Latest DojoEco News
Our shop and workshop will be closed, as usual, for our annual shutdown from the middle of May. Our last day before we close will be Saturday 11th May, the shop will be open (and we will be answering the phone) until 4.00. We will re-open on Wednesday 19th June and the first shop day will be Friday 21st June.
We are heading south and will be camping in France and Spain during this time, but we will be in email contact as much as sensibly (!) possible, so you can still ask questions and place provisional orders. It can get quite busy for the first few weeks after we open, and we already have orders booked in for when we return, but we will do our absolute best to accommodate urgent delivery dates!
...that we will be completely closed on Saturday March 2nd. We will be open on Friday March 1st, as usual 10 - 5.
Looking ahead a little more, our shop will be closed over Easter on Friday and Saturday 29th and 30th March and then the weekend after, Friday and Saturday 5th and 6th April. Unfortunate timing, really, but we will be taking part in an aikido seminar the weekend after the Easter weekend.
Frost on the inside of the workshop windows this morning reminds me how fast we're heading to proper winter and that means we don't have too long to go now until our End Of Year - Beginning Of Year shut down...
This year the very last day we can send mattresses and futons for delivery before Christmas is Thursday 20th of December. So, if you want something made and delivered before we close, make sure you get your order in as soon possible - we are really getting quite busy now as the Christmas deadline approaches! We will do whatever we possibly can to fulfil all orders, we often find ourselves working evenings at this time of year, but in the end the limiting factor may well be that we run out of fillings as most of our suppliers only take orders until the middle of December. Our little workshop will be stuffed full of wool, coir and latex, but when it's gone it's gone, until 2013 of course... We already have orders on for the beginning of next year, so if you need something in early January then it is worth letting us know before we close.
This year we are closed from Friday 21st December until Tuesday 8th January. The first shop day of 2013 will be Friday 11th January.
Just an advance warning about a one week closure coming up at Dojo EcoShop.
We will be closed from Sunday 16th September for a week, which means that the workshop will be closed all of that week and the shop will be closed on Friday and Saturday 21st and 22nd September.
On the whole this shouldn't affect deliveries too much as we are still completing orders at the moment and as we go into the week of the 10th of September our usual 10 - 14 day lead time will cover most things ordered that week...
We're hoping for some extra sunshine while we are closed - we are going to be trekking the hills around Hay-On-Wye on horseback!
Just a quick post to say that we are back and running after our annual shut-down. Thanks for your patience to all customers who contacted us by email while we were away, mattresses and futons are winging there way out of our little workshop once again and although we are a bit busier than normal there isn’t too much hold up on lead times.
On a different note, we spent quite a bit of our break camping in 2 National Parks in Southern Italy - The Gargano and The Cilento. Both are promontories on the East coast (Gargano) and West coast (Cilento) of Italy. We would really recommend a visit, both have beautiful coastlines with clear waters and hidden, quiet beaches, bustling Italian family resorts and marked hiking trails across the wild (and hilly!) interiors. Plenty of campsites too, although beware - many aren’t open outside the summer season, especially in the Cilento.
Well, it’s coming up to our annual shut-down and the manufacturing slots that are
available before we close are starting to fill up. This year we are closing on Tuesday the 8th of May and won’t be re-opening until Tuesday 17th June. We usually close for a month but this year we are catching two aikido seminars on either side of this so we will actually be closed for 6 weeks!
If you are hoping to order soon then bear in mind that we generally have a 10 day lead time for making up mattresses and futons, with a further few days for co-ordinating a delivery, and as we approach our shut-down we usually get a rush of orders. If you don’t need something so soon then it can be worth putting in an order before we close (or by email while we are closed) so that your item is already booked into our manufacturing schedule, as we will have another big rush of orders when we re-open. For orders placed in this way we wouldn’t expect the normal 20% deposit to be paid until we return.
Between the 8th of May and 17th of June both the workshop and the shop will be completely closed and we won’t be taking messages from our answer phone as we will be out of the UK and heading South for some Mediterranean camping! However we will be picking up emails where we can so do contact us this way if you need to. We do feel very lucky to be able to take a such long holiday, but we really do need a break every year to recuperate from 11 months of heavy, physical work making mattresses and futons!
We have been having to review our prices in the wake of huge increases in raw materials over the past year. We have been manufacturing for 22 years now and have never seen the sort of rises in materials that we experienced in 2011. In some cases it is good news for the people at the end of the chain - the British organic wool we use has leapt 100% and although that has had a big impact on the prices of some of our products it's great to see a much undervalued fibre coming back into demand. Along with wool costs, our natural latex has risen by 22% and organic cotton has been going up pretty much every month.
All manufacturers are seeing these sort of changes and some are responding by pushing down quality by sourcing cheaper, inferior materials and cutting corners in manufacturing processes. Some of the bigger players aren't playing fairly by putting pressure on producers, suppliers and manufacturers to cut costs by driving down wages.
We can't keep our prices at 2011 levels. We have just put our mattresses up by an average of 6% and our futons by 4.5%. But we can promise that these rises are fair in the light of changes to material costs and that we really do keep margins as tight as we can. It's why we don't (or, more accurately, can't) have sales or offer discounts but why our mattresses and futons cost less than any comparable products, often a lot less. We use the best raw materials, sometimes tracking down our own, unique supply chains, sometimes sourcing the same fillings from the same suppliers as companies that charge much, much more than we do.
We don't sell to shops or operate a wholesale structure. Our approach is simple and straightforward - we make great stuff and sell directly from our workshop. In many ways our prices are wholesale prices, to everyone. So although we can't reach all our customers geographically (but that doesn't seem to stop people travelling from all over the UK to visit our shop!) our mattresses and futons are within the reach of more people in terms of cost. It means we are growing more slowly, but it's the way we like it and after 22 years we know it's the way we want to do business.
Well, we are down to our last few orders to send off here at Dojo. Our Ecoshop has now closed until 2012 and the workshop is slowing down. We re-open on Saturday 7th January 2012. We are looking forward to some rest and relaxation alongside some feasting and merriment!
It's the end of another busy year (our 21st!) for which we'd like to thank all our customers both old and new and wish everyone a contented Christmastime and a bright New Year! Sarah & Jonathan.