In our last post I told the story of how my sister and I started this business back in 2008. Now I’m going to talk about where we are now. Let me tell you, it’s quite the jump from those early days sewing in our basements while the kids were napping.
We now rent the 2nd floor of one of the oldest buildings in our town from our local non-profit senior’s association. We have about 1100sq feet of space plus another 300sq feet of storage space in the basement. We really love that our rent goes to a non-profit group that hosts a community lunch, bingo and other activities.
There are now over 300 stores who carry Colibri products! We work with an excellent sales rep who is based in BC and a distributor based in Toronto who carries some awesome brands like Swell, Abeego, Goodbyn and Anointment.
While we don’t do the small community centre craft shows anymore, we do still love the chance to meet with our customers. We now participate in a number of larger Signature brand shows in Regina, Red Deer, Edmonton and Winnipeg (at the Convention Centre). This past year we also added Medicine Hat and Lethbridge to our lineup.
About 5 years ago we started a small fundraiser program for schools and daycares and it has grown like crazy! We now provide fundraising campaigns throughout Canada and will have serviced over 130 schools during the 2018/19 school year. The groups sell our reusable snack bags, regular wet bags and organic cotton washcloths and earn great margins to support their causes. Click here for fundraiser information.
In my last post, I shared the picture of one of our first wholesale orders for 60 reusable snack bags. It felt so overwhelming at the time! Now we produce our snack bags in batches of 100 per product per print.
We now buy most of our supplies by the pallet. Remember that two story walk up? It gets really fun when our 800lb fabric order is delivered and needs to be put away! We also work with a local factory to help with our cutting. They have 100ft long tables and are able to use specialized equipment to spread and cut 6-10" at a time.
Overall, we’re pretty thrilled that we’ve been able to build our business while staying local.
Watch for my next post - The Ultimate Guide to Snack Bags!