Thursday, February 20, 2014

Woven wraps update!

OK, so it took a while.  A long, long while.  I have been intending to restock woven wraps for years, for over three years, to be exact.  We previously stocked Didymos woven wraps, perhaps considered the grand dame of the woven wraps, this brand has been established for over 30 years.  When I started carrying Didymos, we stocked a small selection of colorways and sizes, however, I quickly learned that woven wrap enthusiasts can be a hard crowd to please.  Anyone who appreciates the value of a woven wrap simply wouldn't be happy purchasing whatever we may happen to have on our shelf, and given that Didymos currently offers approximately 100 colorways (I shit you not) in seven sizes, pleasing everyone is a difficult (actually, impossible) task.  

In terms of stocking a woven wrap, I have been looking for something that would be a great entry level woven wrap, a brand that is well-established, but competitively priced.  My goal is to stock something that will appeal to anyone who is interested in babywearing, and considering their options.  Some people may be aware of what value a woven wrap offers, however, many new parents do not, the cost of some brands may induce sticker shock that will see customers' jaws hit the floor.

For the past three years, I have been approaching various wrap manufacturers to gather wholesale prices.  Most woven wrap manufacturers are located in Europe, meaning when I determine our cost, I have to factor in duty, brokerage fees, and high shipping rates.  Many woven wrap manufacturers are not really set up to accommodate wholesale clients, offering a marginal discount that is eaten up once the cost of importing the wraps is factored in.  What that means is that I would basically pay the equivalent of their retail price to stock their wraps.  As a business, I need to mark products up sufficiently in order to make it worthwhile to stock them.  I have to pay rent, staff, and utilities to keep our doors open. 

The phenomenon of 'showrooming' is one that has forced me to be keenly aware of how we price the products we sell.  If what we stock is deemed 'too expensive' by customers, we run the risk of paying thousands of dollars to have stock sitting on our shelf that will be treated as a library.  People will come in, take a look, ask us questions, then go home to order online.  As much as I personally loved using a woven wrap with our children, I have been apprehensive about taking the plunge again because of the fact we would essentially be competing with manufacturers to stock their carriers -- if we can't be competitive pricewise, it's a pointless venture (one manufacturer retails their woven wraps for the equivalent of $70 CAD, yet they have established a SRP within North America of $125 USD -- this would lead to showrooming of epic proportions!).

Enter Girasol, a well-respected German brand that has been in operation since the mid-1980s.  Their wraps are woven in Guatemala using weaving methods that have been around for hundreds of years.  Their wraps conform to European safety standards, and they are woven employing fair trade practices.   They offer a selection of beautiful colorways that should please most palates, and as an added bonus, they offer custom colorways -- we can design our own colorways that would be produced in a limited run.

Our opening order includes the following colorways in sizes 3.6 m, 4.6 m, and 5.2 m, which will accommodate all carries up to a woman's size 22:

Rainbow Herringbone
Graphite Diamondweave

Red ChiChi

Fireworks (lemon weft)

Colorway #25

Forest Diamondweave

Pricing for Girasols is as follows:

twill 3.6 meters$125.00
twill 4.6 meters $135.00
twill 5.2 meters$145.00

diamondweave/herringbone 3.6 meters $135.00
diamondweave/herringbone 4.6 meters$145.00
diamondweave/herringbone 5.2 meters$155.00

We are really thrilled to have Girasol on our shelves, we you hope you're as excited as we are!