I blew out our loading dock door, all by myself!
In just two months, we've provided temporary jobs to a total of 10 formerly incarcerated people, 5 women and 5 men.
A huge "Thank you" to Daryl McGraw for his mentoring skills, helping our folks re-integrate and stay on the success track.
Most of these have been working on a major disassembly and cleanout job we are doing in Wallingford - a long trek for some of our people, but they've been great about helping each other out with rides. That job is ending in a few days, so we'll be trying to figure out how to keep as many of these folks working with us as possible.
Online sales are beginning to roll in, so a few may be employed in prepping and shipping, with another one or two working on posting furniture and completing sales.
Cash-flow is VERY tight as we haven't been paid for this big job yet.
On other fronts:
We've renovated one of our two bathrooms for customers, and put a "Staff Only" sign on the other one. I call that one our "gas station bathroom." You know, the kind with axle grease all over the sink, a Borax soap dispenser that takes off as much skin as dirt, and dirty rags for towels. Well, it now has paper towels - so I guess it's been upgraded from gas station status to - what? Muffler shop status?
We're struggling with all of our new systems for inventory, billing, point-of-sale.... We may have tried to change too many things too fast, but hey, the iPod point of sale system works most of the time, and doubles as a camera for posting furniture online.
We have too much merchandise coming in so we have had to increase our warehouse space. I THINK that's better than turning down good, saleable furniture, but we'll see... It costs time and money to store this inventory, inventory that for the most part, our customers can't see! We're hoping to change the latter with more online sales.
Our delivery van got a new (used) transmission, while the other two trucks still need major TLC.
Meanwhile, last week I managed to plow one of the box trucks through our loading dock door - (don't ask) so I'm glad we have good insurance!
And I've moved from the beach in West Haven to new digs in West Hartford - an hour closer to the shop but my cat now hates me.
Huge thanks to everyone who's helping out!
I'll keep you all posted!
- Gregory Spear