Yesterday, after a long and emotionally draining internal battle I came to a sudden realization that I can't work at creating a new "business paradigm" while still trying to operate within, and using, "old business paradigm" models. A model that told me I had to calculate "whole sale" and "distribution" and "markups" into my prices...
.... It was a shattering moment when I realized this, and realized that only I had the ability to change my perception, and truly CHANGE IT so that I can be Happy.
If it doesn't feel right. If it doesn't feel good. If you don't like it..... CHANGE IT.
So I am.
I have been struggling with setting up our business- the financial/monetary aspect. Beyond the trying to get funds to get it started and buying what I needed to get the products made.... it was the pricing and the figuring out profit margins, and wholesale pricing and distributor pricing......
Today I literally broke down. First time in a long time, that I seriously lost it. Beyond the overwhelming feeling of hating this place, hating this reality, ...... once I got through that..... I got a message from a lovely friend reminding me to send her the "Distribution package" . So I immediately opened my email and attached the product information package and the so called "price lists", and I told her not to look at the prices because I hated them and I needed to rework them..... and I sent off the email. And I stared at the price list open on my computer screen,.... and started to cry again. I FUCKIN' HATE IT.
And I realized that I HATED IT SO MUCH that it was literally tearing me apart.
See here's the thing, I started Our Gaia's Gardens back in Canada WAY back in 2007. I made things for friends and sold things at flea market and craft fairs etc..., but I never had access to GOOD quality ingredients (being Canada) or the money to GET ingredients or packaging. Jump forward to last year. Now we're in Morocco- where I can actually GET good- no AMAZING - ingredients and make amazing products. So Nick and I borrowed some money from one of our best friends, to get the business set up, to get the ingredients, to get started.
We - Nick and I- have done a huge amount of industry research, pricing research, business research...... talked to friends who are in business about pricing and how to work out this that and the other. And we launched with the Pure Argan Oil. ....and I hated it. The pricing. The "method" of working out this, that and the other.....
I just HATE it.
This for me is one of my passions. I LOVE making creams and lotions and salves and balms, and I LOVE helping people heal their skin (healing the skin is a HUGELY important step in healing internally) - and their SELVES. Their WHOLE selves. Given the choice, I would love a rich benefactor to appear and pay for me to make all these things to give them away, so that I never have to think about "Money" again. Because it's about HEALING and HEALTH, NOT about MONEY. But I HAVE to deal with the money aspect because this is the fucked up world that we live in.
But I can NOT work within this business paradigm. I just can't.
So... if it doesn't feel good. If it doesn't feel Right. If it doesn't make me happy.... I'm going to change it. Fuck them and their "business models" and "business plans" and their fucking forecasts and bullshit.
I AM GOING TO CHANGE IT.
I WILL DO IT MY WAY.
So today I will be changing all the prices for Our Gaia's Gardens products. Because it is VITAL to me, to my happiness, that I make my products as accessible as possible to EVERYONE. Money is nothing.... Health and Happiness is Everything.
I will, in full transparency, post the costs involved in creating my products, and I will price them according to MY calculations, so that they are as affordable as I can make them.
... and I will put a "donations" button on Our Gaia's Gardens, so if someone loves the products and wishes to make a donation to help me fund the creation and packaging of More products, then they may do so. But I cannot keep the prices high (to fund further developments and new products), when it creates an elitist separation between those who can afford and those who can't afford truly Healthy Skin. I will not do it.
Basic Cost breakdown for 60ml skin care products
The basic cost of each product that I make: For the ingredients, the packaging, labels etc... is approximately 4 Euros, +/- depending on the ingredients.
plus 2 Euros for labor (there is a lot of hidden labor in these products besides just filling bottles and making the products themselves).
plus 3 Euros for our Value Exchange
plus 1 Euro to repay our initial loan
= 10 euros for the 60ml product