I don't usually write notes directly to this community, but here we go! So, allow me to reintroduce myself - this is Krystal, the founder and designer behind Grouphug Solar. I was previously a founding member & Director of Product at the toy start up littleBits (acquired by Sphero). I adore any dessert, especially donuts. This year I added "mom" to my title and have a baby daughter named Ruby.
As 2022 comes to an end, I wanted to share some thoughts & reflections with you all. Running a small business is exhilarating, terrifying, and extremely humbling.
I got started in 2019, fueled by my frustration at the energy industry and how hard it was to switch to renewable energy as a renter. Add to this a dose of curiosity about whether you could make something cold like a solar panel actually "cute"... and the Window Solar Charger was born!
In 2019, We launched on Kickstarter and raised $70,000. In 2020, I went on Shark Tank and won an investment from Mark Cuban. In 2021, we were featured on the Today Show with sustainability expert Ashlee Piper. We had our best sales year yet! I couldn't believe it.
I was thinking, "How can I grow Grouphug to be a huge company?". Let's get in stores in every state, every country, etc. I started crunching the numbers and thought about raising venture capital money to grow the scale to the next level. World domination is what success in business means, right???
Then I remembered why I started Grouphug. My goal was to combine renewable energy and art. I hope that when customers see their Window Solar Chargers hanging in the window, they smile. When I think about the beginning of the company, my mind is flooded with memories of me sitting in the floor of my apartment in the Lower East Side. I made all my prototypes at home then. It was not unusual for my fingers to be sticky with glue or my kitchen table is covered in saw dust.
I decided not to raise venture capital money to grow Grouphug.
So, what's next for us?
You'll have to stay tuned for part 2 !
Continue reading here.