UPDATE: The loan is now LIVE! Please contribute what you can here.
summary: we're paying off the $5,000 loan we took out last year so we can get another, bigger loan.
It was a smashing success, and we were able to leverage that money in ways that I have outlined here. We were even invited to the first ever Kiva in-person event at San Francisco City Hall as a success story.
The loan was a real game-changer for us, since not only did it enable us to buy in greater quantities, it also helped us get our new shop set up in Antioch.
If you've been following along, you'll know that we recently moved again, but this time to our dream location. We expect that we will be in this location for several years, and we have invested the time and energy into making it a perfect home for Outlaw Soaps.
One of the best bits of news is that we now have the space and receiving area for even greater quantities of oil... as in, 440 lb drums!
Once we pay off the first loan in full, we qualify for another, bigger loan of $10k 0% interest 36 month loan. It worked so well before, we feel very certain it will work well again!
This is NOT a donation. You WILL be paid back.
One of the common misconceptions about Kiva crowdfunded loans is that it's like Kickstarter, in that you'll get some object in exchange for your money.
You know what you'll get in exchange for your money? THE MONEY BACK. (and the knowledge that you helped a little business)
Over the 36 month period of the loan, we pay you back. As the money accrues from our repayment, you can withdraw the money (or reinvest it in other small businesses).
We already have a track record of timely payments and have a great relationship with Kiva. Spencer, our contact at Kiva, said, "Looking forward seeing your app come through!"
That's a pretty solid reference, right?
What are we going to do with the money?
It's important to us that we maintain a level of transparency in our business. It's how we honor our partnership with you, our customer and investor.
- Supplies: as I mentioned before, we will be buying supplies in greater quantities. Some of our supplies have gone up in price, so this will make it possible to maintain our prices despite that increase. Supplies will cost about $6k.
- New Boxes: next month, we're reducing the sizes of our soap bars from 4.5 - 5.5 oz to 4 oz and reducing the price to $7.50 or $7 (as low as we can get it). That means we need to order new boxes. New boxes for our full size soap bars will cost $1,500.
- Samples and Sample Boxes: In response to customer feedback, we are going to be focusing on making our sample-size bars as delightful as our full size bars. This means we need to buy boxes for our samples. Trust me, they're hella cute. Boxes and supplies for our samples will cost $1,000.
- Whole Foods / REI / Bass Pro Shops / Cabela's Outreach: one of our big goals for this year is getting national distribution through these national stores. This will mean that you can buy directly from your local markets, saving shipping and giving us a more regular income stream (wholesale reorders are a big deal). All of these stores require extensive outreach, though (samples, free fill, etc) and that costs money up front. New retailer outreach will cost $500.
- Advertising: We have had some great success with advertising on Facebook and feel ready to stretch our wings a little. On the agenda are some videos and some display ads. We want to invest $1,000 in advertising.
As you can see, every one of these line items is intended to either reduce costs or bring in more revenue. We believe that the only appropriate use of an investment like this is the creation of more money... like, immediately. The only extended-release investment is the supplies, and we hope that will help us drive the cost down, which will result in more sales.
In other words, we're going to take the money you loan us and make it into a stick to move a rock.
Everyone who loaned us money in our previous round can re-loan us their entire original loan as soon as we pay it back.
We appreciate all the support you have given us over the past years and look forward to many more years of partnership in our future!
In love & cleanliness,
Danielle and Russell Vincent