For those of you who have seen me anytime in the last 6 months, you have probably heard me talk about expanding production of BeerSox to Peru. It took a fair amount of networking and a fair amount of cold calling/emailing people who I have never met and have some amount of language barrier.
You see, mass production of hand-dyed and hand-knit BeerSox in the US was just plain cost prohibitive. I believe in paying craftsmen fairly and fully. American labor is expensive, and the expertise of hand-knitting is not necessarily culturally pervasive here (though I’m doing my part to spread the love of the craft).
I have always loved knitting my BeerSox and loved moving it to a new level by devising my own hand-dyed colorways. I needed to find a location where hand knitting was a cultural craft and that I felt I could make a difference by commissioning production. Peru came up when I was brainstorming with my father. I mentioned it as a joke, and then, after some careful research, I realized it was a feasible plan based on standard of living and prevalence of expertise. The networking began and soon enough, I was working on making a trip down to Lima for work and reserving a couple hours each evening to meet with various materials and knitting manufacturers. The work part of the trip was intense, 12 hours each day fully focused in class then rushing off in taxis to take care of The Caged Yarn work in the evening. It was a whirlwind adventure and left me with a connection to a wonderful knitting company in Lima. For a large manufacturer to take the time to sit down with me, realize that my scope is small (but growing) and be excited about my product and working with me was just incredible. I left feeling very good about the company’s relationship with their employees, and their excitement and willingness to work with my “baby company” to help me grow into an “adult company” eventually.
After 6 months trying to work out the yarn production and dyeing details, I realized that I would not be able to start small there. With minimum single-color lots of 20kg (about 2,000 BeerSox), I would not be able to do the brewery, company, and organization specific custom runs I was focused on. So I cut it out. I found a US wool mill who was able to send me samples and last night chose and ordered the base yarn for BeerSox. I will be dyeing the yarn myself to send down to get knit in Peru. Dyeing the yarn myself opens up so many possibilities. Smaller colorway lot sizes. I can test dye and knit samples of custom colorways before sending the yarn down to be knit, so the development of custom colorways is more transparent.
So we come down to making the first batch.
Do you want to be in the foundation group of companies and organizations with custom BeerSox or VinoSox?
-The minimum lot size will be 100 for a 2-3 color colorway (after the foundation run, min lot size will be 250)
-Labels can be made with your logo on the small tag in place of The Caged Yarn logo, or as a separate label to be applied alongside it. Small, simple logos work best to not overwhelm the BeerSox or interfere with its natural elasticity. Think twitter avatar size.
-Contact me for wholesale/bulk pricing
-Bulk orders will operate on a half down/half at receipt payment plan
-Retail price will be $20/BeerSox or VinoSox
Please note: TAT will be rather elastic in this first run as we work out the kinks in the import/export process, which is why I’ve lowered the minimums to accommodate a smaller risk/investment. I do not anticipate TAT longer than 3 months.
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