To our community:
Thank you for all you do to come alongside the work of Handspun Hope in Rwanda through the purchasing of our handmade products. Whether buying for your homes, friends or your own shops, your support is vital in sustaining our mission of empowering women in Rwanda through dignified employment and holistic care.
As a valued member of our family, we wanted to take a moment to share with you some important shifts in our (1) pricing and (2) product availability / sales strategy that are rolling out next month.
Over the past few years, the world has changed significantly for all of us. At Handspun Hope, we have not been immune to the rising costs of materials, shipping and labor that have resulted. These rising costs apply not only to our production operations, but also to the basic cost of living for those we employ. Prices are just simply higher everywhere: in Rwanda, the U.S. and beyond.
With rising costs comes an increased need for employment, especially in developing communities. This means that our team has also been navigating how to best operationally support a growing number of women under our employ.
Given these rising pressures, we have been prayerfully considering how to better position our organization—and those we serve—for long-term sustainability. Since the beginning, our commitment has always been to offer hope to women in our community through meaningful work. To honor this commitment and secure the working futures of the 209 women we employ, we will be implementing the following pricing and product shifts beginning April 1, 2023.
While we have done our best to mitigate rising costs, we simply can’t put it off any longer. Effective April 1, 2023 our yarn product line will undergo a price increase across both wholesale and retail channels.
This price increase will allow us to better cover product costs and continue paying fair, salaried wages. Additionally, we hope it will also allow us to plan for future raises for the women, to also better enable them to face the changing economy.
New retail* yarn pricing per skein will be as follows:
Standard Organic Merino Wool (DK, Worsted, Bulky, Super Bulky) + Handspun Ethiopian Cotton: $32
Organic Merino Wool, Natural Black: $39
Madagascar Wild Boracera Silk: $28
Our Organic Angora + Merino Blend will stay the same at $64 retail. Wholesale yarn will be discounted 50% from retail prices.
Product Availability + Sales Channel Shifts
Last year we announced Sustaining Hope, a five-year organizational development plan poised to move us towards greater long-term financial sustainability as an organization. It’s part of our efforts to more seamlessly navigate the added operational and financial needs required by ethically employing 209 women full-time. (Read more about the fully Sustaining Hope plan here.)
Part of this plan requires reorganizing our product availability and sales structure, which will ultimately set us up to: (1) create more manageable workloads for all staff, (2) guarantee salaried employment through covering rising costs and (3) establish a more practical infrastructure to ensure the health of our organization for years to come.
Below are updates that will be coming to the outlined product lines and sales channels:
We will be discontinuing a majority of our knitwear line via both wholesale and retail channels outside of Rwanda. While we value the craftsmanship and beauty of our knit pieces, the reality is that they require significant human resources, making it difficult to effectively manage our other product lines with quality. Select knitwear accessories will still be available for retail on our website.
How does this impact the knitting department at Handspun Hope?
We deeply value the skillset of our knitting team, which is composed of experts with more than 128 years of combined knitting experience. The knitting team will remain employed with Handspun Hope, but rather focus on creating accessory pieces such as hats and gloves that will be available for sale online, directly to consumers. Additionally, the knitters will continue to work on knitwear orders that are local to Rwanda.
All felted sculptures and ornaments will be sold primarily** via direct-to-consumer retail channels. We believe that everyone should be able to afford and enjoy handmade items, and by removing the wholesale structure on felted items, we will be able to reduce these prices without compromising fair artisan wages.
**For wholesale customers who would still like to order higher quantities for stores, a discount is available with an initial annual order minimum of $500. Contact us for pricing information.
WHOLESALE MINIMUMS + PRODUCT ELIGIBILITY
We are introducing a standard order minimum of $500 for all initial wholesale orders each year. There is no minimum quantity per product or variant, so long as the $500 minimum is achieved. Once a client’s $500 minimum order has been placed each year, all subsequent orders for the remainder of the year will have no minimum requirements.
Product lines now eligible for standard wholesale include yarn, buttons and select project bags. Felted items may also be purchased in volume and contribute toward the $500 wholesale minimum, though note the pricing structure will differ from standard wholesale (see above).
Thank you again for partnering with Handspun Hope as we work towards our vision of breaking the generational cycle of poverty in Rwanda through dignified work. Every purchase you make helps us ensure we can continue providing fair, ethical wages and holistic care for years to come.
If you would like to place an order under our existing product pricing and offerings, please make sure to do so by March 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m CST. Wholesale orders placed now through March 31 will only require a 25% initial deposit.
Should you have any questions regarding our strategy changes or how they apply to your account, please reference the FAQs section below. You can also reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With hope and gratitude,
The Handspun Hope Team
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
When do these changes take effect?
All pricing and product changes will be implemented beginning April 1, 2023.
If I’ve already ordered wholesale knitwear and would like to place a reorder, what does this mean for me?
All preexisting knitwear customers will be grandfathered into the new system, meaning we will honor all wholesale knitwear order requests with an order minimum of $500. We will not be accepting new wholesale knitwear clients.
If I’ve already ordered wholesale felting items and would like to place a reorder, can I do so?
We welcome reorders of felted sculptures and ornaments, though note that they will be subject to the new $500 initial order minimum and new pricing structure beginning on April 1, 2023.
I currently wholesale your products. Do these changes mean I should adjust my retail pricing?
We recommend reflecting the retail prices displayed on our website for all future orders.
Will the women employed by Handspun Hope benefit directly from a yarn price increase?
The increase in yarn prices will enable our organization to cover operational and production expenses associated with yarn production, and therefore continue employing 209 women at fair, salaried wages.
It will also better position us to plan for future salary increases, to assist our employees in also covering the rising essential living costs in Rwanda.
Will the women employed by Handspun Hope be affected by a felting price decrease?
This decrease will not affect the salaries of Handspun Hope employees.
Will these changes affect other products within Hope Artisan Collective?
Our shift in sales strategy will primarily focus on the products made by Handspun Hope in Rwanda. We will continue to purchase other Hope Artisan Collective products via ethical means, as vetted by the Fair Trade Federation.
Where can I find a list of new product prices and offerings?
Visit our website, www.hopeartisancollective.org, for new felting, yarn and prices. All prices will be updated by April 1, 2023. Also, note that all prices on our website reflect retail pricing. For more information or questions on wholesale pricing, contact us at email@example.com.