This is what we wrote to explain why we started FUND we wanted to share this with you so you can share it with others.
Three words to describe FUND jumpers …
Cosy- Beautifully soft unisex jumpers, with a pinch of British humour.
Craftmanship- Jumpers made in England and designed to last a lifetime.
Conscious- Jumpers made sustainability with one mission : A better future for all.
No bank loans, if we grow we will raise money for working capital by selling shares in the company. No loan to repay and No bank to answer to.
We do not have to take risks with holding too much stock. It is better to pay a surcharge for materials than carry too much stock.
Behind every strong brand there has to be a strong business. In other words, we need to watch the pennies. If we manage the business well from the start, our destiny will be in our hands. As an accountant (past tense hopefully) my experience tells me it is better to watch the pennies now and grow slowly than watch someone else come in and control your business later.
It will probably take ages to build a strong business and a recognisable brand.
We want to find those rare, inspired people who understand that that. People who want to be part of the change and want to invest in us (either time or money). They will share our belief and we will build fund together.
We will take inspiration from the great British institution that is John Lewis and offer everyone that works for FUND the opportunity to own shares because let’s face it, the salaries won’t be mind blowing if we donate basically half our profits to charity.
We want everyone who works with us to be rewarded and to feel valued.
There will be two types of shares: One will be voting. And one will be non-voting. The voting shares will not be offered for sale or as part of the partnership employment scheme we will provide.
We want shareholders who want to profit from their investment, but don’t want to take control of the company. That’s the type of investor we want. The type who trusts us in the bad years as well as the good years.
It’s great that the customer always comes first… but in our case the process of making beautiful Knitwear in a sustainable way comes first because if we do that right and make great products then loyal customers will be the reward – The more efficient we are at running our business, the more we can afford to give to our customer in terms of quality.
We will have to tell our story every bit as well as we make our jumpers. The good thing is we have a great story to tell and we believe in it:
Boring but essential -We will set our systems up to know where every penny is being spent, what our margin is, how much stock we are holding. Then we can manage the business with a clear understanding of where we are. We will start as we mean to go on. All costs known. All costs controlled.
These disciplines will mean we will run the company, and not let it run us. It will also allow the company to have the freedom to be as creative as it dreams of being.
We love quality. we love longevity. we love making something with meaning. We love history and quotation and the power of language to express our beautiful ideas. We love the amazing people who have influenced our life and we love FUND jumpers
If we can spend our day working on something that we love doing, then that spirit will soon find itself in the product that we make.
I believe great companies change something as well as make something. They have a purpose and it propels them forward.
We want to help end world poverty and provide children with the education they need to change their own lives, empowering each other and the communities in which they live. This is the ‘why’ we are in business.
We are not the next primarni – We make lovely jumper. They really are nice, We will only ever make jumpers.
The great thing about ideas is that they can change everything. Instead of trying to do everything, and be everything to everyone we will just make jumpers. However, we will work in collaboration with other brands who are brilliant at what they do to create new and exciting things. We will not simply put our name on it and call it FUND we will celebrate how it was made and who it was made by.
First, we need to make sure there is a future…. Then assuming that It takes time to build a business and it will need time to grow. Patience is what will be needed. We will learn from our mistakes and grow from them.
At the same time, keep investing back into the business. The compound interest of investing back into the business will overtime be far greater than giving dividends to shareholders.
Luck matters. You can have a great product, a great team, and an idea how to change things, and still fail. All businesses need luck.
The best way to get luck on our side is to work hard at what we love doing, and have ideas that haven’t been done before. And be honest with people, keep our word, and sometimes do things for people without expecting anything in return.
It is important to be in control of your own destiny. William Blake said it best “you need to create your own system or be enslaved by another man’s”.
This may mean that our company will not be the biggest, but it should ensure the company stays true, creative and loved.
We measure things mostly in numbers. But there are other important ways to measure how well a business is doing. These are things like ‘Are we proud of it?’, ‘Is it loved? Is it fun and creative? Am I making a difference?
Sometimes I don’t get out of bed, sometimes I do my best work from bed. FUND is a creative company. When we find great people, we will do the following: trust them, productivity comes in waves, give them room that their talent deserves, and let them go home, time is more precious than any commodity.
You can minimize the wrong stress by planning for less sales than you hope for and for keeping your costs lower than the business requires. And you can put in systems so that the business is easy to run. Systems that work almost without thinking.
We want to make legacy products using superior quality materials and craftsmanship. Longevity, come from the materials used and from timeless understated design.