We’re STILL KICKING!
Dear Hive Butler® Customers and Fans:
It has been a long, long winter. We want to send out a tremendous “THANK YOU!” to everyone that emailed with support and encouragement through the entire season.
For those of you who may not have heard: The original Hive Butler® box mold made about 150 boxes before it quit altogether. We put a great deal of money into trying to keep it going, but finally had to stop trying to revive the mold.. We delivered those 150 to customers, in chronological order of their purchase, so our Indiegogo campaign, our Indiana and Michigan customers received theirs. We still have a lot of super-faithful and supportive customers waiting in about 5 more states.
Temporarily putting a halt to production was devastating, but we really had no choice. Our product is something that we continue to believe in, and the overwhelming support that we have received from you all encouraged us to keep going. We spent several weeks talking over what we would have to do to make it work. During this time, Karen Lancaster decided that she would withdraw in order to pursue some other opportunities. It was a painful decision for both of us, but our friendship is plenty strong enough to continue.
Many of you met my daughters, Rachael and Hana, at HAS, WV, TX or SC conferences. They will be continuing to build the Hive Butler® brand with me, along with our initial investor, Rick German. And, we have added a couple of new members to our team…members with beekeeping experience and even more important, with plastics mold-production experience!
Bringing Bob and Valerie Greuner onboard allows us to add two very experienced beekeepers to aid in product design, AND two decades worth of plastic mold-production experience and networking to the production side. Bob has been able to dive into his stash of experienced and reliable mold-production sources to get us quotes on designing two new molds, both in the US and abroad.
It was obvious that we would have to make another large investment to go forward with having entirely new molds built—but that would also give us a great opportunity to fine-tune our design, to make the Hive Butler® 2.0 the valuable piece of equipment that we really want it to be. So, throughout the spring we have been consulting with designers, requesting and receiving quotes; paring them down and selecting the best option for us and for our customers. Of course, we wanted it to roll along quickly, so we could get back into the marketplace and back to your conferences. But big decisions with busy companies take time….the one downside is that we probably will not have production until some time in September. Once we have Hive Butlers® ready to go, we will be on the fall and winter conference circuit full-time.
None of us would ever have guessed that this is how our first year in business would go, and all that we would learn in the process. But the trials and experiences have made us a better company, and will make our product even better. We are really looking forward to just having molds that run smoothly and bringing stacks of Hive Butlers® to your conferences.
For about a month now, I have been saying that we are about to sign contracts and get this train rolling…and that is true…but it takes SO MUCH MORE TIME than I want it to take…
Just know that all this while, during the disappointment of stopping our production, your kind words, your exclamations of support brought tears to my eyes over and over again. Hearing you say, “keep going, we love the idea. We’ll hang in there,” has meant the world to me.
(In the meantime, our awesome logo has been “R”egistered with the USPTO! It is official and we will be adding that valuable little “R” everywhere.)
Please continue to follow us on social media platforms, FB, Instagram and Twitter. We look forward to updating more frequently. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.