How much are the knitters paid to make a blanket?
Most of our blankets sell for $49 or $52. A woman who completes one receives $42. The difference ($7 to $10) pays for the yarn and the cost of getting things to and from Nicaragua. We definitely lose money on some blankets.
This is why we politely ask for a donation when someone buys a blanket. Donations are tax-deductible in the US, so at the end of the year we send out emails to everyone who has donated. Donations help us keep up our web site and do a little bit of online advertising. Those types of expenses are never subtracted from the ladies’ pay.
Are Sheep Dreamzzz blankets available outside the US?
So far we have only shipped to customers in the US, but we recently added Canada as a place from which blankets can be ordered, albeit with higher shipping costs. As long as the additional cost of getting a product into another country are covered, we are happy to ship anywhere. Please contact us if you want us to look into a specific situation.
Why the Sheep?
Sheep Dreamzzz is part of our 501(c)(3) non-profit, which is called Sheep Not Goats. While Sheep Not Goats is not a religious entity, we (its founders) are Christians and chose the name based on the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew chapter 25, where the “sheep” are those who helped others in need and the “goats” are those who did not. So when we got the idea to train women to make blankets, including sheep made sense to us, especially since Sandy had just knitted a baby blanket with sheep on it for our first grandchild. So for now, everything has sheep on it, but if someone wants no sheep we are happy to oblige!
Are You “Fair Trade”?
We believe that we adhere to all 9 principles of the Fair Trade Federation. In fact, we are a bit too fair to be able to sell through the many retailers who source fair trade items. Why? Because we pay our knitters too much! We just don’t have enough profit margin left over to share with a retailer, and we are not willing to reduce what we pay to the women in Nicaragua.
We plan to apply for Fair Trade Federation certification, but it costs money to do so, both up-front and annually, so we want to be sure it will result in more sales and thus help more people (again, we believe that we already “walk the walk” in this area).