The Tuscan Wash Bag Arrives in England
What we said (more or less...)
Matt: Hello everyone! Welcome to coming clean, the podcast where we take our small British business, pop it on the operating table and see what’s inside.
A couple days ago on Kickstarter we were reminded by one of our backers that we’d not updated on the Tuscan Wash Bag for a couple weeks.
Tony: To explain for those who haven’t been following the podcast, we’ve been busy running a crowdsourced equity investment campaign so we’ve been a bit slow on filling you in on what’s happening with the Tuscan Wash Bag, our most recent Kickstarter campaign. I should say, we've been a bit more active on Instagram and Twitter - do follow us there if you want more regular updates.
Matt: But today to redress the balance we thought we’d take a break from pushing the investment campaign for a quick wash bag update.
Tony: So some Kickstarter basics for those of you who have no idea what we’ve been talking about! Kickstarter is a platform that people use to make new products. In this case we used it to get 100 backers together and fund the production of a brilliant Tuscan Wash Bag. You can find out more on thomasclipper.com by clicking on the leather bag on the homepage.
Matt: Kickstarter is ‘all or nothing’, which means that it could have gone either way. But in the end we managed to get the support we needed and the campaign was funded back in July. We promised to ship the bag this November so that it would arrive everywhere in the world in time for Christmas.
Tony: We’ve delivered our two previous campaigns early, and we’re happy to say that it looks like we’re going to be able to give all our backers on Kickstarter pleasant surprise this time too.
That’s because last week on Thursday, 16 boxes carefully filled with handmade Tuscan Wash Bags arrived in England from Florence, Italy.
Matt: Hoorah! But you might be asking how this happened.
Well first off, we don’t want to count any chickens before they’ve hatched. The bags have arrived but we’ve not checked them all yet and we’re still waiting for a leaflet to arrive (with some tips on leather care from the brilliant Tom at the Jaunty Flaneur), but we’re confident that we’re going to be able to deliver an exceptional product ahead of schedule again.
There are three things that made this possible: good old British pessimism, exceptional Tuscan work ethic and a stroke of good luck.
Tony: First, Good old British pessimism: this meant that when we were working out our timings for the campaign for every quote we added 20% onto whatever time was quoted. If they said 4 weeks, we accounted for 5. We also increased costs by 20% too to covered currency fluctuations, which ended up being a particular good call given the slip in the pound following the referendum. In the end, nothing went over budget except the razor head guards, which we approved as the change suggested looked brilliant. Incidentally, for those who got the razor guards, we went for hand-painting on the edges and they really look brilliant!
Matt: So second, Tuscan hard work: despite us planning for the worst, we got only the best. The workshop and tannery team in Tuscany delivered on time or early at every stage. It appears they’d already added on a bit of buffer when they were quoting for us, so everyone was being conservative and that meant everyone was pleasantly surprised (hopefully including our backers reading this).
Tony: And finally, A stroke of luck: the one thing completely out of our control was the third party hardware and materials. Specifically the zips and the cotton lining of the bag. If what we wanted wasn’t available it could take nearly a month to get it. In the end though everything that we’d requested was in stock and delivered in days instead of weeks.
Matt: So there you have it: no magic to delivering early, just a lot of hard work and a bit of luck! But actually it’s not really about delivering early. It’s more about making sure the artisans involved have the time to do their job properly - that’s what makes for great product. If you can get the kit out of the door faster than expected, all the better. So Tony, What’s next?
Tony: Well, we’re now going to give the bags a check through to make sure everything has arrived in the UK in good nick, sort them into the right reward combinations and get read to send them out to all of you in the coming week or so. This means they’ll be arriving with you by early October (earlier for those of you nearby), a solid two months ahead of schedule.
Matt: So good news all round. And on that subject, we’re now a third of the way through our investment round with many interested investors from the public taking a look at our campaign. So if you’re thinking of investing, jump on board! And if you know anyone who might be please spread the word!
Tony: Righto, well thanks again to our backers for nudging us into updating! For now we’d better get back to work trying to secure the future of Thomas Clipper. Invest away if you can, spread the word - www.thomasclipper.com/invest
Matt: We’ll be back soon with updates when we have them, until then I’ve been Matt.
Tony: I’ve been Tony. And this has been Coming Clean from Thomas Clipper. Goodbye for now!