The stoneware Loon is a reward in our current KickStarter project. In Plan B the Stone ware Loon would be still be available to order on the basis of a Kickstarter style project in which the project is to do a special run of items not in our standard line.
To date, Our Kickstarter project is receiving very little support.. Since we are at the age when we have to come up with real solutions for the future of our ceramic design and slip-casting company, and at the same time have an opportunity to increase our business through the internet provided we can reconfigure production and order fulfillment to meet the requirements of the online market. I am already thinking about what to do if the current KickStarter project does not produce an adequate response toward achieving such a goal.
The Stoneware Wren and most of the small birds will be in Plan B’s standard line, always available to order
Our very last and least attractive option to us to sell the rights to manufacture our line to another company, likely to produce it in China, or some other country with low labor costs, as is the common practice among high profile brand name products. We want to keep the work process handcrafted in the USA. We like the concept that what we have built could be instrumental in revitalizing low income areas, as opposed to relocating the inhabitants of such communities by cutting off tax dollars to those communities as Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, Steve Woods has suggested in his macro management view of the Maine economy..
Its hard to imagine giving up on our dream and the original intentions that started this company- to create a hand made product, affordable to the middle classes, and made in the USA. If our first KickStarter Project falls short of hopeful expectations, we can still do other Kickstarter projects, in which we can offer runs of some of the items in our line which will no longer be included in what we regularly offer.
We are doing this KickStarter project primarily because our space and organization are too small to support growth, especially growth through online sales,for which the expectation is
immediate delivery.We need to be able to satisfy that expectation in order to utilize internet marketing venues and to grow our business in the way that we need to grow it.
And so I am conceptualizing Plan B which is that if we cant expand our operation, then we should minimize the size of the line that we offer to our customers on a regular basis. This would make it more possible for us to fulfill the delivery expectations of online marketing. We would have a much smaller standard line, which will always be available and in stock. Other products in our line would only be available as Kickstarter projects in which the project will be to produced as a run of selected items and orders accepted on those term.By producing the line this way we can date and number each run- which is not the same as doing a limited edition but does add historical documentation
We are just a very small operation and so if we can’t expand our operation, it makes sense to streamline it. If it comes to Plan B and we can successfully follow this plan, we might gradually increase the number items available in the standard line as Plan B becomes a stepping stone to get to the goal of capitalizing a larger production and order fulfillment facility with a larger organization.
Since a ceramic network of small slip-casting studio’s is still our ultimate goal, Plan B can also be a way for us to develop portions of our line that can be farmed out to other slip casting studios if such an opportunity manifests. During the first phase of Plan B we will be functioning as that network by rotating our production, which is what we have always done but it will be done in a more planned and organized way that is adaptable to online expectations.
On the upside, we are pleased to be working with a new collaborator who has the ability to wear many different hats , which is the way we have been working for decades. We love her spirit. We hope to find a whole team like this. More on that later.
After note” As I am running this idea through my mind I am realizing that there are existing developed group purchasing plans . We need to look at all of the different approaches and design a program that accommodates the large size of our line and the small size of our staff and space and targets the transition that I am trying to achieve with the KickStarter project. The general goal remains the same. It would be great to have another person appear that is as flexible and compatible to the way we work who could design such a program for us so that I can work on my Tufted Titmouse sculpture, which I thought I was going to be able to get to at this point. Infusion Soft, which we are already using has great tools and so I am going to post there.