27 days until 2023
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It has been 12 weeks since I wrote an update for The Minted Minutes.
The time commitments dictated by our projects have forced me to pick and choose where I can produce content. The lack of writing is unfortunate as it helps me digest all the different moving parts within my life and the businesses. On top of it all, writing updates this way forces me to wrestle with more abstract (non-tangible) ideas or issues that we currently face or may face down the road.
So where have we been? What have we been up to?
A non-business but significant life update, the New York City Marathon I spent the last 24 weeks in total training for was a disaster. Ultimately, not completing the race was devastatingly frustrating, and I knew I needed to find a race to finish in a relatively quick turnaround so I would not lose training. For the two weeks between NYC and the Philadelphia Marathon, my mind was occupied with training and ensuring I could race a good race. It became an obsession more than it had been in the past. It felt that every waking hour was in prep for Philadelphia, and I didn't want to think or do anything else until I had it completed and under my belt. There are better ways to go about things than this when other aspects of your life require your full attention. Ultimately my performance at Philadelphia was different from what I expected after that training block. I ended with a 3:03 (not bad by any means), which gives me plenty of room to grow and continue to learn what kind of training helps me improve the most.
Minted New York
There have been three (3) releases within the last 12 weeks. This number probably doesn't sound like something that would be overwhelming, but it is a lot to pull together for a full-time team of two in NYC to ensure that everything continues to meet quality standards.
We are getting the flow of prep -> release to be more seamless. Part of this is due to the process becoming standardized. During the entire first year of the business, each release had a different game plan. Sometimes we were in a new location (no warehouse yet), or some small things would change, like wanting to adjust the size of boxes we were using.
I have spoken before about how the time pressure under release weeks makes working on new stuff increasingly hard. This time pressure/inability to work on future product advancement still exists, but it is getting better.
Above you will see some cardholder samples that Clay handmade in the studio. The leather is buttery soft while maintaining the rigidity needed for a cardholder. I have a call tomorrow to meet with a factory here in NYC to produce a run of these. The next step will be sourcing the highest quality leather that I can. As far as changes go, I am not sure the factory will have the laser tool that Clay used for the design elements of the "NYC Scene" and the "Minted New York" branding. I will see how hard it would be to embroider something like this into the leather (experience tells me that it might be too detailed for that small piece).
The heavyweight canvas jackets are making a return. They all maintain the washed-out look of the original fabric. Colors will include maroon, black, off-white, and navy. I am doing my best to prepare these for mid-January, but the timeline might be tight.
A question for the audience here... please leave comments below if you have any answers.
How can the packaging experience be improved? I love packaging and continuously try to elevate the unboxing experience.
Minted Health continues to move at a remarkably steady pace. The nutrition/supplementation space is increasingly attractive. It may be because of the algorithms that sort my social media, but there is a bigger and bigger push for people to be healthier across all aspects of their lives. This is incredibly empowering.
The packaging design for the protein bar was recently approved by legal. Production can finally move forward there.
The mango-passionfruit pre-workout is entering our first production run. As I have stated before, I don't eat passionfruit or mango (outside of the testing for the flavor profile), but I find the flavor pleasant to drink, and I hope you all do too!
Last year, on a whim, I decided to pay for people's travel where it would be otherwise cost-prohibitive so that they could be around the ones they love for the holiday season. A few people sent pictures/videos of them re-uniting (or surprising) people, and it made me so incredibly happy.
I am doing it again this year. If you fit the bill, feel free to submit it here: https://tally.so/r/npeAlZ
I am just one person, so I won't be able to get to everyone.
Anyways... it feels good to be writing again. I need to get back to regularly scheduled programming. It has been an insane year.