I finally arrived home at about midnight last night and I must say, it is always good to be home! The trip overall was a good one and I am extremely excited about our outlook going forward.
So, a little more about the factory - it is an apparel factory located in the Dominican Republic with a little more than 100 workers. When we first started working with this company, I inquired about the age and quality of life of the workers, but it was very reassuring to see it with my own eyes. Of course, everyone employed is a full adult and they all seem to have a good quality working environment.
The manufacturer had always told me that although our products seem very simple, they are actually more technical than not with and exacting level of detail and quality required. (As we quickly figured out when they went through the difficulties on our first production last year). They have since made the decision to move the RuffleButt sewers to a separate area in the factory to allow them to focus on just this one product line. This gives them more individualized experience and training with our products and better overall quality control. This is also exciting and positive for us in multiple ways, the obvious one being a constant improvement in our products. No matter how great your products and/or designs, they can always improve and that is the direction I like to be headed. As I have mentioned many times before, people are of massive importance to me in this business. Not just our customers (of course they are always a top priority), but also our interns, our factory workers, our vendors and especially all of those other people that we are able to touch in a positive way through our business. I love the fact that these workers are working solely on our products so they have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger. I shared a picture with them and even hung it on the wall, of one of our customers, Kayden Pelstring (daughter of Jen Pelstring), in her adorable little RuffleButts. Jen was sweet enough to send me pictures of her daughter in her new bloomers and I received the email while I was down at the factory. I wanted these workers to see that their efforts on this apparel makes a bigger impact than they would think - they are sharing smiles with moms and little ones around the world.
So here are a few of the pictures that I took while we were there: