Monday, July 12, 2010

One Year Anniversary - New Business Direction Announcement

This month heartfeltwool celebrates it's one year anniversary. There is a part of me that still cannot believe that people (or their animals) enjoy the things I make. Growing up I never thought of myself as creative or even a little bit artistic. This project has been life changing for me.

One of the best parts about starting my shop has been giving back to animals. I have thoroughly enjoyed donating 15% of my sales to my local shelter. The funds have been used to purchase food for the shelter's small mammals, the animals at the shelter most people forget about when they make a donation.

The purpose of this post is to share with my customers a new direction for my business. I sat down to analyze my costs and profits from last year. While it brings me great joy to see the good that my 15% has done for the shelter, I am realizing that I cannot grow my business in meaningful ways while donating this amount.

From here on out, I will be donating a reduced percentage of 5% of sales to the shelter to allow heartfeltwool the opportunity to explore consignment and wholesale opportunities. I believe that I sew a high quality product that pets and owners alike can appreciate. I have been approached about wholesale pricing, but have not been able to offer as competitive a rate as other makers of catnip toys because the amount that I donate constitutes such a large portion of my expenses. I believe that by lowering the amount that I donate to my local shelter, I will be able to greatly increase the number of wholesale opportunities available to me by offering a competitive wholesale rate while still recouping my costs. This could actually end up resulting in the same or an increased amount of money going to the shelter from sales of my toys if I can increase the number of toys being sold through wholesale and consignment, regardless of the decreased percentage donated from each toy.

I hope that my customers will understand this change in business model and will appreciate the fact that it truly is a numbers game. Lower costs will allow me to increase the overall number of sales off of Etsy, and will allow me to donate more in the long run.


  1. Happy Birthday!

    Have you thought about outsourcing some of the labor on wholesale orders? If you ever get a huge overwhelming order, I have experience with felt :)

  2. congratulations!

    i think *any* charitable donation you make as part of your sales is a wonderful thing. and like you said, hopefully (probably) this will result in an increase in donation amounts. :)

    good luck with your wholesales!

  3. Jennie - Thanks for the offer! I'll definitely keep that in mind. :)

    Kelli - Thanks for the feedback on the new changes. I wholeheartedly believe that with the new changes I will be able to offer competitive wholesale rates and keep this business growing. I will also have more profit to invest back into the company so that I can take more risks on selling at craft fairs. I just booked a bunch of shows, so I'm hoping things go well!

  4. nice!! i'm sure you'll do well. i have two shows coming up this weekend and the next. i'm excited and nervous, and reeeeeeeeeally hoping they go a bit better than the last one did. fingers crossed, eh? :P

  5. Absolutely! I hope everything goes well. How do you display your goods at shows?