Queen Erykah Badu told y’all: “Now keep in mind that I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my shit.” After this past week, I’m here to simply say: Same, sis…same.

After months of planning and strategizing and designing, I invited the first group of visitors to beta test the sturdiness of this house I’ve built. I didn’t realize how much of myself I’d poured into Postal Petals until it was time to share it with the world and be laid bare for critique about something that has truly become my baby.

ASSEMBLING THE SQUAD

The anxiety was real, people. I carefully handpicked a trusted group of close family and friends and invited them to access the site ahead of the general public. The goal was to help us work through any bugs on the site, test our fulfillment and shipping process, as well as evaluate the quality and condition of the flowers after traveling from the farm to our client’s doorstep all across the country. Beta was also an opportunity for me to be made aware of all the things that I hadn’t thought of like the mobile experience on the Android vs. the iPhone (which we’re still working on), better designing the subscription and log in features, fixing broken links, etc.

The support I’ve received from my loving tribe of family and friends was overwhelming and moved me to tears several times throughout the process…I’m ready for what’s next and eagerly anticipate all the adventures this Postal Petals journey has in store for me.

PEPPERMINT PETTY MEETS CLIENTS IN THE WILD

Another benefit of beta was that I was able to get a preview of what it could be like when we launch publicly and open ourselves up to clients in the wild. Clients who’s propensity for fuckery could land anywhere on the spectrum from zero to 100. What I quickly realized is that customer service is real, folks, and welcoming client feedback, or possible complaints, in a way that is graceful and productive is an absolute necessity. Sounds easy enough for most, but for someone like me who is widely recognized as a high-functioning Peppermint Petty, this new endeavor could at times become an exercise in restraint, patience and compassion. The good news is that I stay working on my personal growth and am actually looking forward to the challenge. But, to be safe, I have put my therapist on notice that she needs to be available should “keeping it real” present a strong likelihood of, in fact, going wrong and I end up needing her to talk me off a petty ledge.

JOY + EXCITEMENT + GRATITUDE

As nerve-racking as it was, the satisfaction of watching my first clients open their boxes and be stunned by the beautiful selection and amount of flowers inside, made me happier than I even imagined. As I took in the images of the breathtaking arrangements my friends and family made, I was moved at being introduced to the naturally artistic parts of them that I didn’t know existed. I am so filled with joy and excitement and gratitude. I’m grateful to be an ambitious black woman with the audacity to even attempt such an undertaking. I’m excited about the endless possibilities that lay ahead for Postal Petals. And I’m joyous about having found the periods of stillness and tranquility that these flowers continue to bring me in this unique moment in time.

As I took in the images of the breathtaking arrangements my friends and family made, I was moved at being introduced to the naturally artistic parts of them that I didn’t know existed.

THIS IS GONNA BE FUN!

Our beta test period went even better than I’d hoped. The flowers were beautiful, plentiful and long-lasting. The feedback was thoughtful, technical, strategic and all around edifying. The support I’ve received from my loving tribe of family and friends was overwhelming and moved me to tears several times throughout the process. While I’m sure more things will come up as we begin opening to a larger pool of customers, I truly appreciate having this time to work out some of the initial bugs in a space that is safe and fully fortified with love. The gift of a village is something I don’t take lightly and I’m beyond lucky to have them as I embark on this bold and daring endeavor. I’m ready for what’s next and eagerly anticipate all the adventures this Postal Petals journey has in store for me. Happy to have you along on the ride…this is gonna be fun!

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