Price Raise on March 1st

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This post has taken me hours to write – I agonize over this sort of thing.  We have to raise our prices. My wool, my fabric,  EVERYTHING has gone up in cost so much, add to that the weak dollar situation, Paypal fees and general overhead  – it’s all adding up very quickly. I think it’s like this everywhere – John and I went out for dinner at a nice place , not crazy nice – just like an upscale pub place and it cost us $110! 2 drinks each, an appetizer, a burger and a salad! Anyhow, it’s got to be done or else there will be no Bamboletta dolls  – this is the solemn news delivered to me by the accountant. I’ve been able to go on the way I have because we have John’s income to pay the mortgage and we live very modestly, and I really never think about it – as long as the wool, my gals and rent gets paid I’m happy. But I have to start thinking about my family and all of this down the road. I remember reading in ‘Craft Inc.’ an interview that the author did with a crafter that ‘made it’ … well, it turns out that she would be making more income by just doing it herself like she had been years ago. This always stuck with me.  I just don’t think it’s an option for Bamboletta to go back to 5 dolls a week 😉

So, as of March 1st our prices will go up on most items.  Our  base  15″ doll price will be $230 to $250 (dreds, fairy bits, more outfit pieces) .. most dolls will be somewhere in between. My Little Buddies will be $120 to $125 – depending on hair/outfit. Blanket Dolls will be $32. Clothing and pocket dolls will be the same. I know I’ve said this before but we ARE getting Little Buddy production up – it’s been a domino effect of illness and missing materials that have really dampened the numbers this past few months – sorry about that. It’s really important for me to get more LB’s out there – they are more affordable for more families and just so wee and cute!

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Rachel, Shauna, Jennie and Sarah getting started on stuffing. It takes them about 6 hours to get all the week’s stuffing done. We give our sewing mama’s stuffed bodies that they assemble and put hair on. The dolls then come back for me to ‘face’ and us to prepare for Friday uploads.

It may seem like a crazy amount to pay for a doll and I totally get that. Each doll takes about 12 hours of work (with a sweater) and the materials we use are only the best we can find (therefore pretty expensive). Making this many dolls requires a LOT of ladies to keep our standards as high as they are – there are 30 women now sewing and stuffing and dressing and packing to create the 60 or so dolls each week and all the clothing – that is a pretty high lady to doll ratio. Clemens, my fantastic business guy, had us all in the shop work on a mission statement for Bamboletta that I think just about sums everything up..

‘Bamboletta creates outstanding dolls and doll accessories handcrafted with skill, care and a lot of love.  At Bamboletta we strive to deliver an amazing customer experience. We feel honored to be making dolls and that we are playing a role in the childhood of kids around the world. Our dolls protect childhood and do not propel little ones into adulthood. Bamboletta is committed to provide a supportive, ethical, fulfilling work environment for women to work in.’

I’m not trying to sell the dolls here, but a Bamboletta is probably one of the few toys that your child will pass along to their child. It’s a doll you know was made by moms here locally and made with sustainable and safe materials. It’s a doll that is backed up 100% and if anything goes wrong – you know we are an email away and will do our hardest to make things right .. it’s just how we roll here.

blog2The ‘studio’ gals and Clemens (myself and Thamar are missing). My photos of all the sewing mama’s are on my tea drenched Macbook currently at Futureshop – they are taking the files out. Props to my home sewers ,they tirelessly work from home and really are an amazing bunch.

Phew – how is that for a long, drawn out post?  I just really wanted you gals to know exactly what is happening and why. I am so thankful to be in a postion to see Bamboletta grow and expand as it has and it’s all because of YOU gals (and guys) out there. The demand for our dolls is flattering to say the least and we just want to keep making the best dolls we possibly can for your children (and yourselves – you doll loving mama’s!).  It seems only a few short years ago that I was in my dining room getting ready for my next Farmer’s Market. Thank you all for your continued business!

xo,
Christina and the rest of the ladies at Bamboletta

Heather L. - February 19, 2012 - 10:26 pm

I can totally understand this. I am a photographer, and pricing is such a struggle. One day I want my daughter to own one of the fabulous dolls you all make, but for now the purchase has to wait. God bless you all for all your hard work and passion for quality products! <3

Heather

Kara - February 19, 2012 - 10:33 pm

I agree with Heather. I am in the same boat as she is in regards to the purchase but the qualities, details, hand work, love, blood, swear, tears and materials that you put into these treasures are nothing short of miraculous. No one, and I mean no one, in their right mind can blame you for having to raise your prices. Materials and wages, insurance and utilities, none of these things stay the same price forever. You keep letting your passion and your dedication drive you and the fans will follow. <3

Amy Fisher - February 19, 2012 - 10:38 pm

These dolls are worth every penny, and I’m not at all surprised by the price increase! Perhaps this will cause some families to buy less dolls, but there are always more families in the wings still searching for their first bambo–thank you so much for the value, love, and quality that you put into each of these precious homemade companions for our little ones!

NAJ - February 19, 2012 - 10:40 pm

C, this makes complete sense, and yet, I can understand why this was such a difficult decision. Yes, it’s never great news to hear that something that you love and cherish and hope to buy more of is suddenly going to cost more, but that’s just how it goes over time and your prices have always been very appropriate for what you are making. I really appreciate that you are trying so hard to get more LBs out there, too. Thank you for everything you do!

Julie - February 19, 2012 - 10:43 pm

Christina your dolls are one of a kind.. Bamboletta has come a long way and ultimately it is a business which means you need to raise prices now and again.. Unfortunately this is the way it is, we all grumble about it for a while then we get over it… Your dolls are one of a kind & will stand the test of time.. they are made with lots & lots of love and care.. You are doing what you have to do to survive : )

Tanya Thom - February 19, 2012 - 10:45 pm

I don’t think everyone realizes just how costly it is to make things from scratch. And in your case, you have building mortgage, accountants/advisers, selling/packaging/shipping fees, and staff to keep paid on top of it all. This isn’t in the least bit unreasonable, and I had a feeling it was coming soon. Just glad you weren’t telling us that you had sold off to some bigger company and that Bambo’s would no longer be the handmade, hand-crafted-with-love ORIGINAL dollies we all love. Please, NEVER do that! Keep it real… raise prices if you have to, but keep it all authentic ~ that’s the beauty of who you are and the wonderful business you have created. You will continue to have our faithful support!

Blessings,
~Tanya

Linda Jordan Todd - February 19, 2012 - 10:49 pm

Here, here–Team Bamboletta! Obviously, mamas pay waaaaaay over retail for your dolls each and every day. I firmly believe that you need to have a sustainable business practice that keeps things as simple as possible, keeps food on the table and gives everyone a sense of stability and is enough that you all still have fun at work. I mean, I seriously worry about repetitive strain injuries for all of you sewing mamas and head rollin’ daddies. You need to have enough money to pay for health insurance and enough to give your own kids the same kind of high end toys that we’re buying for our kids, ykwim? I know this was a hard decision but we’ll all still keep coming back. Please keep making these amazing dolls.

Theresa - February 19, 2012 - 10:57 pm

thank you for this post. we love bamboletta dolls. and there are so many people lining up to get a dolly, which shows how dedicated and willing people are to pay what the dollies are worth. you should get the money you need in order to feel it is worth putting all this time and work into creating these sweet babies so you can work to live and not only live to work. love. t.

steph - February 19, 2012 - 11:09 pm

I can’t afford one and I probably never will. But I still believe you aren’t charging enough. As a fellow crafter, I know how difficult it is to pay yourself. But you really should!

Candy - February 19, 2012 - 11:12 pm

Having two in my home I would gladly still pay the higher price, my children and I love them.

Charla Nicholson - February 19, 2012 - 11:34 pm

I agree, still not charging enough.

Natalie pola - February 20, 2012 - 12:25 am

Christina I have four of your beauties and would pay for them ten times over for the happiness they bring to my daughter. They are priceless and the one lot of dollies I will never let go from our home, they are truly made of the best quality and can be passed down for other generations to love xxx

Lil - February 20, 2012 - 1:22 am

While I totally understand your need to increase the dolls sale price. I am shocked at people saying it’s still not enough. Agreed there is no value you can put on something that bring love, laughter and joy into our hearts. However as I keep reading I think some of these ladies have to undertand that for many 250.00 is an electic bill or whatever. I think Christina will know if there comes a time she has to make a major increase in the price, but mostly U think it’s important that you all notice that it’s not so much the money that keeps her doing this. It’s the love she has and the joy it brings her.
🙂 thanks sweet lady

Katherine - February 20, 2012 - 3:23 am

I also cannot afford one of your dolls and probably never will, but I also believe you should charge more than the increased price. Maybe start to allow for custom orders at a markedly increased price point. It would keep these folks off of ebay where I have seen them ask double for your work

Anneliese - February 20, 2012 - 4:56 am

This is totally understandable and fair. Thank you so much for the considerate post and explanation, but you don’t need to feel guilty or upset. It would be a greater tragedy to put Bamboletta dolls out of business due to low pricing. That would then deprive everyone of the chance to own a doll one day.

Sherri - February 20, 2012 - 4:59 am

Christine, we all know what kind of doll and customer service Bamboletta delivers. And even though it may price out me getting another doll one day, I agree with the gals above that state you do not charge enough for your precious little ones.The joy, love and laughter that comes with each doll as well as the creativity and quality – well, it’s just simply awesome!!! We support you and your team, what you do and how you do it. We love you, Bamboletta Mamas!!

susie - February 20, 2012 - 5:07 am

I can totally appreciate all the love, hard work, and time put into one of these sweet dolls. My grandmother and mother were both quilters and I have treasured pieces of art left to me by both. I however, was not given the gift of the needle, but still understand the process that a beautiful quilt requires. I believe that these precious dolls are to be loved and cherished in the same way:) I am so happy to have found your company for my granddaughters and for myself. We love and play with our Bambolettas everyday.

Stacy - February 20, 2012 - 5:15 am

As a Waldorf School Assistant and doll lover, your dolls are worth every cent for their great design, the environmentally and socially conscious construction, the love in them, and the joy they bring. I wish there was a way to bring more of these dolls to people who can’t afford them, but I know you and the crew do the best you can.

Shannon - February 20, 2012 - 5:20 am

Worth. every. penny.
Our doll is so beloved I would have paid far more for her. We’ve only had her for 3 months and she is already priceless to my daughter and therfore me. Thanks for the explanation but anyone who reads about your dolls knows this is a labor for love, not money! Thanks Christina and Bamboletta team.

Christy - February 20, 2012 - 5:49 am

Love you, your dolls, your team and all the love and thought you put into making Bamboletta what it is – an amazing doll company and a fantastic place to work for and buy from. I support you all the way!

Lindsey C. - February 20, 2012 - 5:54 am

You are right, prices are going up everywhere. Of course, Bambos need to go up, too, so the wages you earn don’t decrease. Totally reasonable. Whenever I can afford to, I will still be stalking you stockings! 🙂

Suzannah - February 20, 2012 - 6:27 am

I’ve been a fan for 2 or 3 years now and WISH I had just stuck with getting one in the beginning, right when they really took off. I can not afford one now but totally believe in what you do and think Bamboletta is an amazing group of women with an amazing leader! That’s why I still follow your blog and facebook page. You create dreams and to me, the perfect doll. I have tried to create a few little dolls on my own and the cost is HIGH even for that, so I have no doubt what you are charging is giving you minimal profit while supporting so many families and the textile industries! Your amazing. Keep it up and your fans will always support you!

Traci - February 20, 2012 - 6:52 am

Hello Ladies, I must admit I was taken aback the first time I saw the price of your dolls. Then I ordered one. The quality in materials and craftmanship is obvious and the love you put in your craft shines through. Just last night I looked in on my sleeping angel, her 1st Bambo, Sapphire tucked safety under her arm. I couldn’t help but smile. There is no price too great for that. Thank you over and over for the joy and love you include in each package. I’m a customer for life. ;o)

gidget - February 20, 2012 - 7:11 am

I totally understand 🙂 Bambos are so special…and I would HATE to see them being put in a vault for good.:( So I am
So glad to hear the joy continues:)

Kara Jane - February 20, 2012 - 9:37 am

I think you have to look out for yourself and your family! And your dolls are are just amazing! Thank you to all of you at Bamboletta for all your work and dedication!

Natalie - February 20, 2012 - 10:19 am

I love your mission statement. Congratulations on capturing everything you value Team Bamboletta! While I don’t think you need to explain why or agonize over increasing your prices, I think prices need to be increased (I agree with others, I don’t think you have increased them enough!) and I really think along the same lines as many comments I have read here and on Facebook. I hope people will really think about how many dolls they need to own. Our purchasing patterns absolutely influence our children as consumers as they grow. A doll does not have to be “perfect” from an adult perspective for a child to love, enjoy and play pretend with them – it just has to be “theirs”. Regardless of any increase in material prices, Bamboletta dolls are surrounded by a culture that demands they be priced accordingly, not comparatively to toys that are shipped from abroad and priced to have us keep buying same items that are styled differently. You have a one of a kind doll that is meant to be loved forever and withstand that love and play that will make it an heirloom doll. An heirloom piece has to have some sentimental value and series of dolls untouched or not given the time to love because children so easily become overwhelmed by sheer volume will not go through generations. I hope your company is a game changer in how we think about the play things that “earn” our purchasing dollars. Bravo for your vision, Christina.

Chris - February 20, 2012 - 11:01 am

Completely understand the price increase – people don’t realize how much good quality materials and help cost today. We have not been blessed with a Bambo just yet – we are still saving up – hopefully we will have one before my little girl gets too big, lol (she just turned 8!) Keep up the beautiful work!

Kellie DG - February 20, 2012 - 12:46 pm

I purchased my daughter’s Bamboletta off of ebay for about the price you are going to start charging. My only regret is that the money didn’t go to you. She was definitely a splurge that my husband will never understand…maybe he will someday when he’s a grandfather and he watches our daughter put Bambo Lucy into the arms of his grandchild. Those who love your work and understand what handmade magic is all about would never question the need to change with economic demands. If everyone thought about the money we often spend and waste on cheap, soulless toys that break and are not worth saving, people would probably be shocked at how much money we throw away…when that money could have been spent on something like a Bambo that will be cherished and passed on.

Suzi - February 20, 2012 - 3:50 pm

I have no problem with this! These dolls are totally worth it.

Abby - February 20, 2012 - 6:04 pm

Keep doing what you are always doing, making the most fantastic dolls in the whole wide world!!! They are worth every cent, every dollar – Love you Bamboletta, you are and will always be, an inspiration to what girl power can do.

Bamboletta Helper - February 21, 2012 - 11:26 am

And to the ladies who cannot afford dolls remember there will still be give aways and other chances to own dolls. I still get re-homes for under 200 dollars (in fact I have one on Facebook right now!) And I still accept ISOs at helper@bamboletta.com for re-homes

Paula - February 21, 2012 - 12:36 pm

Your dolls are lovely! It’s sad that you had to raise the price but that’s what’s going on everywhere. Well, even with the old price I can’t afford Bamboletta but still it’s a pleasure to watch them!

Alma - February 21, 2012 - 5:06 pm

Christina,
I have seen your beautiful creations and have experienced your generosity. All of the kids who have those beautiful dolls adore and love them. I never did realize how much joy and pleasure a doll could bring to a child’s life. Bamboletta dolls has done just that for many kids with special needs. It has inspired them and for one of my special girls – has even given her a reason to love and live. Her doll has become her lifeline and she NEEDS her beautiful doll to get through each day.

You have one of the biggest and most generous hearts. There is certainly no reason for you to explain the price increase. The cost of everything has gone up, and the materials you use are of the highest quality. You have two kids to raise, your own lives and paying the wonderful team that works with you.

There is an extremely high demand for these dolls, but it’s meaningful that each one is still made with tender love and care. I’ve been trying to buy a doll for my daughter for months and am not having any luck because of the demand. I highly doubt that this demand will change anytime soon. It is frustrating, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait. Our family doesn’t have a lot of money, but I would still pay for a beautiful handmade doll that my daughter will enjoy and love for years to come. When you think about it, we pay $30 – $40 for a junky plastic toy that is used a few times and then tossed aside. If you add a few of those up, it will easily end up costing a lot more than a long lasting Bamboletta doll.

Thanks for bringing smiles to so many faces. I love your beautiful creations!

Amber - February 22, 2012 - 4:57 pm

I kind of want to give you a hug. This money stuff is so hard. But I think that it’s really important to charge a reasonable rate. You deserve it, and your dolls are totally worth it.

jai conroy - February 23, 2012 - 11:14 am

I am so happy you do what you do. Everything goes up. We all know that. Keep making those beautiful dolls and we will keep buying them.

Cassandra - February 23, 2012 - 2:01 pm

Your dolls are simply priceless!! The joy, smiles and love that they provide to all the little ones is well worth the price! They become sisters, brothers, babies and best friends. They are there to comfort and protect and listen and share with. Keep doing what your doing! It is great! I can hardly wait for the lucky day when I can finally have one in my home to share with the little ones who I love!
Thank You for all your hard work, care and dedication Christina! You and your team are amazing!

melanie - March 1, 2012 - 12:02 pm

What a beautiful mission statement.

As they say in the planes, you have to first your own oxygen mask on, or you won’t be able to help anyone.

Tanya W - March 1, 2012 - 12:31 pm

The price of everything has gone up….our grocery bill alone has skyrocketed in the last few months! And you need to be able to charge a reasonable rate for your dolls in order to recoup costs for your price incerases on supplies as well as providing a living wage for your staff. I’m so glad you made this decision~ such a hard one for you and I think it shows your heart so well that you always agonize over the increases that you need to make. We love having your dolls in our home….they get played with and loved more every day!! You can see how much love and care went into them. Thank you for doing what you do and for building such a fantastic team of mummas to work with you. Take care.

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