Let me paint a picture:
You’re browsing through the site, mentally snickering at a few designs when suddenly one hits you.
The design that you didn’t know you needed but now that you’ve seen it you know you can’t go without it. It’s clever, classic, and you can already see yourself wearing it to practice! You hit the shiny red button, head to checkout and…
“… Thirty-five dollars for a t-shirt…
Have they lost their minds?!”
I totally get it! That probably seems a tad on the expensive side, especially if you’re a cash-strapped young dancer.
However, give me a moment of your time and I’ll try to explain why paying $35 for a t-shirt is actually a good thing, and what I’m doing with the business to keep growing and making great products.
You saw this bullet point coming, eh? Well, it’s true. How many times have you seen a shirt with an awesome design only to realize that it was made of the chunkiest, least flattering material possible? Too many times. So have I.
I’ve really tried to go out of my way to make sure these aren’t just any old shirts, they’re truly premium tees that feel great and look great. I want you to feel amazing while looking amazing, so I choose carefully to make sure you get a material, cut, and feel that will leave you satisfied. I'm willing to bet that, in the long run, this higher quality for a higher price is going to pay off, both for you and for me.
You’re getting something that will last longer, look better, and feel nicer, all of which I, as a t-shirt connoisseur myself, know are important attributes.
Don’t believe me? Wait until your friend gets one, or buy one as a gift for your favorite instructor/partner. I think you’ll feel the difference.
Also, check out the reviews!
99% of Feather Three’s customers are in the US, and I’m proud to offer free shipping on everything domestic! I think that’s a good thing. Why?
It tends to make customers happy. If there is anything that we’ve learned from the age of Amazon Prime, it’s that free shipping is a strong incentive for customers.
To dive into this a little bit, I hope it prevents you, the customer, from feeling like you’re being nickeled-and-dimed. If you’re anything like me, any added fee during the checkout process makes you roll your eyes, grit your teeth, and quite possibly abandon your cart altogether. No fun for anyone. Making shipping free removes a hurdle that would turn some away.
Now, here’s the truth of the matter: Shipping isn’t free for me, as a retailer, so I’m building it into the cost of the product. Instead of selling a shirt for $32 and charging $3 to cover shipping every time, I’m just calling a spade a spade and saying the shirt (and the process that gets it to you) is worth $35.
You might disagree with this logic, and I appreciate that, but if you read the literature on this (and let me tell you, I’ve done my fair share of it) the overwhelming consensus is that we, as customers, would rather pay a flat price than feel like we are being slowly but surely up-charged.
On a related note, I have priced everything in whole dollars because I'm not a fan of this whole ".99" pricing business, but more on that some other day.
If you haven’t checked out the Giving Back page on the store yet, I highly encourage it! 1% of all revenue (that’s the total $$$ taken in by the company) is donated to efforts to help combat global climate change and clean up the oceans. In addition, I take 5% of all profits (that’s Revenue – Expenses) and donate that to two different charities that I believe are doing good in the world.
If there’s no profit (or revenue) these things don’t get funded. I think it’s important that any brand gives a thought to the broader impact it has, so I’m unwilling to budge on these commitments. If the products aren’t great enough to demand a high enough price to fund them, then I shouldn’t be in business in the first place. That may seem like an extreme position, but I think that anyone in business has to believe that what they are offering is worth what they are charging.
It’s also their responsibility to communicate that value to the consumer.
Hence this article!
Put simply: Feather Three does not yet have sales volume enough to make stocking all of the different variants of our shirts and designs even remotely possible. As I write this I have some 25+ designs spread across 8 different products, which average 4 size options each.
That’s over 1,000 individual products (SKU’s) offered. That’s a lot!
Ordering products ahead of time for every possible design option would involve a lot of speculative investment of capital and space. Instead, each Feather Three product is printed as it is ordered, then shipped out. This makes things vastly more efficient. Feather Three would not exist if this were not an option.
Printing things one at a time, however, is slightly more expensive per-unit than making batch orders and then selling off inventory. Hence a slightly more expensive product.
The simple solution to this would be to tell all of your friends about Feather Three and make it a super-successful brand! Then we’d definitely have the order volume needed to stock things and (hopefully) price them slightly lower.
See what I did there? Gotta try to up the marketing wherever you can! :)
Last but not least, every design you see on the site has been created by an artist, be it myself, a friend, or someone else, who invested time, effort, and love into making something cool for you to put on your body. In addition to that, having a coherent brand image and voice takes planning, careful execution, and consistent monitoring.
This is all to say that, when you buy a Feather Three shirt, you’re not simply buying a one-off design, you’re buying into a belief system, mine in particular, that seeks to elevate partner dancing to what it can be, whether through humor, degendering efforts, or a focus on technique.
It is my belief (perhaps my conceit) that these efforts are worth being rewarded. If you disagree I respect that, but I would humbly submit that nothing made by humans is liable to last long without a successful reward structure in place.
(As an aside, writing the above heading brought me instantly back to Ms. Evan's 8th-grade English class. Spooky. We wrote a lot of concluding paragraphs in that class!)
I hope that explains a little bit of why things on Feather Three might seem more expensive than you're used to seeing. The shirts are great quality, shipping is included, and I think giving back and making things easy for everyone is a worthwhile endeavor.
If you disagree, I respect that. Your money is yours, and I would never ask you to part with it for less than it's value. I hope a future product makes it to that threshold for you!
Until then, I'll see you on the dance floor!
- Joel Torgeson, Founder and Lead Designer