Turret Tops & A New Year!
The Pandemic from a manufacturer’s perspective...
My first real sense that there was light at the end of the tunnel came from the recent reappearance of a humble piece of plastic whose name is as chunky as it’s appearance, the turret top. When The Pandemic hit full force in March of last year, supply chains broke everywhere -alcohol, mailing envelopes, personnel, bottles, and sprayers. Sprayers and two ounce bottles in particular became procurement obsession as I drove four hours just to secure meager batches. I even took to patrolling eBay late at night for any versions available, including purple & pink dip tubes that needed to be hand cut. We scraped together everything we could find to keep our supplies to the NYPD, FDNY and public schools going. At one point I managed to buy the last available truck load of alcohol in the US. -and ended up fielding calls from major companies looking to buy us out as a consequence. Somehow we managed to keep going. But one little piece disappeared and was not to be had. The little dispensing cap for our deodorant refills.
As a company dedicated to life’s LITTLE pleasures, the action of the turret tops (otherwise known as a flip spout) is one of my quiet favorites. The ability to turn our bottle upside down and squeeze just the right amount of deodorant into our frosty glass bottles without spilling a drop is a geeky thrill to me. Our order for 10,000 of them had been abruptly cancelled, and instead we received only the stony reply “unavailable until further notice.” Shortages in plastic, and repurposing of the machines for PPE stuff were the good reasons.
We pivoted and replaced them with simple black plastic caps, and just hated them from the getgo. I hated the way they felt, the way they looked, some of them leaked, and we never got the torque quite right, too tight or too loose. I assumed no one but my obsessive self would notice, and so was surprised (and a little touched) at the number of emails we received from customers saying how much they missed our little turret tops albeit understanding why they had gone.
Then finally, in early September, I got a call from our supplier; would I still like that order for 10,000? They’ll put us near the front of the line, if I do. YES!! I said. And then one month later they arrived. I should have done an unboxing video of the two big boxes of 5,000 each. I opened the top and there they were, shiny black, and fresh off the press, I plunged my hands into them up to my elbows half expecting that they might still be warm. We were so excited that we went to the trouble of uncapping all the already finished Refills and screwing these on. We then happily sent these off into the world.
That moment represented the first time since the Covid onset, that I firmly felt that things would definitely get better, that this wouldn’t go on forever. In the midst of all this terribleness and grief, actually because of it, I hope I can hold onto the appreciation I feel for so many little things that I used to take for granted.