the Puj story.
Once we had tested and proven the Puj Tub concept (and filed for our patent) it was now time to show store buyers. We signed ourselves up for the New York Gift Fair and had one week to come up with a "finished" prototype. It was late winter and the garage was too cold for working in. So we cleared out the kitchen and started making dust. With a $4 table router I found at a garage sale we rounded the edges of the tub, giving it a more finished look. And it needed the subtle Puj logo in the middle. So with a Puj stencil I cut out of a brown grocery sack, we lightly sprayed some white on white paint, giving it a faint logo. Here I am drying the logo with my hair dryer. I couldn't wait to peal off the stencil to see our finished product.
I hopped onto a plane to NY, not knowing what people would think of our crazy concept. I started second guessing myself thinking I was going to make a fool of myself. There was a lot of interest from some big stores, but it was clear I still had many unanswered questions. How does it come packaged? How do you ship it? Up to what age can it be used? What is the wholesale price? Retail price? Where is it made? These were all the questions I was afraid of. But I faced my fears head on. I gave the buyers my best answers with as much confidence as I could muster. I learned a LOT from those 4 days of being on the hot seat. But more than anything, I learned the only way to make progress was to face my fears and not hide from them. This is a lesson I continue to learn everyday as we watch Puj grow into 1,000 stores in the USA and nearly 40 countries.