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2014 Review & 2015 Preview - N-Product

2014 Review & 2015 Preview

Where did 2014 go? No, seriously. It was January, the entire year was literally just ahead of us. With hope and promise in our hearts, we put our heads down and got to work; when we looked up next, everybody was drunk and ringing in twenty-fifteen already. We went an entire year without a single post on ye olde blog. Crap.

So without further stalling, here's an entire year's worth of blog posts nicely congealed into a concise and densely packed spicy blogwurst sausage. All the same good blog stuff without the hassle of extra reading. 

1. Goodbye BungalowHQ and Hello KitchenHQ

Like so many startups, we started this endeavour out of our home, the very creative name for our headquarters came easily. We live in a bungalow. Boom BungalowHQ. 

Kids, that's called being clever. 

Operations started out in an extra bedroom in our basement. Within weeks, we slowly took over the entire basement then extended it to the rest of the house. It quickly outgrew our home, but we couldn't find anything affordable until a tiny miracle fell into our laps. We moved into a defunct industrial kitchen. Boom, KitchenHQ was born. There's that cleverness again.

The name is a little misleading because the kitchen extended into a 20,000 sq. ft. empty warehouse. The extra room allowed us to have multiple projects running simultaneously, along with games of catch and soccer. 

This year, we'll be moving again as KitchenHQ and the rest of the building has been sold and we need to load up the wagon and find a new HQ.

2. Year of Collaboration (Again)

Since the beginning, we've always had the good fortune to work on special projects with like-minded individuals near and far, last year was no exception. Together with our buddy and talented architect, Michael Simon, we took on a project we have never done before. We designed and constructed a custom exhibit and viewing magnifiers for the Museum of History. 

 

This year, we'll have 2 major collaborations that have been brewing for over 2 years. We can not wait to finally unveil them.

3. Focus & Discipline

Last year, we reviewed our product line from the beginning and we took out a big red marker. The column of products or ideas that we killed was extensive. Lots of design casualties. We decided that we needed to hunker down and focus on the products that were worth pursuing.

 

This was done for 2 reasons, our Urbanwood maps continued to grow in popularity and we knew that we had to expand the line at a much quicker pace. We had a few other lines that did well and we needed to throw a lot more of a marketing effort towards those designs to see if they would also experience the same growth as the Urbanwood. We'll be putting forth the most effort towards Urbanwood, but we'll be also making small batches of new designs to simultaneously reuse offcuts from larger projects and quench our creative spirit.

4. Road Show

Following suit to a trimming of our product line, we did the same with shows and events. We were much more selective by using 1 single question: Will it be worth being away from our sons? If we thought the answer was yes? Then we'd do it. We've done a lot of shows between Ottawa, Montréal and Toronto.

Last year was also the first year we returned to the big leagues. In 2010, our first show ever was the New York International Gift Fair in NYC (now NYNOW), 4 years later we showed both the Spring and the Christmas One of a Kind Show in Toronto. The days were long and the crowds were huge.

For 2015, we'll be making a return to the local shows that embraced us as well a couple of new events outside the city. Check out our Roadshow Calendar to catch us in person, we'll be adding to it throughout the year. We're also excited to announce that we'll be organizing an event later this year as well, more on that in another post.

 



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