It had all become too much.
Too much stress. Too much time. Too much chilli!
By the time the Black Friday sale came, Hot Stuff was officially sold out.
It had been off sale for a week already and Marvling Bros Ltd was hosting its first Christmas Staff Party - it was not hosted at the school gates but maybe it should have been!
Emma sourced the last 800 tiny bottles in the UK and a final 200 “Hot Stuffs” were made up.
Naturally, they were all sold after being on sale for one hour!
Success? Yes and no. The complaints were coming thick and fast.
“Where’s my order?”
“You’ve RUINED Christmas – you must be able to get some more?”
One customer turned up on Emma’s doorstep peering in her living room to find some!
The final three weeks up to Christmas was spent filling and packing the backlog of orders and Christmas in the Marvling Bros households was CANCELLED and the team beavered away over with their army of mums to wrap things up nicely - no presents for them though - too busy.
By New Year, over 20,000 had been sold.
A financial advisor was brought in and arguments went back and forth with the inland revenue as to whether Hot Stuff was a vatable product - a bit like the great Jaffa Cake debate!
Hayley and Emma thought they’d burnt their bridges with Notonthehighstreet. Hayley had screamed down the phone at them, they had broken their contract and they’d had so many customer complaints they’d got a template in the CMS to answer them.
But in March, Emma got an email.
You have been nominated by notonthehighstreet for: “Best Customer Service Awards”.
Ten years on, and Hot Stuff continues to be a bestseller. Some of the school run mums are on the payroll and…Hot Stuff is getting a revamp. It deserves it but they still have a love-hate relationship with the product that provided the funding, the heartache, the joy, the training and the lessons that built the business they have today.