When I started Moop in early 2007, it was just before the housing crisis that leveled the US economy. At the time, I was so small that I was relatively unaffected by this. I built and built and grew and grew. Then I started trying to make big growth happen, which involved taking loans to fund. Fast forward a dozen or so years and we are now a business with a ton of overhead, business loans to pay, payroll, benefits, accountants, insurance, insurance for insurance, book keepers, attorneys, rent, much higher material volumes and suddenly, we are feeling very affected by this rapidly spreading pandemic. Most of us will not get sick from this. A portion of us will be gravely affected. We can all help to slow the spread by following our local and national guidelines to quarantine. But, a huge huge portion of our global population will be affected through lost wages, and steep declines in business sales as we all band together to mitigate this problem. This little business Moop Shop might be one of those businesses detrimentally affected.
Like most small businesses, we do not operate with very much cash on hand (this is called working capital). Our business relies on a constant flow of daily online sales to meet our expenses. Pretty much all of the profit after all of our expenses are paid goes to paying wages, myself included. There’s enough left over to provide a tiny buffer. I am not the only business who operates this way.
January and February are always the two slowest months for retail and restaurants. Generally, our November and December float us through those months. We do a lot of tightening of expenses, adjustments to material and inventory purchases, paid advertising and we always manage to get through. Often by the skin of our teeth. March is always the turning point in the year for us. Spring Break happens, our anniversary happens, the sun comes out, we feel good, everyone else feels good and we start our upward climb for the rest of the year. I have 13 years of business books to show this cycle. It’s something I can plan on.
We could not have planned on a global pandemic that would cause all of us (myself included), to quite literally, keep our purses close. And, like many small businesses (Jan/Feb are slow for retail/restaurants everywhere, no matter your size), we might actually not make it through this.
We’ve been advised to close our store and work from home. We cannot do our work from home, which means we cannot produce any more bags. I’ve told my incredible assistants to file for unemployment and I’ll be the bare bones operation that tries to keep this all afloat over the next few weeks so we have a business to come back to.
So today, I’m putting our entire in stock inventory on sale. Treating it like our seconds sales, only with first quality bags. Everything in the entire store will be 25% off, and we’re limiting it to things we already have made, that can ship out right away.
Fingers crossed you can all help us make it through.
Fingers crossed we can all help each other to pull through.
We really want to keep doing what we do.
Keep using that code LUCKYTHIRTEEN
It’ll now give you 25% off. (UPDATE: everything sold out (thank you!), read about our current state of affairs and current sale here.)
And, I will continue to come in to pack and ship those orders as long as USPS keeps their services up and running.