When you own an athletic cup business, dinner conversations are often different from what other families discuss around the family table. At our house, it's not surprising to be discussing male gentalia as the topic of conversation. Unfortunately, we failed to properly educate our youngest daughter of this important meal time etiquette. I received a text message from another mother today: "Thanks for letting Elle come over and play this evening. I'm glad she could stay and have dinner with us. Just so you know, she was talking about wieners at dinner. We shrugged it off since we know about your Comfy Cup business, but thought...
We are feeling grateful...for the many people who have helped to make Kyler's Comfy Cup™ idea a reality. Today, we reflect on the people, events, and timing that aligned to make this dream come true. We couldn't possibly be where we are without all of you...thank you!
Coach Todd for requiring the KC Sox to wear cups.
All the baseball, hockey, lacrosse and football players who put their package on the line to test out the Comfy Cup™ in the earliest prototyping phases--there are so many of you--too many to list.
Tony for helping us with manufacturing and, well, EVERYTHING!
Scott and Court for providing a temporary warehouse for the...
One awesome PR lead we got from The Grommet was a program called HARO-Help a Reporter Out. Three times a day, we receive an email with queries for stories from reporters and journalists around the world. I diligently read the queries and submitted pitches to any and every one that was relevant to the Comfy Cup.
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes."
In April, we realized we made a BIG mistake. We failed to collect sales tax on our Amazon sales over the past nine months! I ASSumed Amazon did that for us. Well, it doesn't. So, we immediately registered for a Kansas Retailers’ Sales Tax Registration Certificate and got to work reviewing the thousands of orders to resolve the error. My wonderful husband, Randy, had to continually remind me to be grateful that we caught the mistake when we did. I just wish we caught it sooner.
In May, we learned about the Kansas Small Business Development Center at
Johnson County Community College. The mission of the KSBDC is to increase economic prosperity in Kansas by helping entrepreneurs and small business owners start and grow their businesses. They provided us with a FREE business consultant/mentor who shared so many amazing insights on company structure, SEO optimization, and content marketing in our first meeting. He remains a consultant to us free of charge as long as we need him. This service is so valuable. I feel so grateful to be a patron of the JCCC KSBDC!
"There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient working and waiting."- J. G. Holland
Good news, 2,000 of our Comfy Cups™ are ready two months early and headed from Hong Kong to Lenexa, KS. We opted to finish production on 1,000 of the cups and leave them awaiting shipment in China, so they can be sent quickly when we need them. With the knowledge of the inventory en route, we put the Comfy Cup™ back on Amazon with a delayed fulfillment date.
Bad news, the Easter holiday caused a delay...the cups won't arrive until Monday.
More bad news. UPS didn't have our Tax ID number on file. Another delay at custom...
"A smart entrepreneur knows they can not run a business on their own. They know that business is a team sport."
- Robert Kiyosaki
People tell us all the time, “ You should go on that TV show, Shark Tank.” We actually completed 75% of the Shark Tank application in the 5-hour car ride to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving. Then, we sat on it for months while we considered our business goals. Our top priority is to make sports more enjoyable for as many kids as possible. We decided could use some help making the Comfy Cup™ a house hold name. Plus, if this deal goes through with Walmart, we might need some financial bac...
The launch of Kyler's Comfy Cup on The Grommet website in April presented new opportunities for media attention. Kyle had his first TV interview on the local KC Fox morning show. We took Kyler out of school for his interview and brought his sister along with her iPad to take video and photos to share on social media. We got to experience the Green Room (which isn't actually green) and behind the scenes on television. This was another amazing learning opportunity for both of the kids. I was so proud of Kyler. He didn't seem nervous at all. I was definitely nervous enough for him. I sat behind the cameramen with Elle as Ky...
"The world's most successful entrepreneurs play hard, but they work even harder. "
Kyler was invited to share his Comfy Cup™ invention with a group of Medical Profession Academy students at Olathe North High School to help them learn about Kyler’s entrepreneurial journey. Kyler shared his successes and challenges. After our presentation, the students offered to do some testing on the Comfy Cup™ using the baseball team's pitching machine and their science department’s force plate. We happily gave them a handful of Comfy Cups™ to use for testing. After a couple of months, they returned with some fantastic resul...
"When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge." -Robert Kiyosaki
Mid-March our Comfy Cup™ inventory dwindled dangerously low. We placed an order for 3,000 more Comfy Cups, but they were not scheduled to arrive for months! We had to take the Comfy Cup™ off Amazon to ensure we would have enough product in stock for our big April 5th launch day on The Grommet. It was painful to go from filling 50 orders a day to zero during peak baseball season. But, it was a blessing in disguise…our family needed the break. It was a little gift from the Universe...a calm before the storm.