Running a small family business

Running a small family business

Running a small business is well-known to be challenging. Most of the challenges come from things being unpredictable. And because we're just wrapping up our first year, things are even more unpredictable for us because we don't have data to look back on from previous years. Was this a typical May? I don't yet know since it's our only May so far!

But there is one thing we can predict: that we're all in it together. Some of you have visited our workshop in San Francisco. It's a pretty tight space. Matthew is good at utilizing every last nook and cranny (see the ladder storage in the above photo). Even though it's a tight squeeze, we all pitch at crunch time. In this photo, you can see our daughter helping assemble Gear Sleds. Her younger brother occasionally helps build things but is more typically on cardboard recycling duty. I'm usually upstairs running the website and marketing, but with the new products launching and lots of parts coming in from our fabricators this week, I've been unpacking and stacking parts in the storeroom.

We've been working through the orders that stacked after we announced the new Overland line and are excited to get through the backlog - hopefully by next week. The popularity of one product in particular was a little bit of a surprise. The Under Seat Storage Cover, which ships with some organizational dividers as well as a couple of seat stays to keep the back seats up, has been flying off the shelf. In fact, at one point, we ran out of the boxes we ship them in. Never fear - parts and boxes have been replenished, and more customers will receive their orders soon!

It's been a really busy few months, and both of the kids have summer jobs now. Our daughter is putting her new(ish) driver's license to work coordinating equipment and logistics for GirlVentures where she was once a camper. Our son has returned to Wheel Kids, the camp where he lost his training wheels (many moons ago) as an assistant coach. We're proud that they sought out jobs in the fields of outdoor education and leadership development. But we'd be lying if we didn't admit that we miss their help in the shop!

We've been trying to sneak in some fun family time, so it’s not all work, work, work. Here’s a shot from the Giant’s game we attended earlier this spring with Matthew and me wearing our newly acquired Thunderbolt gear. 


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