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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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!
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.
Socks are a great knitting project year round. Whether you knit them using the magic loop method, or are a master of double pointed needles, they can easily travel with you anywhere you go, are perfect projects for the warmer weather during summer months, and are usually quick to finish. They also make great gifts - who doesn't love a pair of handknitted socks?!
This month our sock club feature was Glitter Sock from Zen Yarn Garden. A wonderful blend of superwash merino, cashmere, nylon, and just a pinch of sparkle makes for a luxurious and fun knit.
Sock Club members received one of the thirteen colors featured in our Yarn Club palette for August:
Knitting and crochet offer us the opportunity to connect to productivity as well as tap into our creativity. A slow, consistent building of loops gives us a finished product that takes time to make. This puts us in a unique position to plan ahead for the seasons - for example, in order to be able to wear something for the inevitable cooler weather that the Fall will usher in as the year turns into September, we often have to start contemplating what we'll want to add to our wardrobes beginning in August.
With this need in mind, we officially launched into our first set of Fall-inspired shipments for our August yarn club. This month, we thought it would be a great treat to start the season with one of the most soft and versatile yarn bases we could find, and featured Zen Yarn Garden's fabulous Serenity 20 (fingering weight) and Serenity Worsted (worsted weight) yarns, which feature a blend of 70% Superwash Merino, 20% Cashmere, and 10% Nylon.