Stephen-Pres/CEO: October 2007 Archives
Hi and thanks for taking the time to read my recent blogs. A lot of you liked the funny stories about how our business started and the unexpected things that happened. I have had several people write to ask "how the story ends?" People want to know a little about where we are today as a company. Allow me to take a few moments and share that with you.
As of October 22, 2007, we have grown to 41 employees and we are in the process of adding at least 2 more in the coming weeks. We occupy a 25,000 square foot warehouse in Marietta, Ga., that we no longer fit into. We are actively looking to lease or purchase something in the 50,000-70,000 square foot range.
Probably the most exciting thing is the numbers of people that we are able to help with their sewing and crafting needs. Since we started, we have been fortunate to assist over 500,000 customers, of who about 50% currently are regular active customers. While 95% of our customers live in the United States, we are honored to serve customers throughout the world, including Canada, most of the European countries, numerous East Asian countries and several Middle Eastern Countries. I never cease to be amazed that fabrics we import in bulk from countries such as Japan and South Korea, get shipped back to individual consumers in those same nations.
Most people say we sell more fabric on the Internet than any other company. While I don't know if that is true, I do know that we are deeply grateful for the incredible support we get from our customers, whom we consider to be our friends. Growth on the Internet continues to amaze. We add about 200 new customers every single day, and that number continues to increase.
While growth is great, and we have big dreams about the future, we are committed to maintaining the same warm, family-oriented feeling that we built our business around. We never want to lose touch with who we are and who helped us achieve our success.
So what does the future hold for us and for fabric sales on the Internet? As most of you know, there is a fair amount of uncertainty about the direction that several of the national chains are going to take. Hancock Fabrics still sits in bankruptcy and has drastically reduced the number of stores that it operates. Wal-Mart appears to be closing a significant number of its fabric departments, although I don't think anyone outside that company knows their long-term intentions. Other players continue to look for a successful strategy. There is no question that Internet based sales are by far the fastest growing segment of the fabric industry. My personal belief is that, as long as we continue to provide our customers with a great product, at a terrific price, and never lose site of the basic values that got us here, the rest will take care of itself, regardless of what happens on the competitive landscape.
In the very near future, I will be announcing a new partnership that we have formed with one of the largest on-line companies in the world. They want to meet their customers' fabric needs and have asked us to help them accomplish that. It is very exciting!
I hope this note answers most of the questions that I have received. Allow me to end this note as I do most, by thanking you for the support and friendship you have shown us over the years. Without you, none of this would have happened. Until next time, Stephen