How Is It (the end of) June Already?

How Is It (the end of) June Already?

We’ve had a heck of a 2024 so far, all positive. The title is very fitting as I actually wrote this in May and hadn't finished it until now... the end of June. It finally feels like we’ve successfully jumped a few higher hurdles with our merch store. For those of you who are new here, we created Fly Good Merch kind of on a whim (for fun) to share some items with Rob’s trademark phrase “Fly Good Don’t Suck” on them. We thought it would be cool if we made some money in the process, but mostly it had just been a goal of Rob’s to get a merch store going again and I finally decided to take the reigns and make it happen. We have definitely made some mistakes since November of 2022, but thankfully we’ve done a lot more right than wrong. : )

This year has been spent designing a lot of new items to be released throughout the year with a majority releasing in the fall on a fairly regular schedule, well ahead of the holiday shopping season. We’ve also experienced some trends that we were decently taken aback by, such as all of our hoodies selling out at Florida shows. Which was a surprise (lol) as hot and humid weather is usually not conducive to outerwear sales. But, we're happy to have our merch in the hands of people who love it and I, too, wear hoodies all summer long here in Tennessee. 

Being an online store as well as having a setup at in-person events has been an interesting challenge when it comes to inventory planning. Considering that each in-person event can range fairly drastically in attendance, it's been common place around here that we sell out of merch often. I hate leaving items out of stock on the site, but for now it's still a work in progress on my end. Of course, the no-brainer solution to that is just place larger inventory orders. Duh. Which, we would, if we didn't have a budget. ; ) 

Some things that have been fun and exciting for us so far this year: 

  • Seeing a bunch of you out at events and Sun n’ Fun! This was the first time we’ve had people come up to our tent and say they follow Fly Good Merch on social media and were hoping to find us at an event! I was sure to give Rob a nudge anytime I asked if they followed Rob as well and they asked who he was. Sorry, Rob. ; )
  • Selling out at Sun n’ Fun. We came straight to Sun n’ Fun right from another show and had to have merch overnighted from storage to the show. Which was… expensive. haha. But, we’re glad we did because we sold out. 
  • Our rewards program has been a hit and we’ve been able to tie your in-person purchases to your past online orders so you get the points. This is a plug to make sure you use your rewards!  :) 
  • I’m adding to this list that we’ve had a few items that were a total flop! But, in the grand scheme of things it’s helped us learn what items sell and what items we’ll never have back. It’s important to us not to sell low quality pieces. If an order comes in and it’s not exactly how we want it, we won’t sell it (which has happened twice this year). 
  • We’ve had a lot of fun being creative and designing more merch now that we have more of the resources (money from sales + time from making our processes more efficient). We have some pretty cool items set to come out throughout the year. For example, these RH Aerosports metal keychains came out really well! On top of that, our limited edition patriotic keychains arrived looking exactly as I designed them in the mock ups I sent to our supply partner - when we receive orders of new items that we're really excited about and they look AMAZING seeing them physically for the first time, it's really one of the best feelings. 
  • We changed up our tent layout. This one has been decently exciting for me. I’ve been spending a lot of time analyzing our in-person sales based on the layout and merchandise offering. As Rob knows, I'm an excel wiz and spreadsheet obsessed. I, in fact, have a spreadsheet for everything and could dupe you a formula cheat sheet off the top of my head in record time, if needed. The tent setup has become a little bit of a creative game for me. We used to have a table up front and the shirts stacked on it - I like to think we’ve dramatically improved our tent layout game this year. :) Which has also sparked my interest in what the consumer (YOU!) want to see when shopping. We have some really cool data on this. We now have our shirts on racks so you can pull them out, touch them (crazy soft), and size them up. I don't want anyone walking away with a shirt that won't fit. We also have our other items like hats, keychains, and patches displayed more visibly; our most tactile setup so far. This has actually been very fun exploring display options and we’ve realized that a lot of the best ones don’t exist and much of they what you see in terms of great merchandising displays are custom made. Cool, but also pricey.

We still have another six months left of 2024, but wow is it flying by. Up next, we'll be at Battle Creek for the 4th of July Field of Flight event with a limited offering as we transition out of some garments and bring some new ones on mid-July. See ya there!

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