This might show my age, when I was young there was a Radio Programme called 'Listen with Mother', which always began with a soothing BBC voice saying ... "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin" - so assuming you are sitting comfortably, then I will begin the short story of Connevans & Hushh-ups.
Back in the day, in fact up until around 5 or so years ago, one of our competitors used to sell a really simple but effective product called Hushh-ups. These very useful products were a high quality tennis ball with two specific cuts in each ball, which enabled them to be fitted quickly and easily on to a chair leg.
When a classroom with 30 chairs fitted these, the difference in day to day noise was astounding. Think how many times each day a chair would be pushed or pulled and moved across the floor, every time creating that scraping sound we all remember from our childhood - now imagine the same chairs moving silently - the difference is outstanding.
Whenever we came across this unique product, we always thought we'd like to sell them as they are so simple and effective, but our competitor had an agreement with the manufacturer in Canada to be the sole UK supplier. Then, our competitor in the UK changed direction and was sold to another organisation - they were no longer in our field of business so the coast was clear for Connevans.
First we had to find them - we thought they came from the US, but discovered they originated in Canada, from a company based in Mississauga, near Toronto in Canada.
The the usual discussions took place and we agreed to be the UK sole supplier. Pricing was put together, which of course had to consider import duties (no free trade tariffs for Hushh-ups) and shipping. For once the term 'shipping' was accurate as they do indeed come across the Atlantic Ocean by shipping container.
The minimum porder quantity (MOQ) is many thousands, so we had to put our warehouse on alert that these would be arriving from Canada loaded on to pallets.
We then needed to take our own photos as well as the ones supplied by our new friends in Canada and the parts had to be made ready to sell on our web site. For social media purposes we also made a small video, which of course included someone juggling the balls (well it had to be done, didn't it !!)
We decided to sell complete Classroom kits of 120 Hushh-ups, to kit out a Classroom of 30 chairs, we also sell single chair kits of 4 balls.
At the time, one of our Directors, John, went to a BATOD (British Association of Teachers of Deaf Children and Young People) Conference and was delighted that the attendees were really interested in Hushh-ups as some teachers remembered them from before, but had been unable to get them for many years. (We were also amused that John had some high tech products with him, but the main interest was Hushh-ups!!).
And now, having gone through the process of bringing Hushh-ups back to the UK, we look forward to helping create quieter classrooms across the UK, which will benefit all the children and teachers in schools.