Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Dear Hoomans Who Have Have Stiffed Us Or Are Considering It...
Dear Hoomans Who Have Have Stiffed Us Or Are Considering It,
I'm sitting here disgusted. I shouldn't have to write this. It's been brewing for a few months now. More so in recent weeks. I made the decision. It's time to put everything on the table for the handful of you, over the course of the past six months, who have made the heartless decision to stiff us. That's right. You ordered biscuits for your pup. We baked 'em up fresh and shipped them to you. You promised to put a check in the mail same day or next to cover the cost of biscuits and shipping. We trusted you. It's been weeks. Months. No check.
I'm almost tempted to say writing this is a waste of time. After all, I could be baking biscuits. Packaging. Cutting fabric for Bodacious Love Blankets, Bandannas, Totes and Bands. Scoping out my social streams for shelters in need. But, I'm not doing that. I'm sitting on the sofa. Sipping cold coffee. In my pajamas. Putting everything else on hold to write this. I'm not going to lie. It pisses me off. I'm frustrated. Irritated. However, the emotion trumping all is sadness.
When I take a few steps back and look at the big picture, taking the time to write this isn't such a waste of time. I'm addressing a growing issue. I'm speaking up. Taking a stand. And, in more ways than one, I'm using my voice for the voiceless. You see, when you stiff us, you're not just stealing from our meager Bodacious Funds, Lisa & I and our Bodacious Community. You're stealing from the shelter pups...the sole reason why we do what we do. The heartbeat behind Bodacious Biscuit Love.
What kind of shitty hooman steals from shelter and rescue pups?
Every bag helps us pay it forward to shelter and rescue animals in need...whether it's a donation for a few bags of biscuits or the Bodacious Fundraisers we launch to provide us with funds to purchase much needed items for our local shelters. Bags O' Bodacious Biscuits. Food. Blankets. Cleaning supplies. Medicine and medical care. Toys. Etc. It all makes a difference.
Every penny is used to make all of this happen. Whether it's donating Bags O' Biscuits to our local shelters or stocking their shelves with food, our Bodacious Funds helps us cover some of these costs. And yes, I said some. Most of what we do is funded out of our own pocket. We budget our money carefully. We've made sacrifices so we can do this. It was a decision we made almost two years ago. We have no regrets and we're quite content on the path we've chosen.
Lisa and I are not rich. We're hardworking people. We don't drive a fancy car or indulge. No pricey vacations. No manicures or pedicures. We use coupons and hit up sales. We're "simple folk" and carefully budget our money every week so we can continue to do what we do for our local shelters and to compensate for what our tiny Bodacious Funds doesn't cover...which is a lot.
For some, a $25 "payment" that never arrives may not seem like much. In our Bodacious World, it's a lot. To better explain this, let's break down the most recent payment of $25 we haven't received for a box of biscuits shipped out the first week of April.
Four bags of biscuits. Total $20. Shipping $5. The shipping alone was over $6 however, we cover a portion of all shipping costs. And, to compensate for the $5-$7 that we do charge for shipping, we include extra biscuit love. It's our way of saying thank you and extending our gratitude.
The week we were supposed to receive the check, we had incorporated that amount into our Bodacious Budget for the following week. It was a slow week. Between our displays and a few requests for biscuits, our total for the week was right around $60. That amount included the $25 we were supposed to receive.
On a side note let me mention that although we ask a suggested donation of $5 per bag of biscuits, we do not deny or turn away any hooman who is unable to afford that amount or anything at all. Our belief and motto is that no pup should go without fresh baked biscuits. This was one of the inspirations behind Bodacious Biscuit Love. Too many "gourmet dog bakeries" are charging astronomical amounts for fresh baked biscuits. Not everyone can afford that and it left a lot of pups out...especially shelter, rescue and foster pups.
At that point, we plan out the following week. With $60 we can purchase 4 jars of Skippy Natural Peanut Butter (6 jars if on sale), 4 bags of flour, baking powder, a package of labels, and have enough left over to ship to 3 shelters. Mind you, all of the above listed isn't nearly enough to cover ingredients, supplies and shipping costs for what we actually bake and donate.
The check for $25 never arrived. Now, our Bodacious Budget decreases to $35. Our list of needed ingredients, supplies and funds to cover shipping costs does not decrease. What happens is our out of pocket expenses increases. More often than not, we're able to compensate. A few weeks, we've had to delay a big donation to a shelter or two for the following week.
Now, when we're stiffed for a fundraiser bundle...it's a whole other ballgame.
When we launch a fundraiser, all ingredients, supplies and shipping costs are covered by us. The money received for fundraiser bundles (unless we specify "a portion of the proceeds" which we've only done once), is collected. Every penny. That money is used to purchase whatever we're raising money for. Which, in every case, has been to purchase much needed items for our local shelters like food, blankets, cleaning supplies, medical expenses, toys, etc.
Once the fundraiser is over, we tally up the funds we have and are expecting to trickle in. Let's say the total is $150. At that point, we scope nearby retailers for current and upcoming sales and to determine which stores offer what we need to purchase at the lowest price. Our goal is to get the most for the amount we've raised.
When it's time to venture out and shop for these items, we're expecting to have the full amount of $150. Our list reflects that amount. The past couple of fundraisers we've launched, that didn't exactly happen. Once again, a select handful of people made the decision to stiff us. They received their bundle of goodies. We received zilch.
When that happens, our funds decrease. Our $150 withers down to $125 or $100. Once again, our list doesn't shrink. Lisa and I take money out our pocket to compensate for those who have decided to not follow through.
You'd think, by now, we'd tighten the reigns. Change how we do things. Have a stricter "payment policy." Right?! Well, we haven't. Why? There are a few reasons. I despise formalities, and that includes technicalities like using the term "payment" or "policy." We're not a business. We'd like to think people wouldn't steal from the funds used to provide shelter and rescue animals with biscuits and other much needed necessaries.
Yes, I used the word steal. When all is said and done, that's exactly what you're doing. Stealing.
And, as I take a few steps back and view our setup in it's entirety, I can see how we're an easy target. We ship biscuits to total strangers without requiring "payment" first. We trust that people are going to follow through. We'd like to think people wouldn't take away from what little funds we have. We're understanding when, after a couple of weeks, we reach out with a kind email letting people know we have't received their check and the reply is, "Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot." And when, two weeks later, we send another email or message and are met with the same reply...if any.
To date, we have been stiffed close to $400. Although tempting, we're not going to mention the names of those who failed to follow through with "payment" for biscuits or fundraising bundles. You're the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror and live with your heartless decision. However, if by some minuscule chance, you read this and decide to make things right, well, that would mean the world to us. You can send us a private message on our Facebook page or email or PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org).
That $400 would help us immensely to restock biscuit ingredients, replenish supplies, cover shipping costs and to fill up our sewing shelves for our Bodacious Love Blankets, Totes, Bands and Bandannas.
Lisa & Lisa