If you are reading this, we wanted to first thank you for your time for allowing us to update you and give you (our customer) a better picture of what has been going on this holiday season, the changes we've made to fix it going forward.
Most importantly, our deepest apologies to anyone who didn't get their order in time, or those we've had to refund for the wait. From the bottom of our hearts, we are sorry.
As you can see above, Print Your Pet started with a team of just two people. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever believe this business would reach this level of success, earning this many customers at rocket speed as first-time entrepreneurs.
Since we started, we struggled to automate a lot of key factors in the business as we continue to grow. The growth breaks our processes constantly. Even correctly predicting staff levels for the holidays was not enough, because we could not foresee the love we’d get from the community and those sharing their products on social media once they received them.
Each order is produced right here in the United States. Every single pet is drawn by hand. We spend hours drawing and try to make magic out of every photo uploaded because we know how special your pet is. We do our best with even the oldest and more precious images from your pet’s past.
By hand, we’ve had to manage over 100,000 orders, resulting in multiple growing pains. The domino effect to upload images, assign artists, email customers, get edits or approval, create mock ups for our printer, then print, review and then ship. Each order requires 15-20 touch points with 0 automation.
In 2018, our teams geared up for the holiday orders - and successfully completed all the artwork. But we faced an even bigger issues. Despite in 2018 moving to a brand new garment supplier - signing contracts - investing energy working with them and assuring us holidays wouldn't be an issue - we pushed on.
Around Black Friday, we sent hundreds of orders to print every day, but only received a handful of tracking numbers from our supplier. Something was wrong. Our supplier had taken on 4-5 other companies without telling us, and they fell behind without keeping us in the loop.
Around January of this year, we frantically procured a new supplier to print our art, and now have a brand new factory we sublease with 100% our own machines, employees, and products. We've hired a company to automate those 20 steps, breaking them down into 5. We have finally accomplished our dream and can turn around art within 2-3 days and ship products within our 2-week window. At this time, we currently have ordering turned off so we can get any remaining orders out.
These growing pains are our responsibility and we can't blame lack of experience, not having a back up plan, and certainly not our customers. We are terrible sorry to anyone who hasn't been able to reach us, or hasn't received an order.
If you are still waiting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org This email is personally managed by the management team and we will sort out any issues you have immediately.
We’ve poured every dollar we have into getting orders out and refunding customers, and making sure every order helps a pet, as our mission was to create industry leading art printed on premium products to help support no-kill shelters.
We hope, with transparency, we can properly explain to our customers the issues we faced and how we are now fixing them. We’ve fired most of our bad apples on customer support and have built a strict on boarding process to make sure our customers are treated with respect and priority.
Thank you for giving us a chance and believing in our business. We are forecasting a bigger year and are finally in a position to turn around orders in record speed. Because each order is done by-hand, we refuse to decrease the quality of our art, but realize we needed to ask for help and think much bigger.
Thank you again for your support and understanding.