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I had to think about this for a little bit before I decided to discuss this with you.
But I think honesty is the best policy, and I have to believe that it’s the right way to go.
Here’s the deal. My company launched in Jan. 01, 2009. I showed my first products to some friends at expo west, and got my first account in April of 2009. At the time I was just so happy to see the fruits of my efforts, that I had no idea about the financial storm that was headed our way. And that’s ok, for the most part no one did. But as we all know now, this has been our equivalent of a financial Hurricane Sandy for the last couple of years for everyone, as well as for my company and last year especially and it’s been rough but we’re still fighting and trying to stay strong.
As this has taken place, my company has grown and grew incredibly rapidly, then shrank, then grew again, then shrank again, and now after a period of having it shrink in 2011, due primarily exclusively to the economy (people were just buying less of everything) and due to mergers and new store policies in my main accounts (aka, the Henry’s being bought by Sprouts, and the adopted practice of “running lean” by all the stores in the area), along with the stores reaching out to large companies for large case stack deals of junk that had high margins to cushion their budgets, it all had it’s effect on my poor yet thriving company in it’s infancy.
Where we are at now is this. After having a period of things shrinking we have now experienced a massive sharp demand and spike in sales again. Which is great, at least for a moment, until we realized the tremendous problem at hand.
All of our orders whether by online or by stores are not paid to us for at least a two week period. Amazon pays every fifteen days, and the stores we sell to pay every 22-38 days. All that money is out of our budgets while we await a check back for our goods. It’s incredibly frustrating, and put’s us in an incredible dilemma.
Currently, we run the largest orders of a given product we can at a given time. Say 200 proteins on a Friday. Well, by wednesday of the following week, it’s all sold out. Great right? Well yes and no. Because what happens then is while we’re awaiting that money to come back to us, we receive orders for 100 more. Orders that we can’t fill because our budgets are at max capacity already. So, in the meantime, while we’re waiting to get paid, we run the risk of agitating or disappointing wonderful customers and stores we’ve worked so hard to build incredible relationships with, and provide better choices for. It’s incredibly stressful, upsetting, and depressing because our hands are currently tied, and especially mine as the owner.
My company is a sole proprietorship. I have school loans, I cannot qualify for a credit line because my loans throw off my score too much, and my one and only credit card is always on the borderline of being maxed out before it’s zero’d out, only to start it all over again trying to keep up with the rush. It’s miserable. Truly miserable.
The last thing we ever want to do, and I ever want to do is disappoint anyone with an out of stock, lose sales, deprive someone of something they need to be healthy, or cause any unnecessary stress or strain with our customers or stores. In the entire existence of my company we have never received 1 single complaint ever regarding quality. EVER. That’s amazing. The only things people ever say is we can’t get enough there fast enough. Which I really think is a very touching thing when you think about it. However, I’d like to change that.
Without help, we aren’t going to be able to get off of this hamster wheel of stress and disappointment. We need a B-12 shot of some funds to help us get over the hump. And once we do, we’re golden. We’ll never have to deal with this again. Without it however, we face this going on indefinitely, and further straining our relationships, disappointing customers, and with the most extreme case having to pull our products from most of the wholesale markets and going exclusively online again until we can build up enough safety funds to try and safely put our items back on the shelf again, if and when ever that may be. Once things are disrupted at a store it’s tough to get it back in good graces again, and that means we’d also have to disrupt the supply of all of our wonderful customers which I just absolutely do not think is the right way to go. We’re here to help you have a better quality of life, and want to hold onto that ground we’ve fought so hard to achieve in such a small amount of time, in the uphill battle of a rough economy.
Why am I telling you this? Well for two reasons specifically. One, so that you can know exactly what’s going on with us as a company, and can understand the dynamics that we’re currently challenged with. To know we’re trying our best to do our best, but we need help to get over a bump in the road. Your help.
The second thing is this. I think that what we bring to the market, and that my energy and presence behind it is something that makes the market better. You know that there is someone out there fighting for you to have good health, and you know that you have good clean amazing products that are better than anything else you can get your hands on. I believe that deep in my heart, we are absolutely a company that you want to see continue to stay on the shelves of the stores where you shop. That you want to be able to thrive, to be healthy, and enjoy clean powerful products for you and your family. That the impeccable high standards of what we hold as a company are something that you look forward to seeing on the shelves for years to come, and so do we.
Just speaking for myself, whenever I’ve had the excess to share I’ve always tried to do the very best I can. When there was a little more to share I’ve given good friends jobs and extra work to try to help their lives to be better, to show respect for the skills and heart they possess, and to help them have some extra money for things they needed. I’ve been able to help them pay for hospital care for their pets when they were stretched thin, help contribute for their kids to go to school so they didn’t have to feel bummed, helped surfrider, my church, and kid’s alive to have a little extra for their wonderful efforts. And I’m super stoked that I was able to do that, it made me feel good. I feel like I’ve been a good steward of the funds entrusted to me, and done the best with what we have to work with, as a company that I launched from my savings to get shelf space alongside companies that have multi-million dollar budgets. Now we’re at a point where we need a little help to get over a hump, and we’re taking it right to the people that helped us get to where we are, by responding to the efforts and hard work we’ve put into making products of such a high quality.
We will be starting a fundraiser in the next few days through Kickstarter to try and raise the funds that we need to get over this hump once and for all. We will have perks, and try to have fun ways to thank you for your contributions, but for the most part I’m asking that you consider what I’m saying and do this from your heart if we’re a company that has the quality standards and vibes you want to see thriving and doing well on the shelves at your local store indefinitely.
We’re not looking for a handout, and the goal amount will not be high. But what’s alot to us, is very little to someone else, and we’re hoping that’s the case. We’re asking if you would assist us in getting over a tough spot to serve you better and offering you a chance to invest in your own future, to be an active participant in the well being of a company that’s desperately trying to be a positive force in the natural health community, and in your local community as well.
That’s it, we just wanted to give you a little time to think about it before we posted it. We’re just asking for a little Love, Mercy, and Compassion to help make this jump off the hamster wheel, to serve you more effectively and be the continued presence in the marketplace that you’ve come to know and love.
We’ll post the link in just a couple days and thank you in advance for anything you can offer to help. 🙂
PLEASE HELP JEFF’S BEST HEMP! GET OVER THE HUMP!
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