1 car, 2 cans of monster & 150 drop offs
Blog 3 - 17/09/20
The next months from Christmas time, moving towards February things at Sweet Life were reasonably good. Word was getting around locally about us and I was beginning to see where the business could go if we were able to reach a bigger audience somehow. However, there were plenty days I wouldn’t get one order, therefore it was tough to see this as a fulltime thing. This left a little doubt in my mind and having several people say to me ‘just a bit of extra pocket money then’. But, in the back of my mind I had dreamt big and therefore I wanted to push all avenues and people’s opinion only drove me further. In these months I took every opportunity I could, taking Sweet Life to weddings, CrossFit events (the meeting of my two loves – sweets & CrossFit lol) and filling plenty stockings at Christmas time which became a little overwhelming to see the growth in such a small time. Then, finally. The moment I had been waiting for – the 1,000 followers. February 2020. What I didn’t expect was that within 4 weeks, 1,000 followers would become 6,000.
The beginning of March was busy, but the night lockdown was announced things took a massive turn. I was getting message after message after message for local deliveries and believing that would be the last time I could deliver; I tried my upmost to get all the orders out driving around Wigan to the late hours. I am actually surprised I had enough sweets looking back, it had gone completely mad. Luckily, my partner, Carl helped me and we took a route each, planned and mapped out by my dad who born and bred wigan feels he knows the ins and outs, and shortcuts. Sweet mania was beginning …
Whilst driving around, messages were still coming on all forms of social media, even a few managed to find my number! I felt like a local celeb. To the point on insta I had 99+ messages and that’s when apparently, you’ve made it, because you don’t actually know how many messages are waiting for you. After digging a little deeper the following day, it was true that takeaways could continue to trade with social distancing rules in place. In that moment, I looked at Carl and said what are we going to do? We can’t manage this, it’s too much. But, he said we bloody are going to manage it and rip it’s head off, go back to the beginning order by order and see what happens. We spent the whole day replying to messages (insta, facebook, texts & emails) and writing orders down into a book. Yes, into a book. No online system or website, writing orders & addresses down and trying to categorise them into areas. Complete chaos, we honestly didn’t have a clue what we were doing. We had to just try to draw a line when we thought we had enough, but messages were just constant, and it was very difficult to not try and answer them all. But, enough was enough and we were stretching ourselves a lot. I didn’t even want to count how many orders were in the book that first day, and with our suppliers shut we were just relying on a deliveries which were understandably delayed.
The following day it was what I like to call sweet mania. My mum’s front room, dining room & kitchen were just covered in bags of sweets marked up in areas. Carnage. That day saw Carl and I do 150 drop offs in one car with a few cans of monster to keep us ticking, using my dad’s drawn out map of Wigan to get us through. At this point, we were just running everything via socials, so message after message were still coming in to which we just simply didn’t have the time to reply. The next couple of weeks following this seemed like a blur. We were like sweet packing robots, taking over 100 orders a day, which could have been more, but I am pretty sure the world would of ran out of sweets! I would say the funniest part of all this was when I got my stock delivered to the house. Pallets of sweets piled high in my mum’s front room. She was dodging around yellow belly snakes whilst trying to watch the next instalment of Geoff and Yasmin on Corrie.
After a few weeks of this carnage, something had to give. It was not manageable and the mileage on my car had done more in 3 weeks then I was meant to do in a year (sorry Arnold Clark). So, after another long day of packing in my mum’s kitchen and delivering, Carl and I sat in the garden with a Peroni and Gidlow chippy (if you know, you know) and reflected on what had happened. My profile views were around 15,000, my socials were constantly dinging and my head had fallen off. Carl said to me, we need somewhere to go with these sweets, your three-year plan is happening in 5 months: A unit, a courier, the uplevel. So that is when the next level up began. Local went global. Well UK, but Sweet Life Worldwide pending…