COVID19: OUR BEHIND-THE-SCENE STORY
It's been a wild 3 weeks for us here at Bonblissity. We were okay on our water and toilet paper stock but we had the hardest time finding hand sanitizers in any stores. The only ones we found were seriously over-priced and I couldn't get myself to buy them.
Back in early February, my husband, Jay (the demo guy) said he was going to create a hand sanitizer that leaves your hand soft and moisturized, like our candy scrubs. I pretty much blew off the idea and didn't think much of it. The samples he created felt good but boy, did they smell like alcohol!
To be honest, back then, the corona virus was not something I was concerned with. I was one of those that thought it was something happening somewhere else, and if it was to come here, it would be like H1N1 or SARS where it didn't have a huge impact on my personal life. Wow, was I wrong! Not only did it hit us personally but professionally as a business.
As you may know, we do a lot a business by going to trade shows and other pop-up events. We were literally in New York on March 6th, getting ready for IECSC New York, a trade show for spa/beauty professionals. We had shipped 2 pallets of products from CA to NY and had just completed setting up our booth. After spending about 3 hours setting up, we left feeling excited and looking forward to the next 3 days. We finally got to sit down for our first meal of the day around 5:30 when we received a phone call from another exhibitor. He asked if we had heard the show got cancelled. Cancellation had been announced about 15 mins after we left Javits Convention Center. No, we did not know until we received the call. Long story short, we went back and broke down our booth and changes all our flight and hotel reservations to head back to CA the next day. It's been quite a journey since then.
Getting back to the sanitizer...we couldn't find any at the stores. All of a sudden, Jay's idea of the moisturizing sanitizer seemed like it would be a great idea. But, we were obviously a few steps behind everyone else (consumers and brands). No alcohol or aloe to be found. Buying in bulk was an option but we'd have to spend thousands just to get started. Bottles and caps were all out of stock or on backorder. Places that still had them had limited quantities and prices were higher than normal. Please understand that higher prices is most likely due to the whole "supply and demand" situation. These manufacturers are now running 24 hour shifts and paying their employees OT or double time to keep up with demand. This drives up labor cost so the finished products are higher than usual, which means it costs us more to buy them than usual. As much as we want to be able to compete with the big name brands, we can't because us small makers because don't have the capability to order tens of thousands at a time. Obviously, there will also be a few bad seeds that take advantage of the situation. We are not one of them.
We were fortunate to find a source that was able to provide what we needed at a "reasonable" price compared to the competitors. Bottles and caps are still on backorder so we can only provide a small amount at a time but we should have our 8 fl oz bottles and more of the 2 fl oz size available in a couple more weeks. For now, we hope these travel size ones will be handy in a pinch. Be on the lookout for our new 70% ethyl alcohol hand sanitizer spray as well!
Stay safe and well!