Getting to today and this big launch has been like a marathon sprint all summer long. And I mean ALL summer. I've seen the sun but only because I have windows on my office. You see, a funny thing happened on the way to PayPal.
After many years of having a dreadful website for our Rees Concert Harps line, I finally (FINALLY) got the time to build an entirely new site for Rees. The problem had long been that time is short and work is long but, as it happened, I needed major surgery in 2017 and, suddenly, I had plenty of time. By early summer of last year I had built this site for Rees.
Meanwhile, Garen had always been in charge of the Harpsicle® Harps site. It needed quite a bit of updating too but had never been in the same dire straits as the Rees site so we didn't have as much pressure to build something new. Then along came PayPal. Because we accept a large percentage of our payments via PayPal, it mattered when they began sending us notes that we would have to do some updating or they would turn off our Harpsicle® Harps site. We were informed of the cut-off day well in advance. To be fair, Garen thought he had things under control and he thought he had done the necessary updates but, sadly, no. As it turned out, our old Harpsicle® Harps site could not be updated to comply with PayPal at all so we absolutely had to build a new site...in thirteen days. That's right, we needed an entirely new site in just thirteen short days, a nearly impossible task given the size of the commerce backbone that has to be built underneath all the information accessible to viewers.
To top it all off, Garen figured this out just before he had to leave for Summer NAMM and then the Somerset Harp Festival right behind that. So, there was no possible way Garen was going to build the new site. ...and that was the end of my summer. *sigh*
It turns out that it is possible to get a new site up and out into "soft launch" in less than thirteen days. Well, let's be specific, it was about six hours less that thirteen days. I didn't get much sleep during that time. After the site was up there were still all the corrections, bugs to flush out, and additional pages to add in. There still are. It's never ending. In particular, we are going to fill out the educational and the How To sections a bit more. We want HarpsicleHarps.com to be a resource to you and not just a marketplace.
There is a lot more video coming as well. Melissa is at work on How to Change a String and How to Tie a Harp Knot. We have a bunch of others in line after that but those are the two priorities right now.
One of the things I am most pleased about is how much easier it is to buy the right accessories and strings. Better descriptions and more detail have made accessories a real bright spot on the new site.
Of course, the really big news is that we have a whole new harp, the 34-string, 15 lb (yes, only 15 lbs!) Brilliant!™ Harpsicle® Harp. The Brilliant!™ has a gigantic voice but also comes with a pro pick-up and preamp built in. This is one GREAT harp and we are already making a flock of them for those who were lucky enough to see the harp while it was still in prototype. We are so excited about this harp that we are giving one away as the grand prize for the winner of the Birthday Bash Quiz!
One would think all of that was enough but my summer of being inside-looking-out isn't over yet. We have some more BIG things. (Hint: a flatbed truck was required.) We will be announcing those soon as well as the addition of a couple of incredible people who will be coming on-board within the next month.
We are growing and life is good. I'm hoping that you are having a peaceful, joyful summer. If you get a chance, take an extra walk outside for me.
Cheers! - Pamela Rees