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Happy_Unhappy_Otentik

Unhappy customer = learning opportunity

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Being the “people pleaser” that I am, it’s hard for me when a customer is unhappy with our product or service. Fortunately it is quite rare, but each time it happens we use it as a learning experience. This duo of husband and wife teams began this venture less than two years ago. For me, the connection was clear. I’m good friends with (and a former co-worker of) Ilan Elimaleh…the brains behind Otentik. He developed this awesome, novel product and we received one as a gift before they were even available for sale (7-ish years ago). After moving back to the US, we discussed importing and selling Ilan’s wonderful creation with our friends (and now business partners), who were equally in love with the product. And so our woman-owned-hubby-supported business was born!

The past year has been a wonderfully exciting, busy and challenging time for us. It’s a lot of fun sharing our collective experience with others. We have racked up a pretty awesome customer base and some really rave reviews. Our Amazon product rating is 4.5 stars and 5 stars in seller reviews. The drive for our business comes from wanting to share a simplistic, useful and versatile product that we truly think people will love. Not everyone does, though.

While unhappy customers are rare, they do happen – with all products. One thing that is certain, however, is that we do right by our customers and make ourselves available as much as possible, particularly for setup help. Usually, a few quick tips is all that’s needed to get people sorted out. Continue reading

OtentikGardenSetup-

Otentik sunshade setup: On Grass

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Otentik Sunshade set up in gardenSo…you’re thinking of using stakes with our stakeless sunshade?  Don’t worry, we won’t call you blasphemers or take any offense.  The great thing is that you can setup our sunshades pretty much anywhere.  On a sunny Florida day that is nearing 4,000° F, we set up our Otentik in the backyard and let the kids loose with hoses.  If you’re wondering what the melting point for a sunshade is, I can assure you that 4,000° F might be pushin’ it.

We’ve also seen sunshades attached to trees, the side of a house and even an APC. Not every setup will require the sand bags (or canvas bags, for rocky areas).  And sometimes stakes are just quicker and you want to start relaxing and having fun already.

It’s really not rocket science here, but that didn’t stop me from nearly getting impaled once by my garden stake, as it flew past my head at mach 3. OK…I may be exaggerating a bit here. Continue reading

Ella in water

It’s never that easy…

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I admit, I’m a bit of a DIY junkie…every time I see a beautiful table from pallet wood, or some other sweet contraption on Pinterest I think to myself “I could totally make that!”. And it’s never as easy as it looks. This is how I felt whenever I saw amazing photos of the Otentik sunshade in the water, like this one. Which is perhaps why it took me so long to actually try it myself…I’m such a huge fan of this product, hence us opening up a business to import them to the US, and yet I’d never actually used it IN the water. So…challenge accepted!

DCIM101GOPROThis past weekend we were testing out our new toys, the waterproof Polar Bear Cooler and our new inflatable paddle board from Isle Surf and SUP. We’d been paddling for more than 2 hours on the Intracoastal waterways looking for a nice disappearing island and desperately in need of a reprieve from the sun and to cool off for a while.

My husband and I started filling the four sandbags with sand, which was actually more like a muddy sludge. After a couple of minutes, my hubby came to check the progress I’d made. In my defense, his hands are much larger and can shovel sand more quickly! =) (I’m tempted to add a photo of his ginormous man hands for proof…but let’s stay focused here). So we established that my bags needed much more sand…a couple more minutes of scooping and we put the poles up.

Using our Otentik sunshade in the Intracoastal Waterways

Using the pole sleeves to keep the poles in place is brilliant

It was rather windy, and it took a bit of figuring out which angle to place the poles at. Little tip: USE THE POLE SLEEVES! This brilliant little trick really keeps them in place. I’ve seen people wrapping them around the top of the poles, but never actually did it myself. I thought it was maybe just a good way to not misplace them. Anyways, even though it was a really windy day, the sunshade was totally solid and provided lots of shade for us while we chilled in the water.

I will definitely be bringing it on many more paddle adventures! As you can see…I kind of enjoyed myself! 😉

Oh – and whether you have giant man hands or not, on windy days just keep filling those bags till they’re full, full, FULL! If you’re doing it right, it should look something like this.

Enjoy!