When you work in a manufacturing and retail business everything is completely out of sync with the rest of society. We think of Christmas as that glorious time of present giving, snow bound and good eating period, that time of religion, families and remembering why we all do what we do. But for us, here at Rocknife, it’s all different, we’re part of that sub-culture of working life that gets ready for Christmas - that puts the nuts and bolts in place to make Christmas exactly what it is.
For us Christmas is very much happening right now. It started probably early in the summer, the annual question of what shall we do for Christmas this year… Damian talking about getting Rocknife into more shops, Madeleine reminiscing about Christmas Fairs and Markets, some successful, some less, Tom wondering what Video to make and Henny and I thinking about websites and logistics. By August we were in full swing, we’d booked the Spirit of Christmas Fair, the RNLI at Port Regis, Compton Marbling (where we started) and a few more, some in London, some spread round the south west of England, and one at the NEC in Birmingham (the BBC Good Food).
Now in September our minds turn to logistics - getting the stands ready for fairs, making the odd video, marketing plans, emails for customers - meetings are arranged and we’re turning our minds to staffing who’s going to help us get all this ready. Stock checks - will we run out of Rocknives or will we make it through to the next level. It’s all very exciting. We even attended the Early Early Christmas Fair - just to see how our Rocknives would be received. Most people loved them, a few people said they’d already got them, everyone agreed they were very very sharp. October, is the busiest month yet - orders for Christmas have started to come in from the website - yes people are that organised, at this stage we can easily cope and we’re ready - or getting ready and by the end of October we should be 100% ready. It’s taken 4 to 5 months to reach this stage of the year. And we’re not even a seasonal product - we’re just a great Christmas Idea for a Present.
If you are reading this because you’ve read one of our emails then we’re into November - and we’re off - the phase for planning is over and it’s all about seeing the plans come to fruition - we’re at the Christmas Fairs, selling online, on mobiles, friends and family are acting as Ambassadors for us, and then there’s our small army of past customers, giving feedback, tell us what they think and what we should do next. Looking into the future a bit we’re going to have to deal with Black Friday - the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally the biggest day in retail history as everything goes completely ballistic, and this will be quickly followed by Cyber Monday - another massive day for the Internet - and then we’re off into December, thankfully - where we can deal with ordinary Christmas gift givers and customers… and our relief will come probably around the 20th December.
It will be another huge sigh of relief in the Rocknife Calendar - from working flat out with 18 hour days suddenly it will all calm down, the phones will go quite and we’ll be thinking of launching a January Sales - just to try and remind ourselves of the hecticness of the Pre Christmas Build Up. I know we won’t be the only company in this situation - but next time you buy a present for a friend or relative - it’s well to consider some of the logistics that have gone into making sure you gift is on the shelf where you want when you want. For us it’s a fabulous joy to be part of this and it’s why we do it. We’re truly looking forward to seeing you at the Fairs.