to stamp out and bake those 714 tarts and ready them for their 5:15 pm delivery time in one day with no problems.  THANK YOU, TECHNOLOGY.  Of all the tremendous things that happened to us in 2016, the tart pie press purchase may hover right on up there in the number one spot.  It’s moved me to tears on more than one occasion.  True story.
  3. And on Saturday, we have a booth at Pajama Jam 2017 at the Stoney Creek Inn.  We’ve never participated before, but we do know the event sold out quickly with 600 attendees.  From what we know, it is a ladies only event with plenty of shopping, drinks, and music…and everyone wears pajamas.  And instead of focusing on what we will be taking to sample and sell, we’ve mainly been distracted with what we will be wearing.  Finding pajamas that are cute, branded with our logo in some way, and appropriate to a 21-year-old AND a 62-year-old is about as easy as you would guess…(so basically, not easy at all).  We have a few ideas though, which is good because we really need to start thinking about what we are taking to sample and to sell.  I’ve never sold pie while wearing pajamas before, but it sounds sort of awesome now that I think about it…