Islander Slippers Business Update

Been running this for over 20 months now. Hasn't turned out to be the cash flow machine I dreamed of. Could point out reasons beyond my control, but I'll be honest.

I wanted it to earn me $5k/month cash flow, with minimal operational headache. The problem? I didn't have the maturity back then to run the business properly - especially with expectations on effort and rewards. Had limited views on how to grow it and compete on Amazon.

Tried Amazon FBA, hoping it would be smooth sailing. Learned a lot, but also messed up and got anxious several times. Once, I thought I was gonna get screwed because the barcodes I used were illegitimate. Worried the Amazon warehouse would reject the delivery, and I'd pay huge sums for nothing.

The idea was to bring well-known Filipino slippers to the bigger US market, increase margins, sell to more people instead of competing locally. It would also mean increasing PH exports - a noble idea!

Back then, I had minimal ideas on projecting financials. Knew the theory, but not as detailed as now where I really think about personal cash flow.

When we launched, I had significant financial safety net - some savings as a runway. Now, I don't have the same safety net, way less money than before. But I guess that's why I run the business smarter now, more maturely, a little wiser.

While Amazon FBA didn't yield the major financial outcomes I hoped for in terms of cash flow, it opened up more doors. Felt like my first year of a practical MBA.

Now in my 2nd year, I'm not "onboarding" anymore but really focused on creating value. Because I successfully launched a brand in the US, I got connected to another local brand I loved - Ube Cream Liqueur - and did the same for them. More complicated, but had significantly more confidence going into it because of my previous experience.

Not that I already did the same in the US, but because I knew I could FIGURE IT OUT. That I had the confidence to learn ANYTHING.

Yesterday, signed a partnership contract with a US Distributor Partner who'll help me expand Islander Slippers through a Shopify website. We're aligned on principles and goals of bringing Filipino brands to the global stage.

Been looking for a partner as passionate about the brand as I am, with complementary skills. My partner Ricky brings expertise in digital marketing and access to the Filipino community there. Can't wait to see how Islander Slippers unfolds in the US market!

Our values are towards not playing a price war, but a value game. Don't want to limit Islander Slippers as a commodity but present it as truly valuable.

Last night synced up with Ezekiel, our Canadian distributor partner. He's already had his second batch of inventory order, showing he can actually sell out the product within his network. Validates the demand among Filipino communities abroad.

Spent an hour discussing the marketing strategy in Canada. Realized it was so valuable that we dove into the customer profiles until we aligned on our avatar. The agreed persona wasn't what you'd imagine, but I'm confident because we used observations and data rather than theory and assumptions.

Overall, I feel like I'm in day 1 again of this venture. Optimized Amazon so it's passively generating cash flow and steadily growing. Onboarded 2 distributor partners across North America successfully. And we're on to the next exciting part - really nailing the marketing there! Stay tuned for more updates!