I can't believe it's been two years.
And by that I mean it feels like it's been six years. It also feels like it's been five months.
But it definitely doesn't feel like two years.
[And let's just get this out of the way: we've been terrible about blogging and that's going to change in 2016. But thank you to everyone who has been reading from the start!]
2015 was a massive year for us:
- We moved into our very own space in March
- We launched Trees Knees Spicy Syrup in May
- We introduced Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha in September
- We surpassed half a million dollars in revenue
- Bottles have gone to every state and territory in the U.S. plus 31 countries on six continents (come on Antarctica!!)
And we've got our eyes set on big plans for 2016:
- Today we launched Trees Knees Mountain Maple and Trees Knees Cinnamon Maple
- We're introducing two new Bees Knees products next month
- We're finishing up two new Weak Knees products for May
- We're going national with Williams-Sonoma with a custom made line
- Ted's goal is to surpass 1,000 retail locations this year
- And my big project is to expand our website with lots of engaging content in the coming months
So with all of that success behind us and a monster of a year ahead, why choose now to change our name?
A word Ted and I have using a lot lately is risk. And I think the theme for our third year will be about pushing ourselves to take a lot of risks.
Six new products: that's risky.
Running with Williams-Sonoma: super risky.
Throwing away our brand name and introducing a new one: stuuuupid risky.
But remember that MixedMade was never meant to be a company. What Morgen and I started two years ago was a fun, 30-day experiment between friends. What ended up happening was something entirely different. Although we took the endeavor deadly serious and built everything as if we were planning for years in advance, in actuality we were just thinking of the next few months. So as we've grown and started to shape what 2016 looks like and 2017 and 2018 and onwards, we realized that there were some fundamental problems with the name MixedMade:
- It doesn't say anything about us. Sure, it's cute, we're mixing and making, you get it. But I would often notice at trade shows or festivals, when people looked at our signage with MixedMade in big letters, it was almost always with a confused, blank look. The name doesn't entice or promise or allure.
- It isn’t memorable. And that's partially our fault because we spent all of our time pushing the names of Bees, Trees, and Weak Knees. It wasn't surprising that most people called our company Bees Knees or the spicy honey guys, instead of MixedMade. But when Ted and I got to the root of it, we admitted to each other that we just didn't like the name MixedMade. If we were reluctant to say it, how could we expect others to use it?
- We couldn't grow old with it. We have a pretty aggressive vision for the next few years and we wanted something that could really stand as a brand name above a wide variety of products on different grocery shelves. And a name that could stand alone as an online resource for recipes and ideas, separate from our products, too. We looked into the future and MixedMade wasn't our wo/man.
Enter: Bushwick Kitchen.
I said it to Ted as an off-the-cuff, not-this-but-something-like-this example one evening. I didn't really return to it, but Ted was obsessed. Every time he brought it up, I could just hear the twinkle in his eyes. I thought let's take some time and think of other options, but as time went by and we came up with one dud after another, I realized I was stuck on it too.
We started talking about what a kitchen could be, what's in a kitchen, what you do in a kitchen, things that come from a kitchen; how our entire business started with Morgen and I sitting in my actual, real-life Bushwick Kitchen; what we could do online with a brand name like that. We checked the URL and social media—major flashback to this exact moment two years ago—and decided that was that.
We would now be Bushwick Kitchen.
So welcome to the new us! You'll notice the URL is different and those syrup bottles look shiny and new, but not much else has changed. We're still the same company with the same products. We're still mixing and making by hand from a (growing) kitchen in Brooklyn. We're still with our same upstate suppliers and fully committed to the highest-quality ingredients. And we're very excited to roll out six new products this year that we know you'll love.
Thanks for sticking with us and to an awesome 2016!