Hi there, Tanya from the Bonbon Factory here, how are you?
Wow, what an intense the last couple of weeks have been! On behalf of the Bonbon team, we hope that you are doing well and taking good care of yourself during this crazy crisis.
I want to share some behind the scenes news about everything we have been through to be able to bring this sanitizer to you. We are so proud that we have been able to do our bit to help keep our beautiful country (and all of you babes) safe during these crazy times we are experiencing. There have been so many speed bumps; from postage to packaging and everything in between! We’ve had numerous messages, comments, and posts about our sanitizers and everything around them – so we thought it was time to share with you how crazy things have been for us, and why we are so grateful for the support and understanding we have received over the last few weeks.
Sourcing our Ingredients:
The hardest hurdle we faced getting the sanitizer on the market was sourcing our ingredients. Our key ingredient, Isopropyl Alcohol, proved to be one of the biggest challenges for us. We wanted to be sure that we could source enough to continue making sanitizer throughout this pandemic, before it was even released! There were hundreds of phone calls made to companies across the country, all trying to get enough Isopropyl to make this product. We were able to source it from as far as Dunedin, and we had some amazing companies make deliveries to us of Isopropyl, just so that we could continue to make this sanitizer, and do our bit to keep everybody safe!
Fortunately, our other ingredients have been much easier to source! We have incorporated Vitamin E and Glycerine into our sanitizer; not only does it kill germs – it won’t dry out your hands! Thankfully we have had plenty of this in the factory that we have been able to use, and for that we are so grateful!
What about Packaging?
This is the issue we are currently having for our sanitizers. You may have noticed that we are now onto our fourth different size of sanitizer bottle! With the country being in lockdown, it has made things particularly difficult for us to get a hold of the packaging we need for our sanitizer – hence all the different bottles. Our biggest issue with packaging is that, our normal source of packaging was China; everything that we already had was used so quickly, with the high demand we have had on sanitizer over the last few weeks. What bottles we have been able to get in is some of the last in the country – how crazy is that?
Here’s a funny story: A couple of weeks ago we had finished up work, and we had a shipment of packaging we needed to get up to the factory, for the next morning, that we found out hadn’t left Wellington. It was quite interesting the different ideas we had to get them up; calling friends to meet us halfway, flying down and chartering a plane back, doing an overnight drive – so many different ideas. We managed to get everything up to the factory in time for our orders, but that is an idea of some of the hurdles we have had to cross!
As we have had so many changes to the bottles we have used – we have also had to change all our labels to suit the new bottles! We have had the lovely Chanelle from Diverse Graphics Whakatane – working alongside our management team to bring us the new labels we have needed for each of the new bottles! We are eternally grateful for the hard work she has put in for us, and we would not have had as much success as we have seen without her help!
What happened in the factory?
Things got crazy for us here in the factory once the sanitizer was released. We were seeing hundreds upon hundreds of orders coming through the website, and we had people lining up outside our factory door in Whakatane to get some sanitizer before work! It was very hard for us to keep up in the start with the demand we had for this product! We started pulling late nights – some days until almost 11pm – and working throughout the weekend! Our amazing management team, especially our CEO Stephie, have been so resilient and determined to get things running as smoothly and quickly as possible, and working non-stop to get your orders out. Her guiding motto from the start of this has been “To be kind, do the right thing, be ethical and communicate well at all times.”
Getting your orders to you!
This is where things got interesting! To start with, the amount of orders we were getting was not only overwhelming for us, it was also overwhelming for our courier! On one of the first days that our courier came to pick up our orders – he said he had over 200 packages to post! Of course, with that many orders, we have unfortunately had some taking longer than others to get posted, or some mix ups in orders, and for those we do greatly apologize!
Our biggest speedbump that we hit here was the fact that our product technically classes as a ‘dangerous good’ as our sanitizer contains 69.9% alcohol to kill off the germs as per the WHO guidelines, this formula in trusted to kill the virus! This is something we didn’t account for from the beginning, and we did have to cease postage for a while. We were thankfully able to rectify this quite quickly, and we are still able to post our sanitizers to you! You may notice that we have had to limit the quantities of sanitizer available per order – this is so we can comply with the postage regulations we need to follow.
Well, this is a bit of a sneak peek into the behind the scenes of Bonbon, and some of the things we have had to conquer to bring you the amazing sanitizer we have available! Things are crazy for us, but we are so proud that we can bring you this amazing product and help you to feel safe during this pandemic. We would like to thank our team, and everyone that has helped us along the way to keep this going! We would also like to thank you at home for the support, tolerance and understanding that you have shown us. It is heartwarming, seeing some of the messages and comments that you send us daily; it has truly kept us determined to push through every day!
I hope you have enjoyed this blog! We will strive to bring you more behind the scenes and blog posts over the coming months, and really give you the inside scoop of what it’s like to work here at Bonbon. Be safe and take care, and we will see you in the next blog!
Tanya & the Bonbon team xx