We're running an Ownership Drive this month, which means that from now through the end of February, we're sweetening the pot for anyone who joins our co-op by throwing in some awesome merch on top of all the regular benefits of Ownership.
What are the regular benefits? Well, I'm so glad you asked!
1. Sustainability & Resilience Through Mutual Aid
Western North Carolina has a long, rich history of cooperative economics*. Prohibition, overproduction, and monopoly businesses gutted the local market in the 1920s, well ahead of the Great Depression, and producers banded together to pool their resources and weather the storms of a difficult era.
We never stopped doing that.
Patchwork Alliance is a descendent in a long tradition of North Carolina co-ops designed to buff up our regional economy. The money we generate together stays here. It goes to local farmers, local delivery drivers, local product-packers and food-handlers and service-providers, and it comes back to you in the form of high-quality goods and services that you made possible by supporting the people who created them.
2. Local is Cheaper for Owners
We run promotions in our storefront for Owners all the time, and Owners also get reduced order minimums and discounted (or waived!) delivery fees. For instance, Owners who spend at least $85 on an order get an extra 3% taken off the top plus free delivery inside city limits (or free pickup outside city limits). For the whole rundown on all the discounts for Owners, check out this page.
3. Sell Your Stuff
Are you a producer yourself? Think broadly about this. Are you a knitter? A photographer? A makeup artist? A painter? Do you make some side money selling firewood, or using your pickup to help people move? As an Owner, you can list your goods and services in our marketplace to reach a broad customer base--even if you're a small-scale or hobbyist producer.
We only ask that you make or do whatever it is yourself. If you're trying to resell your old washing machine or unload a curb couch full of raccoons, stick with Craigslist.
4. A Voice in Governance
Patchwork Alliance exists by and for its members, which means that anyone who owns a share in it gets a say in how it runs. As an Owner, if you want to be involved, you can attend meetings, run for a seat on a committee, and vote on matters brought before the membership. That's usually stuff like "What do we do with this chunk of money--spruce up the walk-in cooler or add another delivery route?"
At the end of a profitable fiscal year, Owners may also vote to divvy out profit shares.
So what was that about an Ownership Drive?
Ownership in the co-op is already pretty great, but if you join before March 1st, you also get a pile of awesome merch to show off your support. We're rolling off magnets, bumper stickers, and more! Watch our social channels for pics when the finished merch starts coming in. Spring for a full $200 share and get an official Patchwork Alliance tote bag, too, so you can carry your groceries around in style.
Here's the full lowdown for what you can get based on how you sign up:
$5.56/mo Tier: 2 Patchwork Alliance stickers
$10/mo Tier: 3" fridge magnet by Vertical Pins AND 2 Patchwork Alliance stickers
Either Yearly Tier: 1 bumper sticker, fridge magnet, and 2 Patchwork Alliance stickers
Full $200 Ownership Share: 1 tote bag, bumper sticker, fridge magnet, and 2 Patchwork Alliance stickers
Already own a share? That's great! What about your neighbors? Your friends? The guy from the library and the lady you're always running into at the dog park? The Ownership Drive pairs great with our existing referral program: get a friend to sign up, and we'll credit both of your accounts with $10 in free money to spend in the Patchwork Alliance storefront. Just get your friend to mention you in the order notes on their first order. Invite multiple friends and stack up those $10 credits! Until March 1st, we'll throw in some merch for you, too.
Will you support us?