Field of Crocuses
Have any of you seen the show Shark Tank (ABC Fridays I think)? It really is a great show; there are five big investors and people come on with their inventions and try to get the "Sharks" to invest in their products and or companies. We've watched it a few times as a family, and with being a young entrepreneurial family ourselves it is really very interesting. It is also hysterical to see some of the crazy characters and products that come on. But not all of them are crazy, many of them look very promising and have the "Sharks" fighting over them.
So, anyway, I hear that there was a couple on the show that was doing something with llama manure and had a patent on it. I of course got a chill down my spine and made a mental note to search for the show and make sure to watch it. Well, that was as far as it went until yesterday when Tom went to work and the big deal was that over the weekend a couple of guys had seen a product like ours on the show and there was a patent etc. The guys at the shop know what an even keeled fella my husband really is, so when they can get a rise out of him they will. Tom called me in a panic of course and it took me all of 30 seconds on my computer to find out what fantastic news this was for our Naked~Nure!
This is what Dane Carlson's Business Opportunity's Blog had to say about it:
The biggest stumbling point for Phil and Adia is a large cost of educating the public that llama fertilizer is superior to other forms of fertilizer. Their evaluation of their business was crazy, a single llama costs about $1000, the sharks could buy 125 llamas and open up their own fertilizer business for that investment. All sharks were out.
I have found that educating the public about the wonders of our fantastic llama manure has been a tad bit of a stumbling block as well. But them being on national TV sure went a long way in advertising the benefits of llama manure. As far as their provisional patent, that is on their specific product only, which is Llama Brew, the tea that is brewed once you mix the llama beans with water. Why you want to pay for the water, I'm not quite sure, but that's just me the owner of the other company. I also was a little bit uncomfortable with a product that is being sold as environmentally friendly in a plastic bottle, whether it is a recycled plastic bottle or not, again I'm just sayin'. The other curious thing was the $1000/llama; I have not paid for a llama in many years. There are many llamas out there that are in need of homes, just like other rescue animals. All of this only makes things better for Naked~Nure and what is ahead.
We have made a lot of changes to our packaging to make our product a lot cheaper! If there is one thing that I have learned in my years of business, and that is to take a cue from your customers and your own personal experiences. Although my hand sewn bags were quite cute and sturdy, they took a lot of time and materials, like the zippers for the burlap bags, so the costs of the bag alone was quite high. Well, I have come across some great muslin bags, of course made right here in the good old USA that will serve the purpose just as well, will cost us all much less, will still be just as environmentally friendly and will keep more Americans than myself working! I will still offer "batches" of the smaller size in my handmade bags as a gift set or if you buy a certain amount, but I am really wanting to keep my product inexpensive and cheap enough for anyone and everyone to buy. I am also saving all of my feed sacks so that I will be able to sell my manures in bulk as well.
It's funny, when we originally came up with Naked~Nure we looked into a patent and we were told that it was a hard thing to patent, llama poop. There are just so many ways to spin the product, and we are already seeing that. As a matter of fact we are only going into our second year of business and are making pretty drastic changes to our product, I'm rather glad we didn't waste the huge amount of money!
It's already almost the middle of February the Spring winds will be here soon. The crocuses will be poking their furry little heads up soon! Don't forget to spread the word....ha!!!