I guess I can say that I am truly overwhelmed by the response I received yesterday. Thank you one and all for the great outpouring of support. I had started to get cold paws at the prospect of making such a massive purchase, but now I have great confidence in this endeavor.
And I am a bit overwhelmed by all the furs that friended me in one day. Wow! I hope you're friending me because you see what I am doing as a good thing and want to get to know me better. If you're simply looking for an inside track to a suit and will unfriend me the moment you get one, I hope you unfriend me now and just follow fursuit. The reason I say this is because my life will now get back to normal for the next few weeks and there will be no major updates until I actually get to the warehouse and make the purchase. D-Day should be Nov. 11.
In the only new news, the fursuit count has climbed to 1000. However, not all the suits are in good shape. Warehouse lady will go through and pull out the ones that are on their last leg. The count may end up around 700. With the response I received yesterday, I have no fear about the added investment.
And now the lessons I have learned so far in 1 day
While chatting with carol_kitty on the phone yesterday, we both got very giddy at the prospect that this business idea might sprout wings and really take off. We know the reality, but the numbers suggest a possible pretty good ride. Just looking at Anthrocon, there were 2,500 attendees, but only around 200 fursuiters, total. Attendance has grown by 20% over the past few years. That tells me that the fandom is continuing to grow and that there is a market for good "entry level" fursuits. Eventually it will hit some critical mass and either plateau or implode. There is the outside possibility that it will continue to grow. Either way, I see a bright future for the fandom for several years.
While talking I used the phrase, "Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?" and it hit me that that was precisely the thought that every entrepreneur has when they start up. It was a "holy shit!" moment for me. I had come along at the right time, had the necessary resources to start this up, and had the right connections to help pull this off. I also had the cojones to seize the opportunity and run with it. All I can hope for now is to see this thing through, make people happy, and keep this fun and fresh so that I don't burn out or lose faith in the fandom.
I can also see why patents and copyrights exist. As soon as news of our plan/project was out, poor Carol began to get swamped with people wanting to know the names and locations of the stores and warehouses that we were talking about. Ummmm, excuse us. We are not trying to hoard suits, but this is our baby! We thought of this idea, Carol did all of the legwork and phone work to establish these connections and relationships, the rest of you vultures can all just go fuck off! The reason this has worked to this point is because we are willing to negotiate large, bulk sales. These places are not interested in selling one or 2 costumes. They are essentially clearing houses. This is not me being egotistical. This is me being protective of my dream and vision. If I start to go under (mentally or emotionally) then I have true friends that will bail me out. If I do start getting egotistical, I am counting on those same friends to smack me with trout. OK. Sorry for the mini-rant.
And thank you for all of the offers to help make this venture a success. The funding is covered. Space will be a major issue, but we'll work on that. Cataloging will be a long, but hopefully fun process. I need to check shipping rates with UPS, Fedex, and the USPS. And hopefully the suits will beging to fly out the door before FC next Jan.