MarshMueller Origins :: Failed Product Edition

Posted by marshmueller on

I didn’t start MarshMueller by making Diaper + Wipe Clutches. Or even Boppy Covers, which was the very first product I made and sold to others.

I didn’t even have bibs or pacifier clips in my assortment when I opened my shop doors.

MarshMueller was born about the same time my son was, in June of 2011.

While I did make my son’s nursery set (crib sheets, bumpers, quilt, see below), I had no intention of selling nursery sets, as they take quite a bit of fabric (let’s just say it was enough to make me cry at the fabric store after hearing the grand total–after the sale price!!).

I also made two Delivery Gowns for my stay in the hospital, and I had no intention on making those to sell, either.

Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 10.59.29 AM

I made two delivery gowns for my hospital stay- one in hot pink damask with lime green trim, and this one.

But I became the Belle of the Ball–er, Maternity Ward, as I floated–er, waddled, around the ward in my hot pink damask delivery gown. All of the nurses LOVED it. They mentioned the desperate need for cute delivery gowns, and the need for a variety of sizes (amen!).

So after my amazing son was born and his colicky nature reared its loud, screeching head, I had to do something to cope.

I was going to make Delivery Gowns to sell.  

It was going to be amazing! I was going to have a variety of sizes and patterns! I was going to have a boatload of snaps in the front and the back for privacy and easy access!

I bought two bolts of fabric from a wholesaler, and set out to make a ton of Delivery Gowns.  

Only it took me a while to figure out the sizing.

And it took me even longer to install each side of each snap. There were like 24 snaps to each gown, and you had to install each side of each snap, which resulted in…48 flippin’ snaps per gown??!

I was going to have to sell those suckers for at least $75 to recoup my costs and my time.

It was then I realized Delivery Gowns were not in my future. With my competition making cute gowns in India and a $35 price, there was no way I could be competitive.  

I could have just given up on my vision to make cute things for mamas.

Or I could go in a different direction.

As you can see, I did.

But I learned from that experience. I’m a firm believer no one should regret anything in life, for it means you haven’t learned from it. I learned to be careful about the resources (time, materials, ease of construction) I’m putting into a new item, and I also learned that it’s totally okay to not move forward with something.

That’s the wonderful thing about fabric–since I hadn’t cut out a ton of delivery gowns out of the fabric, I used it for just about everything else in my shop!

Talk about making lemonade out of the lemons you have.

Thankfully, the lemons I owned were something I could work with.

So the next time you run into an issue barring you from success, you might just have to look at that “fabric” in a different way. I seriously doubt the “Success Kid” (seen in the meme below) intended on being the “Success Kid.” His mom just wanted to get a cute photo of him at the beach, and he just wanted to eat sand.

Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 10.59.47 AM

He got both.



Leave a comment