i posted the other day about getting my 100th order last weekend. in the 7 days since that happened, the orders that i've received have amounted to 25% of that total from november - april.
in short: i think there might be changes for GRLCLB on the horizon.
even before the launch of this idea/brand/website, i have always made a point of being completely open about my intentions, my progress, my feelings on the matter. the ethos of GRLCLB - in terms of it being for you - is more important to me than any progress i make, and i intend to keep it that way. so i want to keep you all in the loop about where this chaos train is going.
firstly, i think the prices will need to go up. which i know people - none more so than me - don't like to hear. it sucks. it really does. after 5.5 years working in retail, and doing the mark-ups on products, the whole culture of consumerism became repulsive to me. but unfortunately, even companies that aim to do good - like this one - can only continue to do so if they make enough profit. and currently, i make almost none. like for real, with the increased cost of the t-shirts from my ethical wonderland supplier, and the increased cost of postage - not to mention having to pay major delivery charges - i make an unsustainable amount back on each order.
and that wouldn't be an issue - if i wasn't making everything myself by hand, and spending at least 2 hours on each shirt. when you factor in the time spent making each complimentary friendship bracelet, handwriting every individual letter of thanks, and gift-wrapping each order, it might be safe to assume that i underestimated pretty much everything.
which is ok. that, to me, is a sign of everything that i've accomplished so far. i made the t-shirts so cheap because i thought nobody would actually order one, that this would be a hobby (rather than something i quit my actual real life job for LOL) and never in my wildest dreams did i anticipate that i'd have an actual backlog of orders waiting to be completed.
so i'm learning. i'm learning that if i continue to charge what i'm charging, GRLCLB will cease to exist. or, at least, cease to expand. and i want to be able to do that - i want to grow, and spread this amazing thing that we, as a group, have created together through a shared desire to do no harm & take no shit. GRLCLB wouldn't exist without you guys, and i want it to continue to make people feel welcome and wanted and accepted.
when this all started, i compared prices with high street brands. you can buy a plain t-shirt with a cactus embroidered on it from topshop for £16. that's £3.50 more than i charge. £3.50 more for a mass-produced, mass-purchased t-shirt that you will never know the origin of. that may have been made by some very small hands in a very unpleasant factory somewhere. (that was a half-joke in case i get sued for libel. but also probs true). to continue selling t-shirts that: have been sourced ethically, are made from sustainable organic cotton, have a reduced carbon footprint, were then embroidered by hand by one person in her bedroom, and are not stitched from a stencil meaning every one is unique - at that price, would be selling myself short. i don't want to compete with topshop. i've created something which is more than that.
secondly, and infinitely more positive, is my desire for submissions. i don't want this to be about me, and what i've got to offer. i want to involve all the people that are making this happen. i want contributions, and input. i'm creating a separate 'blog' type page (it ain't a blog, it will never be a blog) which will feature pretty much any kind of content from anyone who wants on. i mean, realistically, if you're gonna be 'that' guy and email me a dick pic, chances are it's not gonna make the page. if you're eulogising about misogyny i'm probs gonna give you a miss. but if you're a normal, socially adequate human being & you want to share something - let's do this.
i want art, i want stories, i wanna see you in your GRLCLB shirts, i literally want selfies if you're just fully feeling yourself one day. i want to feature the people that make GRLCLB a club.
the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. HIT ME UP. get in touch. send me a photo with a caption, or just some text, or whatever you fancy. hopefully the page will be set up within the next week or so.
lastly (for now) is possibly the most bizarre. who'd have thought, when i so tentatively started this, that i'd be looking for helpers 4 months down the line... but, here we are. the number of orders i'm getting is just too much for me to be able to do anything else that will allow this to expand & progress. i love the sewing, i love shutting myself up in my room and just getting lost in it for hours and hours and hours on end. but if literally all my time is taken up with this, i'll never get any further.
if i'm honest, i'm not really sure what i'm looking for. it's too early for me to be in a position to hire actual staff (another reason why the price increase is becoming necessary) but i really could use some help. it may literally amount to hanging out with me, eating snacks and chatting crap and sewing, but if there is anyone who thinks they'd be up for making GRLCLB a bit more tangible, get in touch at email@example.com. i wanna chill with you guys, all the chat about wanting to be your friend is legit - i'm fully not messing about, please be my pals.
this has been a disgustingly long update, and i apologise profusely for anyone that's made it to the end (which is now, i promise). but i want to be open about this entire process, because it really is for all of you, and it means a lot to me that you know what's going on.
if you want to submit anything please do, i'm really excited about where this could go, and if you fancy being my sewing buddy hit me up.
as always, i fully love you all. for actual real. BYYYYEEEEEE