Once upon a time, little two year old Jess and mommy Mercia were homeward bound, soon to board a flight to Northern Ireland to rekindle family time for good. On their way out of South Africa, they stayed with family in Jo-burg for a few days, before boarding their flight to their homeland. Mommy Mercia had packed as much of her and little Jess’s things as she could, but still found their baggage to be excessively overweight.
In a final attempt to shed the pounds, Mercia left a big bag of baby clothes with Jess’s young 7 and 8 year old cousins, Shu Na and Ru Ra, by nickname. Once the family had seen Mercia and little Jess lift-off to the northern parts of the UK, Shu Na and Ru Ra were back at home the next day on their school holidays. After some of the usual holiday antics of running around the garden, climbing trees with Carrots, their highly energetic Jack Russell, and playing ‘bumper-bikes’ with their equally energetic neighbor, Mark; they decided it was time to get down to business. After a very serious ten minute meeting, it was obvious to all stakeholders concerned of what needed to be done – With the ever increasing world population and with Mercia’s kind donation of Jess’s baby clothes, Shu Na and Ru Ra needed to set up shop outside their residential premises.
Shu Na and Ru Ra even came up with the great idea of a few ‘value added products’ that would also cater to the Dad’s of the family, potentially allowing for up-sell opportunities. Ru Ra decided to get right on it and pulled out his much loved Swiss-Army Knife and started shaping a few wooden poles he had at his disposal to craft some fine (or so he thought) ‘Zulu Spears’ that could be sold as ‘Dad souvenirs’.
After a few hours, Shu Na and Ru Ra had a very comfortable eco-store laid out under the large Eucalyptus tree on the lawn pavement outside their residence. It wasn’t long before the first batch of clientele came out of the surrounding houses on their lunch time breaks… Shu Na and Ru Ra were soon on a roll and doing business with 3-for-1 bundle specials and even throwing in a free Zulu spear every now and then to encourage sales.
The team work was amazing and although it appeared nothing could stop them now, as they had clearly hit their straps, all of a sudden they were addressed with a new challenge! After some lengthy negotiations, Ru Ra had convinced the postman that the ‘Zulu Spear’ was a quality item, made with care and the best possible craftsmanship in that part of the world. The postman agreed to buy a ‘Zulu Spear’ for a record-breaking R5.00, but requested a receipt with his purchase. A receipt, ‘what is that’, Shu Na and Ru Ra asked looking at each other a little bemused?!
After the postman explained what he was looking for, Shu Na was off like a shot to go and get a pen and a piece of scrap paper from Granny Sheila who was intently caught up on the couch with a strong cup of tea and the tennis blaring in the background. Ru Ra stood by watching over the eco-store and maintaining good customer relations with their new client. On Shu Na’s return, she handed over the new office stationary to Ru Ra, who eagerly wrote down the product details and the negotiated price of the ‘Zulu Spear’ in his best possible hand writing, and handed it over to a seemingly happy customer who dually paid for his new souvenirs… He then put power to peddle, heading off on his bike with a smiling and waving Shu Na and Ru Ra in the background.
After a tireless day of work, Shu Na and Ru Ra packed up their blankets that had been scattered across the lawn into the empty suitcase and headed inside to count their earnings and tell Granny Sheila of their highly successful day at the office.
Little did they know that their small business venture, along with a satisfactory profit margin of R136.00 would eventually, one day, flourish into what is now known as Bumble Bee Baby. Years later, Shu Na and Ru Ra teamed up once again, yet there are a few things they learnt that historic day that are still in effect today… Like team work, quality products at the right price, customer service, marketing, invoices and receipts, to name just a few :)
Although we have not undertaken the original ‘eco-lawn store concept’, this time around, we are very conscious of an eco-approach and the sustainability of our business. Therefore, we started up again with BumbleBeeBaby.net, which offers you a fully integrated E-Commerce solution for all your needs, and from the comfort of your home.