Originally Posted: June 1st, 2020
Updated: June 18th, 2020
This stakeholder report is for You.
In the spirit of full transparency, I’d like to document some numbers, plans, & visions about where Typewriter Poetry is headed. I do this as I’m eternally grateful for your feedback, & your support.
It’s also just a good business practice.
And so begins:
As we close out May & enter June, I’ve received a grand total of 10 orders.
From those sales, I’ve netted a ~$180 profit. This amount comes after calculating the expenses for stamps, materials, PayPal, & shipping fees. (Since I offer Free Shipping both domestically & internationally, I consciously calculate those fees with every sale.)
I’m sure 10 orders to the tune of ~$180 may seem minuscule to most. But from my perspective? This is a wonderful achievement & I am incredibly proud.
Reinvestment Plan: June 2020 Budget
I’ll be reinvesting that $180 back into the business by making better poetry products.
(–ha! Poetry Products. Oh, life. My 25 year old self must be rolling over in some alternative universe.)
First Step: Better Supplies
For June spending, a significant portion of the $180 will go toward better scrap-booking, bookbinding, & journal-making materials. In May, I simply used magazines & newspapers (primarily Better Homes & Gardens & The Wall Street Journal, for the curious), acrylic paint, black ink, & WritersBlok paper to decorate each envelope. I’d like to polish the look & feel of each poem, each letter, & each envelope so that a more professional aesthetic starts to reveal itself.
Ideally, I’d pick up these supplies from a place like Michaels or JOANN, but considering “these strange times,” I’ll most likely take a gamble on an Amazon or Etsy store. (As an aside: I don’t like purchasing paper materials online. Who knows what it’ll really smell like, feel like, or even sound like when you actually have it in your hands.)
Second Step: Open an Etsy Shop
Outside of materials, I’d like to open an Etsy store this month. As Etsy charges to simply display products, these funds will be great for a month trial-run on the platform.
I’m hoping to attract more organic traffic to the shop, which will balance out the sales between people I know & people I don’t.
June 2020 Goals
I’d like to continue the momentum by receiving & shipping 20 new orders. That would bring us to a total of 30 orders right before the start of the 2021 Fiscal Year.
This feels like a realistic yet optimistic & measurable goal. I’d love your help with this, as I’m relying heavily on good Social Media Word of Mouth to keep orders coming in.
How You Can Help
Closing out this first stakeholder report, I have a three concrete asks for you:
I’d love to start collecting testimonials from those who have paid for & received their order.
Would you be so kind as to offer a few words about the experience? You’ll be featured on the home page as well as on the shop & individual product page.
Word of Mouth: Social Media, Email, Blog
Can you share Typewriter Poetry with your online network?
It would mean a lot if you wrote a quick post about the Typewriter Poetry shop–specifically the Quarantine Poetry care package, as it’s the most relevant poetry product “during these interesting times.”
To those of you who have shared Typewriter Poetry posts in the past: thank you! Please know it is extremely appreciated.
Word of Mouth: Video Chat, Phone, Text, In-Person
Know someone who could use a poetry boost?
Next time you’re in a delightfully good conversation, I hope you’ll consider mentioning Typewriter Poetry. I ask this concretely as I’d like a majority of the June orders to come directly from your recommendation.
An Update on COVID-19 Poetry Care Packages
As you know, a little over two weeks ago I started sending out Quarantine Poetry. These are private, unpublished poems along with the story of how each one came to be.
While I’m certain there were many unconscious reasons for doing this, one conscious motivation has been the desire to find non-technological means of staying in touch. It’s like the typewriter: snail mail is direct, it takes time, it’s offline, & it’s tangible. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it, again: there really is something wonderful about taking the time to craft something with your hands, for & with someone else in mind. The allure & tactile joy that comes from doing the work of physically making poems, letters, & envelopes is absolutely undeniable.
One thing I failed to consider–which has been an extremely welcomed surprise–
It has been beyond lovely working on poetry snail mail care packages with my three month old sitting in my lap. Instead of actively trying to avoid any indirect screen-time due to me being on my laptop for tech work, I get the chance to have her listen & watch as I point out colors, show her pictures, & bang the keys on my typewriter.
I also get to read whatever I wrote aloud, so she can see & hear it, too.
It’s a delightfully quirky way to bond.
(I really, really love it.)
& Of Course–Gratitude
This wouldn’t be a Typewriter Poetry project if it didn’t end with gratitude.
I’d like to give acknowledgement to the following individuals for supporting Typewriter Poetry by purchasing the very first poetry snail mail care packages:
A thank you to those who ordered #BlackLivesMatter cards (proceeds are currently being donated to various bailout funds across the country):
& a special shout-out to the newcomers:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for participating! I’m glad you’re here.
Typewriter Poetry turns 10 years old next year. I’m looking forward to continuing this new way of finding strangers to connect with–& seeing how far a poem’s journey can go.
I hope, as always, you’ll be along for the ride.
Wishing you Love, Luck, & Earthbound Stardust–