How are we on the brink of rolling into May?! As most people say, EVERY year, we don't know where this year so far has gone. Our last blog was at the beginning of the year, we had just gotten over our Christmas launch and reflecting on plans for 2021.
Well what a first quarter (nearly half!) a year we have had. We've been BUSY. Every week we seem to learn something new or have an idea for Lazydog and work to make that a reality. So what on earth have we been doing?
Distillery improvements - we recognised early this year that we needed to up production to keep up with your demand - which is a lovely problem to have and try to resolve. Matt has worked hard to improve the set up of the distillery, creating a more efficient process as space is at a premium for us!
Bottle improvements - Our main aim with our bottle design was for it to stand out against other rum brands by being simple and uncomplicated, just like our rum. That being said as our first batch rolled out, working with the bottles ourselves and receiving feedback from some of you, we knew we had to make some changes.
After experiencing an issue with the bottle corks, we switched bottle supplier - new bottle, new corks. Problem solved
We realised a simple improvement of adding a wax tear strip underneath our wax seal would make your lives be a lot easier getting into your bottle of rum! Sorry about that - a novice oversight.
Although we have our Lazydog tags to signify which of our rums you're drinking, the batch number and bottle number, we've also added a product label to the front of the bottle. So if you don't keep the tag and throw away the wax, you'll know which of our rums you're drinking. Especially if you have more than one bottle, which we know some of you do.
Talking of tags, we've added some extra detail inside each tag to explain our story and our rum - watch out for these in future batch releases.
Events - Thankfully the COVID situation is improving and has allowed more and more events to take place and hopefully be held later this year. I've spent a lot of time searching for events that we think fit with our ethos, product and general vibe and thankfully we have found some good 'uns. We are keen to find local events to showcase our rum and champion other local independent businesses, but we are also keen to spread the Lazydog brand across the UK. We had an event planned for this year that could have done that but it has been cancelled (thanks again COVID) but it's just made us rethink, reposition and press on.
Stockists - This year is about not only about us attending events and getting to speak directly to you about our rums and our story, we want to find stockists that will do that too. So far we have found a few and the search will continue. Entering the world of B2B negotiations/liaising is a whole new foray for us - remember we don't have a background in the spirits industry. We've learned a lot so far about this world and we'll continue to learn, but Matt and I seem to work well in assessing situations and offers presented to us, protecting ourselves and the Lazydog brand we are working so hard to build up.
Rum development - Matt is a perfectionist. This I already knew but I have had confirmed from working together with Lazydog. If Matt isn't 110% happy with our rum, it does not leave the distillery. Because of this Matt has redeveloped our Silver rum from Batch 1, nailed a spiced blend and created our first sell-out limited edition sloe rum. He is also getting stuck into our next rum variation, as I said, will not leave the distillery until has his seal of approval. this area is where my naivety and excitement take over. I just want to share with you all the fantastic rum Matt is producing at the soonest possible moment, not fully appreciating the work involved! I'm learning this now and know if something is worth waiting for, it's this.
Wow, writing this all down really makes me realise what a whole lot of things we have been doing! I'm sure I've missed some bits too. No wonder we feel like we are treading water some weeks. We are still running Lazydog alongside full and part time jobs and looking after our daughter and Gino. Our nap times, evenings and weekends are mostly filled with Lazydog work - sometimes sacrificing our own wellbeing, family time and sanity! We will find a balance but we also know the time and effort we need to put into Lazydog to make it a success is substantial. Again, the feedback and response we receive from you all cartifies we are doing something right and will continue to push forward.
So what does the rest of the year hold? We don't fully know! And that's kind of exciting! We have some events planned throughout the year, we'd like to attend some more. We have some stockist secured, we'd like to find some more. We'd like to extend how we offer our rum to you all....watch this space. We've got grand plans and we hope that you continue to follow us on this journey of elevating Lazydog, a truly British rum.
(Gino has been a BIG help, as ever...........)