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Reaction on the point of view of the women group, 04/07/2007

Is selling one stool a month enough?
A reaction on “Woman Group San Juan; 03/07/2007”

One stool a month is enough. All the woman that are part of the group can use some extra money. One stool a month probably won’t produce a lot of money but it is more that selling no stools.

-Making the stools will get easier and easier the more you make. Selling one stool a month and making them in sets of 10 stools means that there is a period of approximately 10 months that they will make no stools. This is too long to create a good routine. A lot of time and quality will be lost.
-There is more possible. There can be sold more!

Do I agree with the estimation of selling one stool a month?
It is a hard guess. There are many things unknown, like for example the production price. Nonetheless, looking at(an estimation of) the number of visitors, the percentage of those visitors which actually buy something, last months interest in de stool and sale figures I think they made a pretty good and honest guess.
I said above, I think there can be sold more. Some reasons why:
-The store is located in San Juan, near San Pedro en Panajachel. It is the smallest of those three and gets considerably less tourists. San Pedro en Panajachel also offer much more if tourists want to shop for local goods.
-Less then five percent of the tourists around here come with there own car and it’s pretty far from an airport or other economical-big places. Taking an object like the stool on a crowded long bus ride brings the change of damaging it.

What next?

This stage in de development of the stool is about gathering information. Photo’s and video’s for, among other things, instruction manuals. Information about the adoption, deffusion, real needs, influence concerning self-reliance and so on. Considering this, I see three possibilities:

-Go on with the plan to ask this group for the first workshop;
-We look for an other group that could possibly sell more;
-Or we stick with the plan to ask this group but try to let them sell more.

-Go on with the plan to ask this group for the first workshop This group of women is very enthusiastic about the stool. Although they probably won’t sell many stools, they are more than willing to join a workshop. Because we know them and they know us, it is more likely to get some good feedback from them.

-We look for another group that could possibly sell more. For example a women who sell there goods on markets, or who sell there goods in more popular tourist places. This way they can make them by routine. This will also ensure a faster diffusion.

-We stick with the plan to ask this group but try to let them sell more. Like I said before, this group is really enthusiastic about joining the workshop. We could give them a marketing-like workshop on how to sell more stools. They could for example sell them to shops in panajachel.

Cost reduction didn’t go well, 03/07/2007

I have tried to get the costs of the materials for the stool lower. Didn’t go very good. Here are the results:

Attach:D032_300607WoodForFrame.jpg Δ | The wood that is needed for one frame Wood:
Last time I bought wood for the stool I paid €0,50 for a complete frame for one stool. Today I was told that this wasn’t the normal price. It was so cheap because he had some small pieces of wood left which he could use. When he has to use ‘new’ wood, it would be somewhere around €2,00.

Other carpenters asked approximately the same. They also offered planed en not planed wood for the same price. I did get some addresses of places where I could try to get not planed wood for a lower price. These places are pretty far so I saved that trip for another day.

After that, I went to look for cheap/free metal for the corners of the stool. Free metal was no where to be found, exept some small pieces on the garbage dumping place. Al the metal that’s still usble gets recycled. So I visited some shops to ask for prices.

Attach:D032_300607RollOfMetal.jpg Δ | Metal for the frame corners The stores in San Pedro where a little bit cheaper then those in San Juan. A piece of metal(90x150) costs Q85, which is approximately 8,50 in Euros. Some helpful men told me that it would probably a bit cheaper in Panajachel.

Bamboo mould for the lid, 03/07/2007

I have taken a look at the bamboo and the differences in size are very big. If we use only one size of bamboo, there is gone be a lot of bamboo being unused. A way to avoid this, is by making the short pieces from thinner bamboo and the longer they get the thicker the bamboo gets. The mould can be used with thinner bamboo by placing a piece of wood besides it, but I haven´t tried that yet. Can I start making the mould to test it? Or will it be completely different now we are going to use a drill?

Woman Group San Juan, 03/07/2007

Saturday, while painting the front wall, I had a good opportunity to talk with a local women group about the stool.

Attach:D032_300607ExpoStool.jpg Δ | The stool inside the shop Some background information about the woman group: They have set up a store to sell local products like cotton, thee and soap to make some money. They also placed one of our stools inside there shop. They are familiar with the way it looks and a little bit with the ideas behind it.

Here is a short overview of the information I got:

-Tourists are there main target group.

-They expect that the number of tourists will rapidly grow the coming years

-Most visitors are looking for cotton, which they associate with Guatemala, Nonetheless, they had some positive reaction on the stool

-Costumers where surprised to see the storage capabilities and the didn’t noticed it until the saleswoman showed it to them.

-One customer showed interest in buying the stool. The woman asked app. €20 for it. The costumer thought that was to much and left.

-The women have a very passive selling technique. Partially because of habits and partially to make the costumers feel comfortable.

-They want to attract costumer’s with the way there shop looks and not with bothering them with ´cheap talk´

-They think they could sell one stool a month.

-They see the production of the stool as followed:

 Make 10 stools. When there are only five left they will make another 10 stools, and so on.

-They think decoration plays a big part in selling the stool.

-They like the idea to replace the triplex with cotton decoration (if that’s strong enough). The’ll give me an estimated price next week.

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Page last modified on July 05, 2007, at 04:39 AM