Bellingham Handmade Collective Membership Fees and responsibilities
We have a store! It’s fully operational. We raised $10,000 for building the interior to make it an attractive place for people to shop. We want you to sell your work at it for a minimal participatory fee. This is a life changing opportunity for artisan entrepreneurs. We hope you see it that way!
Starting January 2020 Bellingham Handmade’s operations will change due to necessity.
New participants of the Collective have a buy in for an amount of $450 (This is the amount all members have paid, plus all the time and energy it took to build the store.)
If new, recruited members are experiencing financial hardship, this amount paid in increments or work hours, is acceptable with a written commitment.
This membership fee will not change or be re-evaluated until January 2021, unless our rent is raised. You are welcome to drop out of the project at anytime with a months prior notice. For example: if you plan on leaving in June, we need to know by May 1st. Any later than the first and it will be considered the following month already.
$250 membership fees starting in January. $250 a month is $8 a day.
Please let us know if this creates financial hardship for you!
Option of reducing that amount with approved, documented hourly work at $10 per hour, integral to the info structure of Bellingham Handmade.
In order to be approved for $10 hourly reduced membership fee:
A written proposal of said work must be presented to the Board of Directors.
This can be a task created by a participating member or a task the directors have approached a member about. All hourly work will be viewed as a paid job and will operate in that traditional fashion. Please consider your own personal strengths when proposing work hours.
Once approved, hourly work must be documented by hand in our onsite Composition book. If anyone is suspected of abuse of the trust that comes with this process, they will be asked to have a meeting with the Board of Directors to assess further action.
Examples of work include:
In store sales hours, administrative work, social media, design work, website maintenance, structure maintenance, cleaning, inventory, classroom management, external membership recruiting and maintenance, list goes on.....
What you are offered:
100% direct sales from our retail and gallery open 7 days a week.
You can use this space as product pick up, meeting with potential clients, a community work space... we do not take commission, sell online? Have them pick it up at the store anytime!
Classroom space at no fee - host classes and Bellingham Handmade will take no fee
Tool share and messy work and social space in the back room
Digital, social work space with low impact production available in the front rooms
Priority invite for all our off site Pop Ups
Mentoring via peers and community for business building branding
Wholesale production partner option of Bellingham Handmade Merchandise
Cross promotion of your products along side other popular brands
The valuable selling opportunity of perception, as a transparent nonprofit we will be frequented by tourism and locals because our values are clearly aligned with Pacific Northwest values.
Our retail and gallery tell a story that people want to support!
This is the best financial deal for selling locally, hands down. If you have a better idea of how to make money selling handmade goods at a lower cost we are happy to hear it!
Cost analysis breakdown:
If we have 20 members paying $250 a month = $5000
Rent / Bills / maintenance supplies / materials- approximately $1800
If we pay hourly for people to watch the store at $10 an hour
- $70 per day X 31 days = $2170
Total : $3970 - This is barebones what we need to cover.
If we have 20 members, we are given a working budget of $1030 to pay Collective Members to contribute and reduce their Monthly Member Fee.
That is 5 hours plus option per 20 members outside of hourly sales work.
Many members will choose to opt out of any time commitment.
Time is money people and if you don’t want to give your time, we need your money.
This also gives us some wiggle room for sponsorships of our members due to any unforeseen financial hardships and to help people keep their businesses afloat. We need to operate ‘collectively’. All members are subject to the same fees and responsibilities.
Why selling at the cooperative is a smart financial decision:
If you are selling at markets, that costs time and vendor fees - plus the hope the event was promoted and will be attended.
If you are selling wholesale they are taking 50% of your sales.
If you are working with a reasonable commission that is still 30% and you are dependent on that businesses customers and not your own.
Those are the only options I currently know of for selling hand made goods locally and not locally!
If you can sell $500 worth of your product in a store that is open 7 days a week, you are already meeting the cost of doing business in all other options, either with your dollar or with your time. It’s important that a business participating in the Collective understands this. Also - I can’t emphasis this enough - cross promotion with existing businesses of the Collective and the brand that we have developed as Bellingham Handmade is a huge advantage for all of our businesses. We have curated a very popular ideology.
By being able to send your customers to a place that is open 7 days a week and gain direct sales, your income should substantially shift. This is only true if you have customers and an in demand product. If you do not, the hope is that this Collective will elevate your brand and create demand for you. If you have been approved to participate, it means that we believe you and your product will benefit all of the Collective businesses and that there is a level of quality that we want to cross associate our work with.
Collective members are committed to clear communication and postive intentions. We support the radical notion of financial freedom inherent in the artisan community.
Collective members are curated based on communication style, ability to honor commitments, quality of work and branding.
Diversity of products are key in a retail environment, we will have a waiting list based on products for those interested in joining The Collective.