January 3, 2011

...new year...new changes...

Hello and Happy New Year!  Some of you may have noticed our decreased presence on the blog, Twitter and Facebook over the past couple weeks.  Holiday prep, out-of-town house guests and a stomach virus has kept me from being as active as I would have liked.  Planned sales, giveaways and new listings went by the wayside as life went on.  But I'm back to work now and have finally finished listing the Bliss colorway of Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms...a preview post is on its way!  I also have lots of pre-cuts and patterns to list so expect several posts in the coming days.

As the post title suggests, there are a few changes that have come about with the new year.  First up, USPS has raised prices on certain services which affects many of our customers.  First Class Mail pricing has not changed, but unfortunately we've had to increase Priority Mail prices.  Domestic Medium and Large Flat Rate Boxes have increased while the Flat Rate Envelope price remains the same.  All International Flat Rate Priority packages have increased in price as well.  As always though, we strive to ship in the most economical manner possible and always refund shipping overages!

Secondly, as many of you have heard by now, cotton prices are increasing around the world and have finally trickled down to the retail fabric store level.  A brief summary for those of you who may not have heard, global cotton crops have dropped significantly in the past year and simple supply and demand economics has kicked in.  Less supply + more demand = increased cost.  Many fabric manufacturers have been eating the cost increase over the past year, but now have to pass it along to their customers: fabric retailers.  There are several factors in the need to increase prices and this short video clip from CNN explains in a simple manner.

When I first learned about the increase, of course I was disappointed.  Keeping costs low to our customers has always been a priority and in the two years we've been in business, we haven't raised prices much at all.  To be honest, by the time we factor in freight, Etsy fees and PayPal fees, our profit margin has always been slim since we charge below MSRP, so with a significant price increase at the wholesale level, we will be increasing our retail prices for any new lines ordered in the new year.

Although a price increase may be frustrating to you, the consumer (and understandably so), I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the cotton crisis and think about the repercussions it may have for those who are directly involved with cotton.  Imagine losing your job, or having to take a severe pay cut, and wondering whether you'll be able to provide for your family.  There are many cotton farmers and workers in China, India and Pakistan who are struggling because of the crisis. 

We hope that you understand our need to raise prices and join us in wishing well those who are most directly affected by this crisis.

We also hope you have a healthy, Happy New Year filled with Peace, Hope and Love!