2018 was a big year for us at Bug Soother. And as the end of the year quickly approaches, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on this past year, and let you know what’s in store for 2019.
Perhaps one of our biggest milestones this year is that our all-natural bug repellent, Bug Soother, turned 10 years old! I originally created Bug Soother in 2008 for my five-month old grandson, (pictured below, now 10 years old, promoting Bug Soother at the John Deere Classic), and 2008 just happened to be the year that a huge flood hit our little town of Columbus Junction. But despite all the devastation that came with the flood, when I look back, I can see some good that came out of it. We were able to repurpose three flooded buildings, which now house our store, warehouse, and production facilities. And in honor of the tenth anniversary of the flood, we donated tens of thousands of bottles of Bug Soother to flooding victims across the country.
This year, we also expanded our online presence and jumped head first into the world of Amazon. With help from our friends at 50 Pound Boson, Bug Soother had huge growth on Amazon Prime. If you walked into our warehouse on any given summer day, you would have seen people frantically filling orders and working to send Bug Soother to Amazon. In addition to Amazon, we also made big improvements to our website, in an effort to better serve our customers. Big Imprint got us on the web early on in our endeavor, and they worked with us again to revamp our website and make it even better! So while you’re here, look around our new website! Leave us a review, check out new products, or read about all the cool things we’ve been doing here at Bug Soother. Plus, if you just can’t talk enough about Bug Soother, apply to join our Bug Squad https://simplysoothing.net/pages/be-an-ambassador for a chance to receive free product and help spread Bug Soother around the US and beyond.
From the very beginning, golf courses have been a big part of the success of Bug Soother. This year was no different, as we were selected as the Official Bug Repellent of the John Deere Classic. This golf tournament takes place so close to home, and we were so excited to take part in even a small way. We also provided Bug Soother for the players and caddies of the Sanford International tournament in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, The Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, The 3M Championship in Minnesota, and so many more through our friends at The Iowa Golf Association. We’re VERY thankful to be a part of these tournaments, but we’re also thankful to all of the golf courses and pro shops, big and small, who trust us to keep their players bug-free on the course! Thank you Golf Community!!!
Finally, we would be amiss if we did not say thank you to our customers. It has been a great year, but we could not be successful without all of YOU! From our long-time customers, to first-time buyers, it has been a pleasure to serve you, and we hope to continue to work with you for years to come!
So with 2018 nearly behind us, it’s time to begin looking forward to 2019. And boy, do we have big things planned. Justin, John, and Tessa have been hard at work in streamlining the process for making and bottling Bug Soother. After much research (and even a trip to the Pack Expo in Chicago) they are automating the production lines, with an automatic bottle capper installed and an automatic filling machine and more on the way.
2019 also looks promising as we are teaming up with partners across the country to bring Bug Soother/Medella Naturals to stores near you. Medella Naturals, our private label partner, has seen much growth in Kroger stores across the country, much expansion to other stores in the Kroger family planned for 2019. Medella Naturals was the #1 selling natural bug repellent by bottles for Kroger. (Look for the green bottle!). Bug Soother will be in many more Walgreens and working with other large retailers nationwide! We’re also partnering with Bug Shield out of Georgia, as we broaden our reach and keep those pesky bugs away, along the east coast and especially in southern states.
Persistent Willie Petrie of Bug Soother UK is still heading up our European manufacturing and sales, has seen great growth in many Scandinavian countries, working on an account with Holland and Barrett, a chain of health food shops with over 1,300 stores in 16 countries, including a substantial presence in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, China, Hong Kong, India and UAE for 2019. We are also working with others to expand Bug Soother to Costa Rica, Mexico and Taiwan, and are currently seeing growth in Columbia, Panama, and Grand Cayman under the Medella brand.
2019 also promises to bring a BIG announcement. But, it’s not 2019 yet, so stay tuned for some exciting news, coming SOON! 😉 (We Promise!)
From our family to yours, We wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!
Bug Soother Owner and CEO