Running a Marathon
Since 2012, we've been running a marathon with one goal in mind: secure the funding for Resmi and Jasper's lifetime educations. Well, not only did we (and you, our amazing "J4J Village") meet that goal, we surpassed it. We've also secured the lifetime education of Komol; funded the rebuilding of 75 families' homes after the terrible earthquakes of 2015; retrofitted a backup power plant at the factory; purchased a cow and goats (!) and much more to help our manufacturer, his staff and other friends in Nepal. We crossed the finish line and more!
Changing How We Sell
Our sales method for the last 5 years has involved stocking up each year on 1000+ jackets in 100+ colours, 5+ sizes and 2 styles and then selling them all in a ridiculously short time period between the start of November and Christmas. It was a punishing schedule and a challenge for our customers when the desired colours sold out immediately.
If you have not already seen our blog post about "J4J Headquarters - Behind the Scenes", we run everything from our small single-story home. I suspect we have some sort of world record for having the most duffle bags and down jackets residing in a house: an inconvenient but soft obstacle course in our home for half-a-decade!
With our original goal met we needed to reassess. What are we doing this for?
The work we provide to Rajan's factory and tailors is significant in a country with 40% unemployment. The "J4J Village" community we've helped build has momentum and heart. And we can still help make a difference in children's lives in Nepal if we continue to fundraise, but for our sanity, we had to change our way of doing business .
Made-to-Order: A New Way Forward
To accommodate our customers' desire to get what they want AND our desire for a reduced workload (and see our floors again!), we've created a Made-to-Order system.
We are now transitioning from an "In-Stock" model with loads of inventory and insanely busy pop-up shops... to a "Made-to-Order" system where you can try on our samples (or use a measurement chart) and then order exactly what size, colour and style you want for delivery 8 weeks later. It is not a perfect system, especially for people in a hurry who want a cozy jacket "now" but each jacket purchased now funds a month of girl’s education.
The hundreds of people who responded to our Spring survey told us that for the right cause, it will be worth the wait. Please be patient; this year you can get exactly what you've been waiting for!
We are also making more time available to entertain requests for custom team and organization jackets - do you need some coordinated Heart-Warming Down Jackets for your group?
We’re still working out glitches to make the Made-to-Order experience as helpful as possible: finding ways to get sample sizes to different communities; altering our webstore to track fabric yardage instead of number of jackets; more conventional measurement charts; accurate estimates of wait times, etc. But we're well on our way and our fledgling "Made-to-Order" web store is now open.
In the Meantime...
While we switch to Made-to-Order, we will be selling our remaining inventory at last year's prices. And as with all our jackets, including our Made-to-Order items, they ALL come with our No-Fuss Exchanges or Returns guarantee. Because of this, we will always have some random items In-Stock on our web store to select from if "now" is more your style.
It's all part of the great experiment. We hope that by continuing our work in this way, not only can we continue to support Nepali school children, but you can get the exact jacket that you've been waiting for!