You know how podcasts have, in the app or on their site, “show notes” with all the references they made to books, videos, links, etc. during the conversation? I often feel, after a night with friends, or a walk & talk with a bud, that we need follow-up “show notes” — a summary and reminder of all the recommendations and convo points that came up during our time together!
In late February/March, we sent out a survey, and SO many of you were gracious with your time to respond!
Since it was anonymous, and I can’t respond to anything personally, here are some “show notes” from the survey... a sort of “greatest hits” of the comments that came up which I can share now and respond to.
On dignify Products:
“I do like the solid plain color ones with the colored threads only. I wish there were more than a throw size available.”
— We only have classic throw size in our Simplicity (White) Throw. We did used to carry large throws as well as queen & king bedding sizes. Barely anyone bought them! So, we pared back to only the throws. Indigo kantha blankets are available in mini, classic, and large sizes, as well as in bedding (queen & king).
There were a few mentions of wanting king & queen bedding options.
— We have never stocked these ready-made, but we have done custom pieces in the past. These sizes exceed the size of cloth of one sari, so they are made with a mix of 3 patterns, with natural (white) cloth on the backing. It is a bigger risk to make these because of the greater cost and specific taste. Feel free to reach out if you are interested in finding out more.
Would we make tablecloths, placemats, napkins, etc.
— At this time right now, we are not pursuing any product development. But, these are great ideas that may arise in the future. Thank you! If you have any other ideas of items you would like to see here, please reach out.
Selling blankets in a physical store
"You could probably do pretty well by having a few blankets in a physical store like that. It would get kantha out to a wider audience, just a thought."
— I would LOVE, of course, to get our kantha out to the widest audience possible. And, I understand that seeing the blanket with your eyes, and holding it in your hands is really helpful & advantageous. But, our experience is that in-person stores are not a very effective venue for our kantha quilts.
I started writing up the reasons, but I think it is best to save all of that for a post of its own. In sum: for customers, there is less selection and less available information, and few buy them readily because of the price point. For stores, it is difficult to keep a good inventory supply on one-of-a-kind items, and they don't make as much money because fair trade margins are slim. It doesn't work for us!
"I was wondering if you had any advice or thoughts about what to do with kantha when they reach the end of their natural lives as blankets, or guidance about mending?"
— The traditional practice of kantha would add new patches/layers onto worn-out & fraying bits, adding more substance to the blanket as a living work of art & life for decades.
(We don’t all necessarily have the skills, or want to do that!) Some customers have added patches or even peeled a fraying layer off. If you are going to do this, here is a bit of direction:
Use only pre-washed, pre-shrunk cotton. Cut the patch larger and fold the edges under — an iron will help with this. Keep the blanket taut with weights (as they do it at Basha) or an embroidery hoop, and work from the inside out. I’m sorry to say that your stitching will not be as straight and clean as the talented artisans at Basha!
Behind the scenes to get that perfect, white backdrop 😂
On the dignify email itself:
“When I sent you a picture of my dog, Koop, on his dignify blanket, you put it in your next email. I showed it to everyone I could!”
— Ha ha, it’s true! I love to share pictures of blankets “in the wild” (as another person said). If you ever want to share a photo of your blanket or someone enjoying it, please do! It encourages us and gives us great pleasure! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Instagram @shopdignify
I love the articles you list, so I always read them. You also told us how to use the library to get passed paywalls on some article. I'm forever grateful.
— Yes! In case you missed it, many libraries have arrangements with publications (like the New York Times or the Atlantic) that allow you to access articles for free, using your library card. I sometimes share articles that are behind a paywall, but this is how I access them.
Saturday morning is great... but not for everyone
Most comments about the day/time of our emails loved that they are on Satruday morning, though a few would prefer something mid-week. We may test out re-sending our Sat. morning email on Tuesday evening to those who didn't open it. I'm always up for learning & experimentation!
A few recipes mentioned:
"There was really good article about how to reflect on one’s past year, *compassionately*! But for the life of me, can’t remember when or how 🙄"
Here is the end-of-year email with resources for personal reflection.
I joked before that my biggest takeaway from the survey was that it seems I have, essentially, a book blog that sells blankets! Many, many of you mentioned book recommendations or book posts as the memorable. Here is a round-up of the bibliophilic posts from over the years (Wow - way more than I had initially remembered):
- “Heavy Reads” to Pique Your Compassion & Global Empathy
- Trick yourself into learning some history
- Fabulous Food Memoirs
- Heart transformative books
- My best reads of 2017
- Our summer reading list (2016)
- Summer reads (2017)
- My perfect summer of reading (2018)
- Books about family dynamics
- Different POV books
- Books to gift
- Memorable memoirs
- Something good to read
- Summer nostalgic reads
- Read-Aloud Books for Boys (& Girls) 6-9
Also: How to start a book club that lasts
"I love getting dignify emails. If I’m really busy just seeing the address brings my blood pressure down"
— ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
"I wish there was more information on the women who make these beautiful items."
— One comment that came up many times was the desire to hear more about artisans. Here's the truth: many years ago, when I started writing blog posts, these were the least popular ones!
But, I appreciate the feedback & interest. It is a balance to allow & support women to live their new lives & not to be defined by their sad stories, while also sharing & honoring the realities at hand.
Next week, I will share about some of the most vulnerable young women I met when I visited Bangladesh in 2020, as well as the visit I made to a brothel.
— That's it, for now! Thanks again to everyone who shared their feedback, info, & encouraging, kind comments. Feel free to contact us at any time if you ever have anything to share!