Well what a wild ride 2021 was!
From a personal perspective, 2020 will always be remembered as the year when I became a first-time dad and my entire career changed as a result. It was the early stages of my daughter’s teething journey (as well as being on furlough & in lockdown) which served as the catalyst for my new journey, creating a business from scratch, with a mission to help make teething more bear-able for parents & children, and so The Molar Bear was born.
It was not until June 2021 that I finally had enough of the moving pieces in place to actually launch the brand, but it was the most exciting step I have taken in my career so far. 2021 will always be my most pivotal year for personal and professional development…so far anyway!
The journey to launch was longer than I had envisioned it to be, almost 10 months longer! I had family & friends asking me “how is it going?” or “what’s taking so long?” and the truth is I had seriously underestimated everything you needed to have a grasp of when creating & launching a new product. It was far more challenging and complex than I had anticipated.
Every time I felt I had solved one issue or had a solution in place for a specific roadblock another one would appear - however by focusing on moving the needle incrementally every day, I was able to build the foundation upon which to launch The Molar Bear in the UK Market. I really believed in what I was doing & the brand I was trying to build, that helped during the really tough days when launching this business seemed near impossible and I was SO ready to give up & throw the towel in - my wife talked me down from doing this on more than one occasion.
The past year has provided plenty of opportunity for me to learn, grow & gain experience in skill sets that were previously alien to me. I didn’t have a background in retail, e-commerce, baby products, marketing, branding, product/package/website design, content writing, SEO, working with suppliers - but it’s amazing what can be achieved if you’re willing to commit the time to read, watch and learn from what is accessible online. Not just that, but talking to people and networking can go a long way.
I don’t claim to be an expert on how to create and launch a product. In fact I still consider myself a novice and I want to always make sure that the process of learning is something that is always ongoing.
I think the key here was to be patient and have belief in what we had set out to do. Despite not being able to launch The Molar Bear until half way through the year, I am really excited & proud that after less than 7 months on from the launch, The Molar Bear ended 2021 with over 40 independent stockists, each one taking a chance on an unknown brand and offering our product to their valued customers. Each new stockist feels like a big victory, and we are only at the very start of the journey.
As for our New Year’s Resolution? Well that’s simple. Our aim is to continue to help make teething more bear-able for babies, toddlers and their parents!
Have a great 2022!
Founder - The Molar Bear