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A small business owner whose popular kitchen products can be found online at Amazon, Target and Walmart may be forced to sell his business if serious supply chain problems persist.

Susan Castriota is the owner and inventor safe kitchen, which is known for its cookware including Glass Kuchina Safe Vented Glass Lid and Cover ‘N Cook Glass Microwave Plate Cover.

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Castriota — like major corporations — is dealing with shipment delays and rising manufacturing costs, which have significantly hampered its ability to sell during critical seasons.

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The problems for Castriota and her business began when the pandemic first hit, she told Granthshala Business.

The first setback came when, she says, “Amazon shut down non-essential products to focus only on essentials.”

They had to make up for weeks of lost sales after they stopped selling Kuchina Safe cookware for more than a month.

Then, in June 2020, Castriota ordered products from its manufacturer in China, which were supposed to arrive around September or October for the holiday shopping season – one of the most important quarters for retailers.

But, it never arrived.

Castriota originally sought a manufacturer in the United States, but was forced to outsource it overseas after realizing that there were no factories producing borosilicate glassware.

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“The containers were late and that product didn’t arrive until 2021,” Castriotta said. “So I missed a very important fourth quarter.”

This has been a recurring issue for him.

It placed another order in March 2021, but the product didn’t arrive until recently, meaning it missed the entire third quarter.

“I have the product, but it was the product that I didn’t get to sell in the third quarter,” she said. “I’ve been trying to make up for two quarters.”

In fact, Castriotta said she was “on pins and needles” for more than a month and was wondering if she’d even get the product in time for this holiday season.

On top of that, she said that container prices have gone up by 300% and that doesn’t even account for factory prices. It is also facing a 27% increase in the unit price for manufacturing its products.

“It blows me away. And so now my profit margin is very low,” she said.

As a small business owner, Castriota said he needs to worry about the many other people who depend on him.

“I still have to pay my bills, my insurance and everything else and my warehouse fees,” she said. “If it continues like this in 2022, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to do it.”

Castriota said she would either shut down or try to sell the business to a larger entity that would have more capital.

I’m just a small business… when you’re impacted like this, it’s major for a small business.”