Have you ever heard the word "finite"? It means "having bounds" or "limited in magnitude". Last week I learned we are finite. This may sound like a bad thing, but the lesson was actually a great one for me to learn at this stage of the business. You see, last week was Valentine's Day. We were a very popular place for Valentine's Day giving this year. We love that! However, we (I) overbooked us.
See, I'm a rallying type of person who will say "come on guys, we can do this!" And we did...to the very best of our abilities. But I realized last week that our kitchen space is finite. Even though we brought in many extra people to help on Valentine's Day, our staff is finite. And finally, the hours on the face of the cursed clock were definitely finite. There was only so much we could do. There were only so many cupcakes we could bake. And when we ran out of cupcakes, over and over all day long, I think we made some people mad.
Now I know a lot of you are thinking "Hey, you ran out of cupcakes? That's a great problem to have!" (If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that since our store opened!) But you see, we don't like telling people "sorry, we're out of that flavor right now." We don't like telling people "we have more baking right now, but unfortunately they won't be ready for the case for about another half hour." We don't like to see people walk away visibly disappointed. Our mission statement is "To shine God's love and make people smile...with cupcakes!" We LOVE to see people smile...it really is what we live for! We hate to see people disappointed. And we saw some mighty disappointed faces on Valentine's Day as we simply could not keep up with demand.
I learned a few things for next year. We prepped things like boxes ahead of time, and we did as much as we could in advance. But it still all comes down to the execution itself. It still comes down to baking the cupcakes with love. Baking with love takes time, and cupcakes aren't meant to be mass produced. I think the fact that we "get that" what sets us apart, and it's exactly the kind of product we want to put out there: one baked with time, intention, and attention given, and baked with LOVE.
Unfortunately, it's going to mean we have to cut off our advance orders much earlier for next year. It's going to mean we work *literally* around the clock. But every "first" we have in the store is a growth experience for us, and an experience from which we always gain valuable lessons. We learned a lot from this first Valentine's Day in the store. Most of all, I learned we really are finite. And that even though sometimes I think I'm Supergirl...we really cannot do it all. But what CAN we do? The very best we can, with all of the finite things we have.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for the love!