Jabels… JABELS… get your JABELS!!

A few weeks ago, despite the freezing wet weather we faced the Kingston Market on a Thursday afternoon.

One major problem we were faced with.. who is going to go to Kingston Market on a Thursday between 3-5pm??

Surprisingly, we had a few customers and we sold about 4 packs of Jabels. We are proud to say that we only have limited stock left. We have one more trade fair at Kingston University, Kingston Hill Campus at the Business School on the 9th of May.

Towards the end of the fair it started to rain so we had to take shelter in the hall in the middle of the market.

We didn’t win any of the awards on the day but we had fun and are proud of our fellow MACE students who managed to win all the awards that day

Here are a few photos from the day

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Blue Glimpse: Kingston Market Trade Fair

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Blue Glimpse: Karin

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42: Tabli

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42: Tabli – Ivo and Anca

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MACE students and Undergraduate students stalls at Kingston Market

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Blue Glimpse’s first ‘Dragons Den’ session

This was the day we had to put our pitching skills and our product, JABELS, to the test.

We met up earlier to practice our 5 minutes speech. Through our first three practices I found myself laughing during my teammates speeches. The laughing caught on and one other teammate started to laugh with me. It was a nervous laughing and I was worried I was going to start laughing in front of the dragons.

Nervously, we headed towards the den. As there were 9 business groups we were spilt into two different dens. Pinned on the doors were the allocated business groups for each den and the order of presentation. We were last to present.

Each room had 7 dragons. The panel of dragons were people from different professional backgrounds. Each group presents for 5 minutes then there was time for questions and feedback from the dragons.

Dragon’s Den begun and I couldn’t stop shaking.

It was our turn. My stomach flipped. We stood up and positioned ourselves in front of the dragons.

Phew… No mistakes and no random laughing fits, our presentation went well.

We got good constructed criticism from the dragons. They weren’t convinced about our target audience, women over 30 years old. It was suggested that we could aim at a younger demographic group like university students living in shared houses or carers looking after elderly people. A dragon asked us if we were going to look into producing different sizes and look into producing Jabels that will fit over tupperware boxes. (My team and I had already had the discussion and we understand that more people use tupperware to store food in the fridge) In response we said that we our main focus right now is jar sized Jabels but we are interested in looking into producing larger sizes.

A dragon suggested that we could make stickers instead. I was a bit taken back. I had already explained in my speech that the problem with sticker labels is that the sticky glue gets stuck onto the jars surfaces and it takes a lot of effort to get rid of. Jabels are efficient and re-useable, after writing on the Jabels you can wash the text off with water and soap.

Towards the end a dragon admitted to us that he would not use the product but one another said that he was very impressed and that he would buy our products.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have our final product with us at the dragon’s den but we made prototypes. We bought charity bands and sheets of whiteboard. We cut the white board into pieces and stuck the pieces onto the rubber bands.

Here are photos of our Jabels prototypes

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The final product of Jabels are made out of rubber.

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P.s Blue Glimpse have their final product, JABELS, and are ready to sell

* More posts about JABELS will appear over the next few weeks.

Blue Glimpse: Jabels

This semester we got involved with Young Enterprise London with Dwain Reid, British business mentor.  Young Enterprise gives young entrepreneurs a chance to get an early start in learning skills and vital techniques for starting up a business from scratch. Young Enterprise hold workshops every month where the entrepreneurs can discuss their ideas and pick up vital skills in relation to starting up a mini business and coming up with a product. We got into small groups to form our mini business. In our group we have Celia our Business Manager, Karin our Marketing director, Sean our Financial Director and me the Business’s HR and Operations person. Our Business is called Blue Glimpse. It took us a while to come up with this name, it was only an hour before we went on the computer to register our business did we agree on the name. I did wonder if it took this long to come up with a name would it take us longer to come up with a product.

The next task was to open a bank account with Santander and come up with a product. The product can be anything except from a food and drink product. We could come up with a new product or a better version of a product that is already in the market. Our business group had to go back to basics and use the skills we learnt in our Lean Start Up two-day workshop with Eiwei Chen (my first blog post).  As it was hard to meet up during the week we had to observe the public as much as we can and try and look for a problem.  I went to St Pancras and Kings Cross Station, observed people on the buses, bus stops, Clapham common, on the trains, on the streets, in the gym etc.  I went to a house party and asked the people there. Two people suggested I come up with an umbrella that was made from quick dry material. I told them that it had already been done, I was sure we had those umbrellas in Hong Kong. I still couldn’t find a potential problem we could use for our business.

It was coming up to the product deadline and I was starting to panic. I told my group and we finally found time to meet up and discuss our ideas. We all liked Sean’s idea about a fridge system allowing people to know when their food was going to go off, I definitely have that problem in my house we tend to forget what we have in the fridge and it goes mouldy and we have to throw it out. We all then had a few days to try and come up with a product that would help people organise their fridge and allow them to know when their food product will be out of date.

We all agreed on rubber band labels to go over containers. I thought the best idea was to have a tag attached to the rubber band the labels will be erected allowing people to see the tags at the very back of the fridge. I also thought that the rubber bands were going to go on tupperware containers, I thought we were going to aim to target young people who like to cook for themselves and use containers to put their left over cooked food in and who forget when they cooked it. I thought our product was to help people avoid wasting their food in the fridge. However, my team had already decided on Jars.  Jam jars then narrowed our target audience but with the limited time we had we all thought it was a good idea. People usually use jars for home made jam, chutney, sauces, and salad dressing.  Then if the jar labels are popular then we thought that we could extend our product to different size labels, which could then fit over different size jars and containers.

We had to come up with a product name. Sean coined the word ‘Jabels’ by putting the words jar and labels together.

When trying to come up with a product name and a company name we had the problem of coming up with names that had already been done. Once we came up with names we would google search the company or product name. We were lucky that Blue Glimpse and Jabels weren’t taken.

Ideally we want our product to be a rubber band with a white board tag attached allowing people to write on the tag, wipe it off, and write on it again. We want our Jabels to be re-useable.

We needed to make a prototype before our Dragon Den session, 5 minutes to pitch our product to 7 business professionals. Celia managed to buy rubber wristbands (2012 London Olympics) for our prototypes. We found out that we could write on the rubber band directly with white board markers and wash it off. However, we need to test this more when we have our final product and see if this can be done.

Sean and Celia researched and contacted potential UK rubber band manufacturers. We wanted to ask the manufacturers if it was possible for them to embed a white board piece into their rubber bands. But the manufacturers were a little confused on the idea. So we thought if we could test our idea of customers writing on the rubber band directly more thoroughly then it could potentially be our final product. Celia found an online rubber band website where you can customise your own band. However, we thought it was a good idea to play it safe for Dragons Den and so our prototype had the rubber band with white board cut out pieces glued to the bands. This allowed us to demonstrate the writing and wiping away of the texts.

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More blog posts on Blue Glimpse, Jabels, our Dragon Den session and our trade fair experiences will be posted in the new year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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