Dice in the Time of Corona
Just a quick post to say we hope you are all doing well with Corona virus situation and update you on how things are going on our end. For our part we are doing fine and have essentially been under self imposed house arrest for two weeks. At this point we anticipate no disruption to our operations except for some shipping delays as mail may be somewhat delayed. If that situation changes we will let you know as soon as we know. We've also been in regular contact with all our suppliers in China and they are doing well and have returned to nearly full capacity.
As weird as it sounds to be expanding a business in a time of such economic uncertainty we are taking advantage of the downtime to move forward on a number of initiatives we've been working on for a while. These are:
- Branded bubble mailers - We've reached a size where using unbranded plastic envelopes is no longer sufficient so we are moving to a proper branded bubble mailer. These aren't as fancy as the branded box we wanted to use but they are much stronger and should survive better in the mail (also cheaper). You can expect to see these starting to arrive in the next few months.
- Exclusive dice - If you've followed us for a while you'll know that moving the dice subscription to all (or essentially all) exclusives has been our goal from the beginning. We're happy to announce that starting in June we will launch our as yet unnamed exclusive set followed by a new exclusive set every month for the rest of the year. Each exclusive set will be a limited edition of at most 1,000 sets and are guaranteed to all monthly subscribers. If you want a preview of our exclusive sets they will be posted on our exclusive sets page when the production sets are complete.
- Professional fulfillment - Up to this point 95% of all the orders we have shipped have been packed by us personally with the exception of some dice that were fulfilled directly from the factories. While packing orders is a very relaxing way to spend an evening the fact is it just isn't scalable in terms of time or inventory space. This choice has prevented us from expanding our inventory as much as we would like and takes away from the things we should be doing to grow the business. Starting in July we will be moving all our fulfillment to a centralized fulfillment operation. This will allow us to control the packing quality and free up our time to post more nonsense on social media.
- More inventory - Since we are freeing ourselves up from shipping and our suppliers are back online we have added a few hundred new dice sets to the site. We will continue to expand our inventory as it becomes available with the target of having 500+ designs available by year end. Remember subscribers get a massive discount on all the dice on our site - if you don't know the discount code drop us an email at GM@librisarcana.com. We will get in the habit of updating the code monthly in your subscriber letter.
- Handmade dice - A goal we haven't talked about much is to start a handmade dice line. This is in part an interest of ours but also a way for us to experiment with new designs that can be turned into factory made exclusives for the subscription in the longer term. We've been working on this in for a while and will be taking advantage of the freetime in the next few weeks to ramp up a 'factory' in the garage. This isn't a sure thing but we will be working on it and will keep you posted on how it progresses. The question right now is can we go from making a single set to making a small number of sets that are consistent enough to be a product.
- Eleven dice sets in the subscription - The major advantage of increasing our subscriber base is it allows us to aggressively reduce our per unit costs. Our practice in the past has been to use these cost reductions to improve the subscription dice and we are looking at the possibility of now moving to eleven dice sets. We aren't sure this will happen yet so we can't promise it but we are working on the numbers and will keep you posted.
That's what we are working on while we can't leave the house. Please take care of yourselves.