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> Celebrating 10 years with a new/old jar January 18 2021

It started as a practical matter.

We had weathered the pandemic storm of 2020, but couldn’t say the same for our supply chain. The metal lids we use were out of stock everywhere, unless we could wait ’til February. Glass bottles? Well, get in line. 

Basically, packaging was our toilet paper, except there wasn’t any to hoard. 

That’s when The Mistake Jars came to mind. You see, we made a mistake early in our small business journey. We ordered a pallet of our “tall” jars, which we have screen printed, but we had miscalculated the weight of the honey. Honey is measured by weight, and the jars said they contained 12 ounces and not 10. 

That’s right. We have had a pallet of paid-for jars sitting in our barn for years because we made a mistake but didn’t want to misrepresent the product. We kind of forgot about these jars … until the end of December. 

Was there a way we could fill the gap in our supply chain, buy some time, by using these jars? Was there a way to use the jars without misrepresenting the contents? Put some honeycomb in the jar to bump up the weight? Could we scrape the 12 off and replace it with a 10? 

Well, running a small business is all about learning to be creative with resources, flexible with problem solving and willing to accept mistakes. 

That’s when it hit us: we have an anniversary coming up! It’s been 10 years since we officially signed up for this wild ride, so why not turn The Mistake Jars into a celebration of mistakes and creativity? The black-painted jars were our original packaging, and we even won an award for the design, so it could be a fun throwback!  

Yep. We’re using The Mistake Jars to mark 10 years of ups and downs. We’re adorning them with a bright special label that both covers the 12 ounces and celebrates our journey. 

We are planning a few changes this year, but we want to start 2021 with an acknowledgement of how far we’ve come. We want to celebrate! We want to embrace the flexibility that got us this far! We finally how to pivot! 

Also, we really need to use those jars. 

 


> It's not about corners. We don't cut strings. August 01 2014

In some ways, the hang tags for our new Barrel-Aged Honey were a turning point. 

Now, these aren't any old piece of paper with information, mind you. They are the Cadillac of hangtags, complete with scoring, a hole punched in the corner and an elastic string that goes through the hole and — get this! — the string is tied in a little knot. 

These hang tags cost an extravagant 24 cents each. 

If you have a small business and are interested in such details, it's interesting to know we could have gotten the tags for half that. 

But, well, there were little preference boxes on the order sheet, with questions like "Would you like these scored?" Our tags fold in half, like a little book, but we thought, "Oh no, we can do that ourselves."

Then the question, "Would you like holes punched in the corners?" Well, we have a hole puncher, don't we?

Then they asked about the strings. 

"Would you like us to cut and attach the elastic strings for your hang tags? If so, how long do you want them?"

Wait a minute. Did they say "cut and attach," meaning that the hang tags would arrive in turn-key condition, ready to put on the bottles? 

Did they say, "Friend, you won't have to sit up late one night, measuring strings, feeding them through holes and tying knots in them"?! 

Sold.

You see, we've grown a lot lately. While there was a time when we did everything ourselves, some of the best advice we've gotten is to learn to let go. 

In fact, it's easy to micro-manage your small business, but it's not always best. It's important, we've been told, to find your strengths and use them. Equally important is to identify the activities someone else can do.

And let them.