What the HELL took soo long?
Let’s start out by saying…My God, everything took soo much longer than it should have! The idea to start a company in the vein of MIpet happened sometime in early 2016, the concept for the business was in November of 2016, and our launch was October 2017…a full year later! The hardest part to admit was I honestly was actively working on this idea for the entire year, I didn’t sleep on it, get lazy or complacent, I honestly just executed…ya know like a cannonball. I made plenty of mistakes, and a lot of it was “let’s act and see what happens”. In retrospect it was something like “The result we want is over in that direction, shoot something over there and see if it hits anything.” kinda thinking.
To be fair, I am probably being a bit hard on myself, but it did seem like we would make a decision and find that brick wall starting back at us around every turn. A great example of trial and error came with the second part of our tag and the most important part (the stainless steel second tag). We knew our tags were going to be a two part system almost from the get go, however, we made a huge mistake in our first metal tag by not being hands on with it. We found a local guy to help us create the rubber front tag and because we were naive, we had him source the metal tag as well. Turns out, he never did this before and the result became obvious. First of all, the tags turned out to not be stainless steel, and because we had zero part in creating the tags, we had no way to know what exactly the tags metal composition was…And when we looked into it further, we found that the guy who helped us had no idea either because it was his first time doing anything like that before…oops!
So here we are, stuck with 1,500 metal tags that aren’t stainless steel and they can’t be permanently laser marked correctly (which was a huge problem since our biggest issue with pet tags is that they are poorly made and the information wears off in time). We keep trying to make it work, we tried adding a plastic piece to the metal (but the plastic wears in time), then we try sandblasting the metal, but it started to rust after a few days. We even tried powder coating the tags, which did work, however, the process was soo tedious it wasn’t really an option for us yet. So now what?
You eat it! After months of tinkering, we had to take the “L” and rethink everything. It is never fun to lose money before you even launch, but it was necessary and like life, you have to find the silver lining and we did. We learned that making this ourselves with local MI based manufacturers was the solution! We had control in the process, we actually got to know the people making our product, it is made in Michigan and that also gave us a sense of pride. It also gave us confidence in our product again which is imperative when you have to turn around and sell it to the public. Our stainless steel is laser cut in Livonia, tumbled and finished in Taylor, and fiber laser engraved in Royal Oak! I saw every part of production happen with my own eyes and it did not hurt one bit that the end product was twice as good!
It may have taken us a year to get off the ground, but we are here. We have pure intentions, and passion for the product, the good it will do and the way we will do it is in place. I am grateful for everything, now the hard work begins!
below is our first video documenting our business, we plan on making weekly videos talking about what we learned, things we came across, and our insight on the day to day of MIpet, give it a watch and subscribe…