We've gone from the five items we were selling at our first competition table in March 2008 to a product line-up of over 50 including a wide range of bags, clothing, knitwear, papercrafts, bath & body and mineral makeup. And while we were developing patterns, researching suppliers and yes, CRAFTING these products (or putting hardworking crafters to work for us in papercrafts, bath & body and makeup) we were also doing the following:
- Having two babies (Kaylee, Nicole's daughter, in 2008 and Laura, Ally's daughter, in 2009) and getting ready to welcome yet another Girl@IHTD to the team (Nicole is due with #2 in January). One of us has been pregnant every summer since we started, which confuses our repeat customers no end ("wait, weren't you pregnant last year?") :)
- Buying a house (Ally, in July 2008), which of course meant MOVING. That won't happen again at least, because Ally refuses to move ever again. Ever, ever, ever.
- Still training for dancing competitively (well, not when we were pregnant ;) ), and this past summer, STUDYING (Ally passed her BATD Highland Members exam the past July)
We're Taking A Wee Break
Since Nic's going to be having her next beautiful baby after Christmas, we've decided to go on hiatus for a bit. This will also give us a chance to review our products and suppliers, something we desperately need to do after such rapid growth, but have had no time for since we've been busy filling orders (not that we don't love being popular, and the wonderful customers who made that true!!). So here's how this will affect ordering in the near future:
- We will be taking LIMITED custom orders for Christmas delivery. We have a finite number of spots available (the exact number depends on what gets ordered) and we will take orders either until those spots are filled or until November 1st at the latest.
- After November 1st, NO custom orders will be taken, but our stock items will still be available. You can always see what we have in stock by visiting http://iheartthatdance.artfire.com/.
We're Changing Our Product Line
Believe me when I tell you that from an emotional perspective, we LOVE making all the bags, knitwear and accessories by hand for all you wonderful gorgeous dancers. It's a total thrill going to a competition and seeing one of our signature goods being used, or hearing from our customers how pleased they are with their purchase.
But from a financial perspective, the truth is we are simply not charging enough for what we do. Some recent calculations have shown that on a couple of the bags, we're only making $3 an hour, and that's not enough. In the past two and a half years, we've reinvested everything we made back into the business because we HAD to -- while we've taken a considerable number of orders the profits are too low and so we haven't seen a single penny make its way into our pockets. As much as we love what we do, we obviously cannot continue this way.
We don't know exactly what the "new" IHTD will look like in July, but there are a couple of things we are pretty sure of:
- We'll still be selling the screenprinted clothing -- in fact, now we'll be able to focus on making some ideas we're really excited about come to life! And yes, applique will still be available on hoodies and yoga jackets!
- Most, if not all, of the bags and handmade clothing will no longer be available through IHTD. Some, such as ghillie bags, hardshoe bags, wig bags, PJ pants and possibly the deluxe makeup bags may still be available to wholesalers or for schools looking for school gear or fundraisers.
- Sew-on and iron-on applique patches of our designs WILL be available! So you might not be able to order one of our bags but you can get a lil IHTD style on one you've already got!
Again, we will be taking custom orders until November 1st or until we run out of spots, whichever comes first.
Did you seriously make it all the way to the end of this? You're awesome :) Please leave us your feedback in the comments below or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org -- we value your opinions so much and we will try to answer any questions we can without actually being in possession of a crystal ball :)