Sunday, 10 June 2012

Behind the Scenes ....

As many of you know we're working hard behind the scenes on a number of new products for Mangobeads.

Creating new products takes time, especially as we're keen to source all our materials and trades as locally as possible.

We take pride in the fact that all our mandrels, bead liners and of course beads come directly from North Devon. We take time to not only source good quality materials, but to ensure that anything we cannot do ourselves is done to the highest specification possible ensuring that the finished product is of a high standard.

Amongst all the new things we are working on I think the most exciting is our bracelet and range of accessories for interchangeable poppers.

The last two months has been a real test of determination for us as a small business. We struggle to get any manufacturer to consider the quantity of goods we are able to commit to in any one production run as a serious proposition. This makes our small batch runs both expensive and slow as we are not considered high priority.

But, this aside we have an excellent local engineer on board and although frustrating at times we seem to be winning.

The bead liner has been a great success and we are working on another batch to be ready for The International Festival of Glass later this year.

There are some things it's just too difficult to arrange in this country and one has to look else where for certain components, and this has been the case on the popper front. We are in the process of having our own designed and manufactured abroad, and are keen to make our own system rather than to import a lookalike Noosa product from another country. 

With regards to the bracelet we have again been looking for a local company, one that has the facilities and tooling we require. We think we have found such a company and will meet with the MD hopefully in the next week or so. We have drawings /samples of our designs and hope for a positive response. We also hope our design will offer a variation on the typical bracelet available, it will again be made from high quality materials sourced locally and ethically produced.

After 50 + emails, and Skype interviews we are awaiting our second set of samples, and the good news is I have been invited to China by our suppliers  KG who find me "energetic!" I think that's a compliment. Apart from this there is also the sickle stones (a tool that can be used to grind the back of cabs).

In other news, this week I have also spent far too much time convincing a supplier that Barnstaple is no longer a port. The mental exhaustion has been intense, but it's a process we have to go through. We have to order large quantities as well as ensuring that we get what we want, and that the quality is up to scratch.

So, things are progressing even if a little slowly. We have a good supply of "naked poppers" for Lampworkers and craft people, and our cab mandrel supply will be replenished tomorrow.

I am in the process of writing a bite-sized tutorial on how to make glass cabs suitable for the poppers. This will include the use of the cab mandrel, its preparation, the finishing of the Cab and preparation for gluing etc.

 I hope you have enjoyed your little "Behind the Scenes" insight into what we have been up to. 
It can be very frustrating both being a and living with a perfectionist (that's two in one house), but I hope that now you see although we are perfectionists this hasn't been our only problem.

Wanting to maintain high quality, have things ethically produced wherever possible and at the right price when you're only a small business can be quite a challenge.

Thanks for reading, and too for all your continued support.

Manda and David


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work, I know it's tough but I am sure this will be a winner. Pam x

Mangobeads said...

Thank you Pam :)

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