The Grapevine, CA // October 17th, 2008
Fast forward to sometime after the 2008 show, when we were really center stage. After our inaugural launch at the ABC kids expo the year prior, things got a little crazier then we’d expected. We finally had our marketing plan in order, sales reps lined up and a polished product to sell. We built up all sorts of hype from the trade shows and lined up stores that were dying to pick up our brand. The problem was, economists were skeptical of the market, predicting that a recession was looming and that luxury expenditures are the first cutback families should be looking to make. Must have been a slow news month or something because I remember that being all I heard on every station. You could feel it in the air as if a dark cloud was settling in. Mall parking lots became barren, new car lots filled up and people were battening the hatches for a financial onslaught.
After laying it all on the line and walking away with a home run, almost every order that was a sure bet turned into a game of phone tag or a consignment proposal. That meant when we had a store that was going to stick by their word, we made sure to hightail over with the whole dog and pony show. We’ve clocked more miles of California freeway and calories from Jack In the Box trios then I care to count. No less when we hit the road, we turned into a mobile business. Steph always had a hold of the fort but we actually had payroll and receivables to manage so any travel, even the short runs were disruptive. That being the case, every run turned into a sprint and when you’re rolling down the 5S and headed over the grapevine, get ready for pretty much anything.
This trip was no different. Joe and I loaded some rental car with a couple of Roddlers that needed to get dropped off in LA. It was the middle of summer so you have to think that we can free up some space and leave the snow chains at home. We’re about 2 hours, 3 coffees and some Jack in the Box breakfast burritos into the drive and all of the sudden traffic gets more backed up then my system. I mean, really, we’re 2 hours into whats going to be a 17 hour day of driving and this is how we kick it off? Traffic in California is notoriously bad, but stopped traffic with people out of their cars is as rare there as anywhere. As it so happens, it was just a few power lines that went down that were quickly cleaned up, but until they were, we turned it in to the perfect stage. Seizing every second of the opportunity, we popped out of the car, broke out a Roddler and struck a few poses in the middle of the freeway. Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t capture the epic stench of cow manure, but I’m not sure when else we would have a chance to capture this scene. I guess just another thing you won’t do in a Bugaboo.
In case you want to see where the Roddler first ended up, it was deep in the Valley outside of Los Angeles at a great store called Baby Ant. After living as window candy for a few months, we’re happy to say it found a new home and definitely landed in some happy hands.