Is it time to breathe now?
Well, it's been a long time coming...
It all started as a dream years ago - a dream I thought would never come true; something silly to think about every now and then; something that only happened to other people; something I'd never have the courage nor skills to do and, like our products now, was just the stuff of fantasy. I've always been a dreamer.
Fastforward through a good few years of genuine fascination, interest, and research in the industry from a fan perspective to one drowsy morning in bed around a year ago. That one moment changed everything. I was tired, exhausted, frustrated, and fed up with the job I had had for the last 15 years. All throughout my life, I'd had all sorts of dreams of setting up my own business. Over the years I'd written many business plans for myself to evaluate, but they'd all turned out to have been more or less unrealistic - or at least they would've required a much higher risk than I was willing to take. However, that one morning I said to my partner... "We could make toys".
We decided to take the risk. I quit my job and, for around a year now, the two of us have actively researched and developed the company that eventually became Kisu and Friends.
It's not been easy. Or... Some bits have, others haven't. Despite us having a reasonable understanding of the world of business and despite the countless hours of crash courses, webinars, and lectures we've attended, we've encountered some absolutely ridiculous, unforeseen obstacles. This is aimed at you, bank manager who refused us a business account on the grounds of "us being in the wrong field of work". I hope your (grown up) kids find us and buy lots of our stuff! :D
Endless days of research, development, success, cartastrophic failures, self-criticism, self-doubt, tantrums, tears, joy, tears of joy, celebration, pride, uncertainty, reassurance... The ride on the emotional rollercoaster has been unlike anything we'd expected and it's now reached its culmination point: The opening of the shop!!
It feels incredible just saying that. From our social media presence over the last couple of weeks, all the while working super hard to get everything ready in the background, we know that there are people out there who are willing to pay us money for the things we have created - and very willingly so. It makes us feel so appreciated and welcome to the whole toy-making community and we truly appreciate every single interaction we get. The positive feedback shows us we're doing something right. Or if it's a criticism, we may shed a tear or two in secret, or have way too much ice cream that night, but it helps us make a better product - and that's something we aspire to do all the time, honing our craft and trying to make our products just that little bit better every day. It really is true what they say about constructive criticism; I just never understood it before.
To anyone who's managed to read this far and is considering ordering something from us, I thank you. You mean the world to us (you really do; we would not exist without our customers) and it is our mission to provide you the best service we can. It is my fond hope that every single person out there will feel welcome here, and that they find we're a friendly company to deal with, and easy enough to get hold of, for that is what I want this company to be; a little community of Friends having the party of their life, all united by Kisu himself!
Many happy returns,
p.s. the building at the back of the cover photo is where we're at. :)