The Lost Box
As most of you are aware, we had something quite unimaginable happen. A box full of hundreds of skeins of yarn was lost by FedEx on its way to us, which placed our shipments for February in a state of limbo for a couple of days.
The box still hasn't been found (we're grateful for insurance), but our featured dyer for the month was great in helping us attack the problem by redyeing all the lost yarn and spinning fiber in less than two days. The box was overnighted to us, arrived safely, and Hunter spent the last three days cramming in what should have been a week of work into a 60 hour marathon with sleepless nights and a half dozen trips to the post office.
We decided to upgrade everyone to priority shipping this month if they were impacted by the delay, which means we'll still be on time for our pattern publication and reveal early next week.
However, the situation really got us thinking, and we've come to a few important decisions about the club that will not only prevent this from ever happening again, but increase the level of customer service within the club for our Fiberistas.
Shipping Is Permanently Upgraded
While sending everything out priority rather than first class mail this month we realized we really enjoyed not only the reliability of the service, but the speed in which members were receiving their boxes (nothing in the US, even shipping to Alaska, takes longer than 3 days).
From this point forward, included in your membership without any additional increase in our monthly membership cost, we will be shipping all packages US Priority mail. It's important to us you receive your packages on time so we can move forward with the fun part of the club: showcases the month's contents across social media and beginning our KAL and SAL for the month.
We're also going to be shipping international packages a few days earlier than domestic in an effort to make sure everyone receives their packages at the same time.
We're Officially Full Time
To be honest, we're not really large enough to depend on the income from Fiberista Club to support ourselves, but we want to make sure we're delivering a world class experience to our members. We have officially given notice at our jobs, and we'll be now working on the club full time. This is going to be our passion and our work, which means some glorious things for our members.
Not only does this allow us to ensure we're communicating with you quickly (most emails are answered in a matter of hours, if not minutes), but it puts us in 24/7 creative mode.
Starting in March, we're planning on not only releasing patterns with boxes, but two additional patterns and two stitch features per month, which will be available to members in an online library. This means you'll be getting a minimum of four amazing patterns per month!
This will also allow us to start shipping boxes a little earlier. We're hoping that starting in April, most boxes will be delivered by the first Monday of the month rather than being shipped on this day. Also, if something similar every happens to the lost box, we'll be on hand to develop a strategic solution behind the scenes, without any need to impact your experience.
Lastly, this of course gives us more time to source your boxes and have a collaborative experience with our featured dyers, resulting in even better products for all of you every month.
Your Club Discount Cards
We've streamlined our online shop with two improvements: first, shipping will be calculated based on the actual weight of your purchases, and you'll be able to choose between first class, priority, and express mail delivery.
Secondly, rather than publishing discounted prices on our website, everyone will be receiving a fabulous Fiberista Club discount card in March's box, with a unique coupon code you can utilize in our online store:
These cards will be ready for use as soon as they're received, and your code will remain active as long as you're a member of the club. If for some reason you've decide to suspend your membership, the code will remain active until the end of the month of your last shipment, i.e. your last subscription box was March 2015, so the coupon code will be valid until March 31, 2015.
For now, we'll send an email out with a temporary code to everyone so you can save 20% off all your store purchases. This code will be sent out before February's products are available for purchase. Do you love them? We do!
We're Keeping It Small & Personal
In our interactions with some amazing potential featured dyers, we've been asked a lot of questions that really had to get us thinking.
We've decided to keep Fiberista Club small and exclusive. We never, ever want to sacrifice the quality of the yarn, fiber, products, and patterns we feature in our boxes. The reality of the situation is this: hand dyers are usually small business operations, and they're limited in how much yarn they can get to us within our specific time frame constraints.
We think this automatically will protect the caliber of the products you're receiving each month, allowing us to really appreciate the works of the artists we're featuring.
As a result, the club will be capping out at 300 members, and when it is completely full, we'll start a waiting list for anyone who is interesting in joining up.
At the moment, we have less than 100 memberships left in the club. If you're reading this and you haven't joined, we strongly encourage you to do so now. If you're in, congratulations! As of right now, you're part of the most exclusive subscription club in the world.
This does mean that we've also had to develop policies for members who temporarily or permanently suspend their subscriptions, so please read this next section carefully:
- All members currently have the opportunity, no matter the reason, to skip their next renewal period for 30 days. Fiberista Club will reserve your spot during this period, and upon successful renewal after 30 days, your membership will be active and you'll continue to have a spot in the club. However, during this 30 day interim period, your discount will not be available for use in the club shop.
- If your membership fails to renew or you opt to skip your renewal twice in a row, your spot in the club will be up for grabs to those on our wait list.
- Once your membership has been cancelled, you have two options: enjoy all the goodies you received and stop by every once in a while to say "hello", or you can be placed on the wait list and we'll invite you back into the club when a spot opens up to accommodate you.
- Individuals on the wait list will have first right of refusal to subscribe to an open Fiberista spot in the order in which they were added. We'll send out an individual email should it be your turn to invite you to the club, and you will have three days to enroll and pay for your subscription. After the three days are up, you'll be moved to the back of the wait list.
We hope everyone understands that these policies are in an effort to make membership fair and accessible to as many individuals as possible. In the future, we may accept a higher number of members into the club, but only if it's something we can scale without reducing the quality of the boxes you're receiving each month.
Please note that as of now, we do not plan on extending beyond 300 members for the entire year of 2015.
Look Out - There's A Surprise In Your Box!
As if the boxes weren't awesome enough (how can we not think so?), Fiberista Club will now be including completely random gifts into your box if you're our lucky winner(s) for the month.
These prizes can range anywhere from knitting needles to spindles to stitch markers to needle organizers to project bags to books or anything else we feel is just awesome for a knitter, crocheter, or spinner to have in their arsenal.
Please note: these items will also be expensive. Any time we can include something exclusive and limited edition, we will!
Each month, a random selection of boxes will get these prizes thrown in for FREE. It will not be influenced in any way by your subscription terms or purchases.
The prizes themselves will range from 50%-200% the value of your paid subscription, so I'm sure they'll be lovely surprises to everyone who is receiving them. We're going to be starting this in March, and we're calling it our "Platinum Ticket" upgrade.
March's prizes have already been selected, and we can't wait to see who wins and their reaction to their fabulous prizes!
On A Personal Note
The last week has been rough, and not just because of the lost box of yarn. Hunter lost a friend and former dance colleague to a six year battle with metastasized breast cancer last weekend. She was only 33 years old, and the only consolation he has is that Heaven has gained an angel capable of bringing all its inhabitants joy through the art of dance.
Katrina was an amazing woman, wife, teacher, mentor, and business owner. She showed up for work every single day through her battle with cancer, never complaining and spending her short life bringing joy to others.
Katrina had the marvelous doctors, nurses, and staff of Loma Linda University Cancer Center take exceptional care of her during her battle.
In her remembrance, we've decide to donate 10% of March's subscription box proceeds and 20% of all shop proceeds through March 31, 2015 to Loma Linda Healing Hands, which assists them with the costs associated with the care they provide all of their patients.
If you'd like to make a separate donation, you can do so by visiting Healing Hands. Please reference Katrina Rodriguez in the "Message to Caregiver" section so they know we're extremely grateful for the extra time they gave Katrina to impact and inspire others through her chosen medium of dance.
Our thoughts are with Katrina's husband, family, friends, and colleagues - past and present - within the Arthur Murray Dance Studios.