So, where does the money go?

A long, long time ago, there was the problem of how to get this merchandise thing going when there wasn’t any money to purchase printed t-shirts to sell – until the team took cash out of their own pockets to get this thing going (1. We’ve since broken even!, 2. We are sustainable and non-resource-intensive!).

SUTD Merch is being worked on by the team in our own, personal capacities. While we do work very closely with the school, for example, with the Marketing department to ensure proper presentation of the school’s image and marketing intent, we are a setup that is non-affiliated to any of the school’s organizations such as the Student Government or a 5th row club. In other words, we are a for-profit business (but it must be noted that it’s not profit that drives us but the prospect of turning this idea into reality).

Being the responsible and highly accountable people whom we are, we thus feel obligated to work towards being transparent in our financial actions – basically, letting you know where your money goes. Below is a percentage distribution chart which breaks down our revenue into where the money goes and in what proportion.

Cost Chart 5th July 2013

This chart is correct as at 5th July 2013. We’re thinking of doing one of these every 6 months or so. By the way, the profit is 0% due to rounding (Sarah Mao got a free t-shirt, in case you’re wondering). The cash reserves we intend to use for purchasing other stock to expand the merchandise inventory.

Anyway, we hope that this information helps everyone understand that we aren’t money grubbers, out to do this only for the cash. We love the school and want its culture to grow, and that culture comes from you, the people in the school community. So stay tuned for exciting things we have planned in the coming months and, as always, feel free to ask us any questions!

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Our Plans

At SUTD Merch, what we want to do is to make available to the school community, school merchandise. That’s the stuff that is available at all the other schools except for ours – but more and better. I’m sure that we can all agree that our school sorely needs much more in the merchandise department, both in terms of quantity and quality. A few of us have come together to drive an initiative in regard to this issue and hopefully, it’ll be a success with your support.

The platform functions as a creative outlet for the community, and it aids the school in celebrating and finding our unique identity by encouraging designs to be created and submitted by people from the SUTD community itself, whom we reward if their designs are chosen to be produced.

The means through which we wish to achieve this can be summarized in one word – sustainability. As our school is currently really small and growing slowly, we understand the constraints we face and seek to achieve a balance between what we supply and what we sell. Hence we address this issue by getting the community to vote for designs they would purchase. It’s similar to threadless.com, if you happen to know what they are, in that regard.

It creates a system that allows for demand and supply, quantity and quality to be managed feasibly and in entirety – an extremely important consideration given our current population size.

We are personally committed to keeping merchandise prices affordable, as seen with the $12 price on the initial t-shirt we have produced. Also, we are committed to re-investing our profits into procuring a wider variety of merchandise in the future.

What can you expect from us in the future?

We are working on making transparent our cashflow and financial information so that everyone can see how much of our money goes where. We intend to make this accessible on our website to everyone in the SUTD community.

On top of that, we want to also give back to the school. We aim to (sustain-ably!) give back to the school by providing sponsorship for 5th row groups or worthy initiatives.

We are working towards slowly expanding our inventory and establishing a physical store in school, as well as a online store for the SUTD community to be design, vote for and purchase said merchandise, by September 2013.

So stay tuned for more from us!

Interested in joining us?

Contact any of us with what you can bring to the table and we’ll see what we can do from there!

guanxun_chew@mymail.sutd.edu.sg
hu_yuan@mymail.sutd.edu.sg
sarah_mao@mymail.sutd.edu.sg
chunming_quak@mymail.sutd.edu.sg

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