We've started a Carmico blog! Although we're not super happy with the term "blog"—it sounds kinda blegh—so we're calling it: CarmiConnect. CarmiConnect will be focused on news and important updates. We're starting off with a news feed as we dip our toes into the b(l)og so we can easily summarize recent and upcoming features, services, and events. News will be a content feed dedicated to helping you explore new and upcoming changes at a more detailed and personal level than our social media posts. So without further ado...
Carmico became a real thing when we incorporated and started renting commercial space in September of 2020. We started with this...
... and made it into this...
It smells like cardboard and twine, which is an oddly enjoyable smell. The in-unit furnace comes on full blast in the winter and can make it hard to hear each other. But it's our home away from home and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Actually, yes we would. Windows would be great...
Selina and Aidan put the space together before the rest of the crew came on. Since then CarmiCrew has been hard at work improving our processes. We've transformed Selina's independent side hustle into something bigger than she ever imagined it being. We fulfilled thousands of orders from our hugely successful Blue Moon Bag Kickstarter project that launched in the summer of 2020. Shortly after the Kickstarter, we launched our first apparel-focused pre-order that included all of the beloved items from the Mushroom line. Make sure to check out the site as we just restocked all Mushroom line items (minus Mushroom Caps) earlier in November!
So much has happened in the last year that—thinking back to last fall—Aidan and Selina forgot that they handled most of the fulfillment for the Mushroom line alone. They almost forgot how much of a nightmare it was.
For those that weren't following us at the time, we launched a pre-order for the Mushroom Midnight shirts but they arrived miscoloured and unlike the photos we took to promote them. At the height of the pandemic, this delayed fulfillment by two to three months for some customers. Aidan manually responded to emails regarding the dreaded Mushroom Midnight mishap to make sure that all customers got what they were hoping for. It truly was a disaster but we turned lemons into lemonade and made Witching Hour which Carmico fans endearingly nicknamed "Goth Mode".
If you've ever been curious about why we don't do pre-orders, that is why. We have had two major issues with pre-orders that cause our team intense grief in order to rectify. We may revisit pre-orders sometime down the road, but we need to ensure our manufacturer is consistently delivering products we're happy about before we commit to that kind of stress. We want to thank all of our customers again for their patience and support as we handled last year's adversities. We've learned a lot and are so happy that you're all still around for us to share our new ideas and creations with.
If you've emailed us in 2021, you've likely connected with our lovely Creative Assistant, Maija. She took on customer service so that Aidan could focus on operations and other administrative tasks and has been working hard to juggle all of our creative tasks on top of being our main point of contact for customers. Soon she'll have some more time to help us work on content like social media posts and these blog posts because we're onboarding Lily as our dedicated customer service representative. Lily currently manages our Carmico Customer Service account on Twitter; you've probably seen her in the comments helping wherever she can. Now she'll be taking on more responsibility, jumping in to help out with all customer inquiries via Twitter and email. Maija will have more hands free for creative tasks so you can admire all of her wonderful photos.
We do all of our fulfillment in-house and we're proud of what we've accomplished, all things considered. Managing the ups and downs of fulfillment as we go through our crazy launches and slow seasons has been tricky, but we've reduced our fulfillment times on launch weeks by over 60%. That means less time between the time you order and the time it gets to your door. Go team!
Despite the progress we've made, early-ish next year we will be trying out a local fulfillment service that is tied to our new manufacturer. This new manufacturer gives us access to a variety of sustainable materials that we can include in our new designs. We're beyond excited to work with them! They will centralize all aspects of our supply chain so that we can focus on being a content-driven brand rather than a half apparel brand, half fulfillment company.
This is just a glimpse of some of the changes we've made and we hope to cover more now that we've launched CarmiConnect. We have tonnes of new things planned from rewards programs to product reviews, a new return system that includes a super easy to use exchange system, and other exciting things that you're just going to have come back to find out about. 😉
The last thing we want to mention is the holiday season, as there are some important things to address. We will post more content regarding Black Friday and shipping cutoffs in another article but we want to let you all know that we can fulfill your orders with handwritten notes and we will be adding a gift wrapping option at checkout. You can rest assured your Carmico gifts will arrive at your gift recipient's door wrapped nicely in our special, soy-based, 100% compostable tissue paper or our reusable, holiday-themed, cotton drawstring bags.
As for handwritten notes: of all the things we could brag about, we're going to brag about our team's impeccable penmanship. This is what you can expect your note to look like:
Just let us know in the "Notes" section at checkout that you would like a hand written note and include the note in quotations.
And that's about it! Selina has prepared a monthly recap that we will be posting sometime soon. Keep an eye out for new posts and make sure to subscribe to our blog and email marketing for notifications about new posts and special offers. You can signup for our email marketing in the footer (the bottom) of any of our web pages. We do our best not to be spammy. The only exception to this may be this Black Friday weekend as we attempt to compete with the torrent of other stores seeking your very valuable and always appreciated attention.
Thanks for reading,
The Carmico Team