I have been so busy I haven’t been able to write a blog since October 2015. I apologize to my readers. The start-up frenzy can swallow up your time real quick. So, to update you, we have made a lot of progress since last fall. Our product hit the shelves of some major retailers in Canada. We have 4 SKU’s in Home Depot Canada under their private label (Everbilt). We are also rolling out into Rona through our Canadian distribution partner Onward. The product is in an Onward/Ajustlock co-branded package.
We have some other big deals brewing in Europe with our partner B&Q launching 10 of our SKU’s in their big box stores. We are also working on a deal with Castorama in France and Hornbach in Germany. And in the US we have the rest of our product from our Home Depot USA test placed in 22 locations near Washington DC. They are talking about adding 1 SKU to all 2,000 locations toward the end of 2015. That would be a big accomplishment for us.
We are officially ending our year 2 of operations on March 31st. We have come a long way in 2 years. Our 3rd year is looking rather promising. We have worked hard to get here and we will continue to push relentlessly until we are in every major retailer in the world.
This is the year where we should be transitioning from a Start-up to a fully operation company able to stand on its own two feet. Three years is fast if looking at the statistics of start-ups but when you have a great product and the right financial backers, the market accepts it fairly quickly and you have the capital you need to meet the demand.
A good analogy for the growth of a company is a fruit tree. The seed is the thought. When, how and where you plant it is critical. When it first starts to grow you need to protect it from the harsh elements which would be compared to telling too many people about the idea. Most fruit trees take a certain amount of years to mature before they will produce fruit. If you can make it through this initial growth stage than you will have a big healthy tree that will yield fruit that you can benefit from for years to come. We are right at that tipping point where our tree is going to produce fruit for the first time this year. It is an exciting time and we are ready for the harvest.
Just to note, we spent 4 years before we launched the product preparing the patent, building prototypes and raising funds. The first year after we launched was spent on getting our production correct and our capacity increased. Year two was spent meeting all of the big decision makers and negotiating orders. We really didn't start to have product on the shelves in a big way in until month 18. We are just starting to see some sales reports and they look great considering it is the winter when everyone is buying salt and shovels.
Spring is right around the corner and we are looking forward to the having everyone hit the stores to repair their houses and yards after this long harsh winter. In May we will be attending our 3rd National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. That is where we celebrated our Ajustco's first birthday. We also won the Retailers' Choice Award at the 2014 National Hardware Show. We will also be attending the Do It Best market for the first time in May in Indianapolis. Stop by our booth and check out our events section to see what we are up to. Just in the past few months we added Black and Stainless versions of Ajustlock. They were a big hit at the Orgill show in Orlando last month.
We have a lot of new versions of the Ajustlock that we will be rolling during the next few years. We are also working on a new product. It is a hardware item but not a door lock. Maybe we will launch it next year. For now, we have to keep it a secret to protect its energy just like the seedling. I will do my best to write a monthly blog again. On that note, see you in April.