First Quarter Financial Report

Many of you know that Christopherus almost closed up shop last summer. This was due to a very odd combination of being more popular than ever amongst homeschoolers and teachers whilst staggering under the burden of folks sharing, re-selling and swapping our materials. We are too small a company to absorb such a loss of revenue. We are also struggling to be a sustainable company in a largely unsustainable society—we use (often expensive) recycled shipping materials where possible; we use a  local printer who pays his workers a living wage and not exploited workers in China or Slovakia; we never use Uber and no longer use Amazon due to the latter’s impact on small businesses and their playing around with artificial technology, and Uber’s connections with drone technology as well as the destruction of the living of many taxi drivers world-wide.

Sustainability is a matter of consciousness and will: I am not self-righteous about my shunning of Amazon – I too have been lured by the ‘convenience’ and fun of the order-today-get-it-tomorrow attitude that has made Amazon such a significant company. But I feel it’s actually time—for me at least!—to no longer play along with this ultimately destructive and unsustainable attitude and business model.

Back to Christopherus’ finances…many of you know we now have a 3-tiered pricing system. It was this idea and the support of so many you when I announced that I was unsure whether we could continue that has made it possible for Christopherus to carry on. It’s been working okay –our first quarter reports show that by far most people opt to pay the low-income price. If a good number of people had not over these past months chosen the support price I might now be announcing that it is likely that Christopherus will not survive…my original hope had been that most people would choose the break even price. But they have not. It’s a bit discouraging—I know full well that many who choose the low income price are doing this because it is the cheap option. But…I also know that many of you have chosen it because it reflects the reality of your situation. So for now, Christopherus is okay.

We will be installing a donation button on our website soon, tied to a couple of upcoming books I wish to write. I am also considering crowd-funding for them. The main reason I need additional funds for those publications is because they will be heavily illustrated—color pictures cost an enormous amount to print on a small scale AND I am not willing to exploit the artist by not paying her a decent amount of money. But the economics of a small business mean that I need help in carrying this project.

In the May newsletter I shall endeavor to print pictures and an outline of these two envisioned books and to tell you all a little bit about the artist. My hope is that folks who can afford it, will help with this project. Any and all offers of help—and financial help is not the only way of helping—are most welcome.

Together we can ensure that Christopherus goes from strength to strength as an example of a community supported sustainable business.

Posted on April 16, 2018 in Christopherus News

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