With the business having undergone substantial change in January, we had hoped that at this point things would be running smoothly. But, as the saying goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
January started off well enough, with enthusiasm for the change and the new products we were bringing to the store. We loved the idea of being able to offer full size runs of the shirts we were selling after pre-sales ended, giving people who missed out initially a chance to buy in their actual size instead of whatever sizes happened to be left over. We loved being able to offer a new shirt weekly to hit more fandoms and offer more choices within the store. But we quickly realized there were some issues with this model in its current form.
As many of you know, in September, Michelle, who handles customer service and shop fulfillment, relocated with her family to Texas when her husband accepted a new job. In doing so, she took the entire Nerdy Store with her to continue her role in fulfillment. This has led to two problems. The first is that when they moved, they downsized, and have had to put the inventory in a smaller space than it was before while simultaneously bringing in more and harder to store items (shirts take up more room than bookmarks) in that space. The second is that when an order arrived at our home, we would fulfill anything that did not contain past items, then ship the remaining stock to Michelle to inventory and complete fulfillment. This causes a small delay, which is not ideal, as we would like to get every order out as timely as possible.
We also noticed that time that should have been spent designing was being spent helping to fulfill orders because of the timetable we had things on. This led to the same sense of panic and stress that we changed the business model to avoid.
We were working out the kinks of this as we moved into February, when a few meetings with Michelle led us to a decision which will affect our store going forward, and which is the basis for this entire update.
Michelle and her husband made the choice to move with the belief that this new job would mean her husband was home more consistently than the constant yo-yo of home and away that his job has been for most of his career. (He’s a micro paleontologist). Unfortunately, this has not been the case, and roughly 4 of the 5 months they have lived there, Michelle has been handling inventory, fulfillment, customer service, housework and childcare all on her own in a town where she knows no one and has no family help. This would leave anyone feeling burnt out. So for her mental health, we have agreed that it is best for her to step away from running the store. We are hoping to keep her in her customer service role, but you may end up with Josh answering emails for a while. Trust us, it’s still better than trying to email Alexis.
The inventory, unfortunately, cannot physically fit in our home if we are to function with two small kids around. We also are aware that attempting fulfillment ourselves will lead to even less design time and no new products without increasing stress on Alexis again. It is for that reason that we have decided to shift and refine the direction our business is going.
The Nerdy Store as you knew it will be closing down. We are going to be offering a series of sales (3-4) over the next few months to sell off all of our remaining inventory. Discounts will range from 10% - 40% off in the first sale (depending on how new the item is) and will continue to get bigger each sale (up to 70% - 80% off). This will be your last chance to get any of these items as most will never be reprinted or manufactured again, so we recommend grabbing whatever you can while they are still in stock. The later you wait, the larger the discounts will be, but we can't guarantee anything will still be in stock. So play the "sale game" carefully ;)
The first sale will be live February 17th - 21st. After the first sale, the store will shut down for a few weeks while Michelle fulfills orders, takes new inventory, and prepares to launch the 2nd wave of the sale sometime around the 2nd week of March. The remaining sale date is still TBD, but will most likely be late March.
We have some really cool things in the works and are excited to get going on them shortly!