Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year from Lemming Lacquer

Hi everyone.

I wanted to post an update. All orders have gone out. If you haven't received a tracking number please email me at lemminglacquer @ gmail.com and I will be happy to provide it to you. My fingers are crossed that maybe now USPS won't be filled to the brim with packages that the mail will run more smoothly and your orders will get to you quickly.

First, I wanted to express how truly sorry I am that not everyone received their orders in time for the holiday. I know you ordered presents for your loved ones and for yourselves, quite possibly for the first time in a very long time you decided to treat yourself and now you're soured on the very polishes you were so looking forward to receiving. I get it because I've gone through the exact same thing. I have polishes in my stash that I don't wear because I have negative feelings toward them after being turned off by the brand. I understand and I feel awful that the polishes you spent your hard earned money for might sit in your collection unloved and unwanted because of these negative feelings attached to them.  Unfortunately there's nothing I can do about the lost time except apologize, though I know it's not enough and it doesn't make things right with you.  I know that I've lost your confidence and I've certainly lost customers due to the problems with this past sale and I honestly don't blame any of you.  I accept full responsibility for these problems and even if I never regain your business please know that I did try my very best to push through these orders as fast as possible and I am so sorry I wasn't able to get them out quickly enough.

The shop will remain closed while I do some rearranging on my side of things. You weren't satisfied with how long it took to ship the Black Friday orders and neither was I. Even working 18+ hour days (no joke) and not seeing my family or my friends since Thanksgiving I couldn't get the orders out fast enough. This is not how I envisioned I would run my business. I am not meeting my own standards and I'm certainly not meeting yours. At the end of my very long days I would wait for my chaotic mind to join my tired body and I thought about ways I could make my pouring and shipping process more efficient, how to improve my work space, how to continue to make my products accessible but put them in your hands faster. My list is long and that's what I'm going to do while Lemming Lacquer is on break. I have this bad habit of overestimating what I'm able to do in the time I'm given so I won't give an exact return date. My hope is to be back before the end of January. I would like to think a bulk of this work can be done over a matter of a few days but unfortunately the reality doesn't like to cooperate with what my mind imagines.

 Here are two changes I think will help:

- Smaller (but hopefully more frequent) restocks. Instead of the open stock system that I've had since I launched I'm going to list what I have already made and once that is sold out it will be sold out until the next restock.  I will also choose one or two collections for each restock rather than offering ALL collections at once.

I've bought indie polish since it was still in its infancy so I've experienced the frenzied restock madness, cart jacking, and restocks that sell out within 2 minutes. Sometimes customers were refunded and their orders cancelled because there were so many orders placed. It's frustrating, can even turn me off from buying a brand and I didn't want that to ever happen with mine. I would premix a batch but kept stock open so customers could purchase what they wanted and be guaranteed to get it.  It also helped me because it's so hard to know which polish or what collection will be popular and being a newer brand, I don't always know how many bottles to make. The open stock may have been okay before but it's not anymore now that Lemming Lacquer is growing.

By limiting quantities to only what I have ready to ship it's my hope I will have a faster turnaround time and I'll be free to have more frequent restocks to satisfy demand.  Please don't interpret this as me limiting stock to drive up demand.  That's a pet peeve of mine as an indie lover and customer and I would never do that to my customers.  I simply have to be realistic and admit to myself that it's not a question of determination in how quickly I'll process orders but rather the limitations of what I'm able to accomplish within a day.  This plan may need to be tweaked as we go but I’m willing to try whatever method seems promising to make my business run efficiently.

- The new shipping confirmation email now only provides your tracking number but not your mailing date. I know that may seem counterproductive but I don't want to give you false expectations. I don't want the shipping confirmation to make you think your order is going out on the 1st but it doesn't until the 5th or make you wonder why your mailing date isn't until two weeks from now because I've future dated the postage to appease overly strict USPS clerks. This caused a lot of confusion during the Black Friday sale so I'm hoping this change will prevent that going forward.

As upset and disappointed in myself as I am about how the Black Friday orders went, I am hopeful and excited about the upcoming year.  I've been working on new products that I still plan on introducing to the shop that I hope you'll all enjoy as well as some really fun collections in the works.  I want to step out of my comfort zone in terms of finish and style of my polishes.  I've got ideas, guys, and I'm so excited at the prospect of seeing them come to life!

I want to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and for the kind words of encouragement.  Your loyalty means the world to me.  I'm completely open to hearing your thoughts and feedback on these changes or your suggestions.  It can be about what you would like to see this year for products or polishes, how you think I can improve, whatever.  You can comment here or email me through lemminglacquer @ gmail.com so we can discuss them.



  1. Running a newer small business is so hard! I also tend to overestimate how much I can get done in a certain amount of time and the depression and disappointment that comes with missing your goals. I know that scaling up as the brand becomes more successful can be one of the hardest transitions a maker to experience, but you are definitely not alone!

    1. Thank you for saying I'm not alone, that makes it so much more bearable. I think I had this idea in my head that I shouldn't have any issues whatsoever while running this business. I know that's impossible but for some reason that seemed to be my main focus rather than the much more realistic one of "yes, there may be problems but handle them quickly and find the right solution to them." Now that I look at things in that light, I think a lot of makers are probably in the same boat and I hadn't realized that before. It's kind of nice that even though our styles, products and the way we do business may be different we're still going through a lot of the same challenges. It's unifying and comforting to think about.

    2. Absolutely! It is always a learning process and I have seen so many people go through this and come out of it better than ever. In the mean time, my maker friends over the years described to me many days of exhaustion, sleepless nights, anxiety, and self doubt when things sometimes get out of hand. They don't call them growing pains for nothing! But I always like to think, the flip side is that if orders grow quickly, you are doing something right. It is an opportunity to learn and experience something intense and rewarding!