Happy New Year MURO fans, another year, another Christmas and MURO continues to grow thanks to you, and as I look at MURO today I can see a business that is very different to the one that existed 12 months ago.
Firstly, I’m pleased to say that we’re now a team of three, two full-time and one part-time, so I can finally say ‘we’ without fearing for my mental health. We’ve moved out of our co-working space and into our very own office, furnished exclusively in plywood obviously (see @making_muro for live office scenes). We’ve started working with some key retailers in the UK and we have finally found a reliable distribution partner who we can trust to deliver orders on time.
If you’ve been following MURO for while you may know that the relative small scale of our operation and the complexity of the product has made logistics very difficult, and I do love to talk about our challenges! This year has seen three different versions of the process, starting with our own warehouse space which was great but left me little time to do anything other than pack boxes. With the arrival of our new stock in July we moved into a third-party warehouse, only to be handed notice to vacate after 6 weeks and just after we had solved all teething problems. This left us scrabbling to find another solution at a time we should have been gearing up for Christmas. I’m pleased to say that whilst the Christmas sales suffered as we devoted resources to this problem we do now have a solution in place that feels right.
The big news though, is that for the first time, we had stock available for Christmas (third time lucky) and delivered all orders in time for the big day without any exceptions. This may seem like it’s an obvious minimum requirement for a toy company, but it’s a requirement we’ve previously missed despite my best efforts and I’m very proud to have grown past this point and is an important indicator of our progress.
The overall aim for 2019 was to put in place a distribution process that could grow with us, and to have a constant supply of MUROs. Our latest batch of stock arrived on the 18th December which, although too late to be available for Christmas, was just in time to stop us going out of stock of our major lines. This leaves us with healthy stock levels to start the year and going into trade fair season, allowing us to concentrate on finding new distribution partners and bringing the end of stop-start availability.
If I’m honest, 2019 felt like a bit of a fallow year without the creative development I had hoped for. However with the weight of these logistical challenges now shared it leaves us free to develop the brand and the product in 2020. We already have a few new products that are ready to launch in January and we’re very excited to see what other developments will come!
Happy New Year everyone and thank you for continuing to support MURO.