We Need Your Help to Survive

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Chicago, August 21st, 2014
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Dear Loyal Lifestinks Customers,

We have searched our souls. And studied our spreadsheets. And we have made a necessary and long-anticipated correction to sustain our business. We have changed a problem with our refill bag that we have lived with for five years and can’t live with any longer. We need your understanding and support.

Here’s the problem. Our refill bag says it’s a 12-month refill. In fact, it’s an 18-month refill. We realized our miscalculation ages ago – a novice misstep as we transitioned from Farmers Markets to store shelves.  Unfortunately, repairing it required thousands of dollars we simply have not had.  But, we can’t sit on this price disparity any longer. Not if we expect to remain in business.

Plastic tablecloth. Homemade labels. Parking lot of the bank. Summer 2006. Humble beginnings. Great big dreams.

Here’s our best solution. Our lifestinks decanter holds a 9-month fill. It costs $27 or $3/month to get started. Our new refill bag is now a 9-month refill and costs $18 or $2/month to use on a go-forward basis.  We believe that to be a phenomenal price point for this important product. A simple review of the math as you stand in any store, or review any online site, will confirm what we are – a very reasonably priced product – unique in the marketplace but priced to compete.

You have embraced our revolutionary product for many reasons. For some, it is the non-staining factor, for others it is health concerns, for everyone, we hope, it simply works better than all the others. Whatever your reasons, we appreciate your support. Chemical deodorants cost dimes to make – ours cost dollars. But we believe you are fully aware of the differences and value our ability to stay the course.

We hope that you will continue to support our brand and show our retail partners that you understand our dilemma. We never set out to be a bargain basement deodorant. We set out to create the finest deodorant on the planet; and the healthiest deodorant on the planet. And the only environmentally sound refillable deodorant that protects both you and the planet. We are refillable; but without this change we are not sustainable.

The critical change that we have made also addresses another very real threat to our sustainability – product piracy. Folks early on identified what a steal our refill program has been and so they have stolen from us. Pirating is the industry-speak for the problem; not a pretty word for not a pretty practice. How so?

Bargain hunters have bypassed our decanter entirely and dumped our refill into their own receptacles. This has created untold customer service problems for us as a brand. Imagine when someone puts our ultra pure product, which cannot be exposed to light, into glass salt and pepper shakers. Yes, the product and our brand reputation are both damaged. The same goes for low-grade sugar shakers that are aluminum – not stainless steel – again, product contamination and brand degradation not to mention very real health consequences.

Please know that we have altered just this one part of our brand – our first and only price change in five years. All other price and portion structures remain the same. But in making this critical change we have guaranteed our brand’s integrity and future. So please, stop in and visit our retail partners, both brick and mortar, and online, and show them you understand. These folks are in the front line each and every day helping us to pioneer this very young brand. Knowing that they have your approval and support for the changes we have made will go a long, long way.

We trust in your understanding and we ask for your support. We have worked hard to gain your trust and we will continue to work hard to retain it.  The best we have to offer the marketplace and the planet is the ongoing production and sale of lifestinks deodorant, lifestings bug repellent, and the full line of Duggan Sister products. Our commitment remains what it has always been: Healthy People, Healthy Products, and a Healthy Planet.

Thank you.

The Duggan Sisters
Mary, Annie and Clare

 

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31 Responses to “We Need Your Help to Survive”

  1. Karen E. says:

    I personally think you undercharge for everything. I would pay double. And if I get a chance, seeing you in public selling again like I did last year in Chicago when I discovered you, I WILL pay you double. I just don’t know what I would do if you ceased to exist.

    Good luck and I don’t think less of you for this change. I will continue to refer to your products and promote them on my FB page. Anything that works on my husband for 2 days (as in he forgets to put it on sometimes) without any odor would be considered a miracle if I were anything but an atheist.

    Cheers,
    -Karen E.

  2. Janet O says:

    The product line is fantastic and you guys are stars in my book. I for one will continue using my Life Stinks products no matter the cost. They work well and won’t harm my body or the environment and that means the world to me. And I pray your company thrives beyond your wildest spreadsheet dreams.

    Take care, and thanks so much for your perseverance.

    Janet O

  3. Suzanne E. says:

    I’m not going anywhere! I love your product and will continue to buy it.

  4. DeeDee McCoy says:

    Hi Duggan Sisters,

    My husband, Mike, and I continue to love your deodorant. In fact, I need to get some more so I’ll be running out to Merz probably tomorrow.

    Thank you for all you do!

    Sincerely,
    DeeDee
    Co-Founder, Paleo Scavenger
    http://www.paleoscavenger.com

  5. Susan R. says:

    Hi Sisters,
    So where’s the click to ‘order now’ button? Even though I still have some ‘Life Stinks’ left in my refill bag, I’m happy to order another if that helps you. I’m telling you, I freaked out a few years ago, when I went to WF to buy a refill bag and the sales person told me they no longer carried your product, but she whispered to me I could find your product online. So that’s what i did. Don’t give up – you have a great product!

    Susan R.
    West Loop, Chicago

  6. Sabrina P. says:

    No stress, ladies. We got your back.

  7. Daniel O. says:

    I feel a little bad because I just got through refilling two containers (my wife mostly uses the Lavender, while I use the Cedar wood). It was funny because my wife and I were actually remarking on how the two containers lasted a lot longer than they were supposed to have. Great stuff, though, and the Life Stings is wonderful at keeping even the gnats away — I make sure to tell people about it because this stuff all works (unlike other deodorants and bug repellents that we’ve used).

    Daniel

  8. John V. says:

    Hi Duggan sisters!

    I just read with great interest your detailed analysis of the refill price point situation.

    So just one comment from me – I never even knew the price point of the product refill; I buy the product because I like it. You could have doubled the price, and I wouldn’t even have noticed.

    All that to say — don’t worry about it. A lot of us just like your products, and don’t really care what the price is.

    Which reminds me, I’m almost out of deodorant.

    Thanks for all you do.

    Best regards,

    John

  9. Tracy G. says:

    Hello Duggan Sisters!

    I appreciate your honesty and truly understand your business decision. I will continue to use your product and will continue to pass the word. Several of family and friends now use your product. You have a fantastic product and have been so nice to order from. I WANT YOU TO SURVIVE! Please do whatever it takes and I will continue to support you.

    Sincerely,

    Tracy Graves

  10. Shari B. says:

    I love your commitment and your product. I’m here for anything you need!
    Loyal for life.
    Shari B.

  11. Amy Guth says:

    Whatever you need, #TeamDuggan!

    xo,
    AG.

  12. Barbara K. says:

    I don’t care how you package it or how much it costs, I absolutely cannot live without this deodorant. It has been life changing.

    Best regards,

    Barbara K.
    Bellevue WA

  13. Lizz A. says:

    No big deal–still the best deodorant on the planet, and still my constant choice (plus I’ve gotten my whole family hooked on it!).
    Keep it going.
    Love,
    Lizz

  14. Forrest C. says:

    Love your product and will continue to purchase and recommend to others!

  15. Laura L. says:

    Listen here, Duggan Sisters:

    You’re not getting rid of me as a customer any time soon. I tell everyone I can (when the subject of deodorant comes up) just how great I think your product is. I love using a product that is safe on my body. I look forward to purchasing your products for years to come, you hear me? Years!

    Very sincerely yours,

    Laura Litman

  16. Galey K. says:

    I love your products!! Keep it up. I always spread the word with my friends. Don’t quit!

  17. J Browne says:

    You have my support! I just sent your gift to hopefully a new customer! Love your product!

  18. daniel says:

    Just reordered. Your products help people, are safe, healthy, and priced reasonably. No need to worry about what you need to do. Get a good attorney to sue anyone reselling your product illegally.

  19. pamela l. says:

    Dear Annie, Mary and Clare.

    I read your newsletter and am sorry to hear of the trials and tribulations of your Life Stinks brand. I love your product (deodorant) and have purchased it again and again, not only for myself , but for my children as well. I will continue to support you because:

    1. I believe in your product, its effectiveness, non harmful chemicals…
    2. I believe in your candor and truthfulness about the costs to manufacture, market and sell the product
    3. I believe in creating good for our earth
    4. I believe in collective collaboration and working together for the benefit of MANY…not just one individual nor one company
    5. I believe in the ups and downs of entrepreneurialism…I am an entrepreneur myself 🙂

    I am a huge health and wellness advocate, thought leader and speaker, and Huffington Post blogger.

    Thank you again for your update, and I wish you continued success moving forward. YOU WILL :))))

    Sincerely,
    Pam

  20. Jan B. says:

    I first found your product at Wholefoods in Willowbrook, IL I purchased (3) stainless steel containers plus refills and handed two out as gifts. I will continue to be a loyal customer for as long as you are around.

    Janis Borden
    Westmont, IL

  21. PJ Rashid says:

    You can count on us. We need your products. Thank you for continuing on and doing what you need to do.

  22. Gloria K. says:

    Will definitely support you. I love using your product! I had trouble with the deodorant for a bit with rashes and had to lay off but I cleared it up with pro-biotic and am happy to report I don’t stink anymore.

    Thanks for a fine product,

    Gloria Kubitschek

  23. Kristin W. says:

    Hi sisters!!

    Just writing to let you know that you have this girl’s continued support! Thanks for the great email –

    love from Minnesota,
    kristin

  24. Tracy W. says:

    You have my support! I’m glad you were able to make the change.

    Tracy W.
    Streamwood, IL

  25. Maria says:

    Love your product a few $$ will not stop me from buying your line it’s still much cheaper in the long run and safer

  26. Darrell D. says:

    Love your product. I am allergic to all other deodorants that I have tried. And I have tried a lot of them. Always got a rash. We buy your product online from you direct.
    Not aware what stores carry your product in Chandler, AZ.

    Keep rolling!

    Thanks,
    Darrell D.

  27. Marilyn says:

    ABSOLUTELY UNDERSTAND!!!!!!!

  28. Jane McD. says:

    Ladies, it’s not a problem for me! I wish you well and remain a loyal customer 🙂

  29. Judy from Australia says:

    Hey Girls, just a note to say I received your email and I must say how well written your story was, it made me feel warm and cosey. You certainly have my support, your products are excellent after many years of searching I now have a deodorant that works on my 16 year old Grandson who had real stinky problems. I for one will certainly be telling the world about your products and website. Hang in there Girls it will happen!!!

    Regards
    Judy

    P.S. Your hand written note on my receipt was a real winner. I showed it to everyone. Many Thanks, J J.

  30. DIANE J CORBMAN says:

    I hope the sentiment out there is the same as mine: of course we understand the dilemma and of course we will continue to support you and purchase your products. You did indeed produce a quality and healthy product. You succeeded! Onward! Anyway, I believe you’ll be fine. Thank you for the lovely way of letting us all know.

    Be Well and Continued Success,
    Diane J. Corbman

  31. Jim H. says:

    I have been trying to figure out for some time why my supply of deodorant lasted so long. Now I know. And you are absolutely right: given how long it lasts, it is a steal.

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