This may turn into an "Ode to Discoids" but sit back, read along and hear us out.
We never thought that we would be today where we are now. We thought Luna Roaches would be the occasional stray person having found us by accident and desperately looking for Discoids clicking on the link to purchase some. Our Business plan included us maybe needing to buy a Roach Building mid 2020, not 4 months after starting the Company and certainly not based on the amount of orders we get but rather we figured that our Bugs will keep populating and eventually we'd run out of room for bins inside the house...
When you decide to start a business there is a lot that really goes into that. We had to figure out how to ship, what to package in, how to make it efficient and most pleasant for our beloved bugs to travel. We had to decide how we wanted to present ourselves, what best to feed our bugs so that we deliver a high quality insect, where to get supplies for the best price, if we wanted to charge for shipping or carry that cost. We had to decide on a social media presence, how to build a website that would represent us (although I am not sure if I didn't miss the mark since the article we were interviewed for last month mentioned " ... their own website that looks like it could belong to a yoga studio or new-age healing center"), figure out what each of us is best at to maximize our experience as newly minted business owners, come up with policies, decide where we wanted to sell... and the list goes on and on.
Nowadays we have to adopt and adjust to our Customer base, run analytics to see where our online presence is and how to keep people engaged outside of just shipping them their bugs. We finally have the time to flesh out and optimize our Breeding program to make even better and heartier bugs and spend time in our Roach Barn not only for business purposes but for the pure enjoyment of watching the insects.
We do that a lot actually. We watch, observe their mating behavior, their feeding habits, note down what they really love to eat and work on making it a pleasant experience for them growing in our Roach Barn. By the way we found out they prefer Beethoven over any other music ;)
So when something happened that is negatively out of the ordinary it tends to hit us hard. Last week we shipped a 1000 Roaches to Minnesota. It was our largest order at that point and we wanted to make sure we were doing everything correctly. We added heat packs, put the bugs in Styrofoam lined boxes, made sure they were properly gut loaded and had plenty to drink the day prior and off they went in their Organza bags to their new destination. What we didn't count on was the heat packs not properly firing and as a result 600 of the bugs being DOA. Our Customer who we shall name "Jack" for the purpose of this blog is an amazing soul and worked with us to send him replacements. We waited for warmer temperatures in the area, sent them again in Styrofoam lined boxes this time with different heat packs to assure a constant gradient temperature, put in full sized egg crates and added the bugs in the box loosely so they could move to the heat as needed. This time we insured the package in case something could go wrong. We made sure there was proper airflow to the heat packs, etc.
The shipment was suppose to arrive yesterday and because of the previous experience we kept a close eye on tracking the shipment. Today we find out that they went from Orlando to their Destination state, went BACK to Orlando, Orlando refused it and that it is now on the way to it's destination... AGAIN. If it was an object we wouldn't have even blinked because.. "oh well, it's an object it's not alive and a few extra days in transit would be no big deal" but these are OUR BUGS! Bugs that we spent a lot of time, effort and love raising. Living beings!
While we know that most of our Luna Roaches end up as feeder Roaches to some amazing reptile, we also do sell Breeder Kits. We secretly cheer because those bugs get to procreate, the Luna Roaches line continues on and they get to live a happy Breeder life - so having dead bugs really breaks our heart! :( The monetary value has no play in this at all, for us it is all about sending out happy insects to find out they arrive(d) dead somewhere through no fault of our own but through the carelessness of someone who couldn't send the order to the right place in spite of it saying "LIVE ANIMALS" all over the boxes!
There will never be a point in our life where the insects aren't more important than the Money they make. If you have ever been an insect lover you'll take the same joy we feel just watching them do their thing. Insects are amazing!
It did make us realize that we need to revise our Winter shipping policy and that we may not want to ship outside of the State of Florida over the winter. Also that if we did ship outside of Florida for the Winter that we needed to offer overnight shipping as ONLY choice for out of state deliveries with the cost going to the customer. This bites for us and it bites for you just as much, but it is the best for our Discoids as we can assure ONLY happy lively bugs get delivered to your door step! We will publish a new Winter Shipping policy this weekend so please check it out once we make the announcement on our website.
In the meantime we will be here, watching that Minnesota shipment with bated breath and hoping against all odds that our shipment arrives alive...
Mel & Chris Adams