Today, Fancy Tiger Crafts is celebrating its one year anniversary of becoming an Employee Owned Co-op!
During the first year, our co-op members have navigated the joys and challenges of running a small business. “I think what’s surprised me the most has been how excited our customers have been about us becoming a co-op,” co-op member Kim explained. “Crafting is a community so seeing how people have responded so warmly to this change has been such a wonderful thing.” Christina, one of the founding members of the co-op, reflects on how one of her favorite parts of being an owner is “getting to learn something new every day.”
This past year, Fancy Tiger Co-op has worked tirelessly to instill systems that help streamline all aspects of running the store, focused on curating an amazing selection of items for our customers from all crafting backgrounds, and have continued to be a leader of Denver’s vibrant crafting community! Additionally, the co-op has made strides to prioritize upholding the store’s values by:
- Reaffirming its environmental commitment by completing the steps for Denver Green Recertification, restocking our recyclable/biodegradable shipping supplies, and returning to eco-friendly cleaning options whenever they are suitable.
- Expanding employee equity through pay raises and enhanced benefits, and created a system of seniority and cost-of-living based raises.
- Continuing to live up to our community goals by supporting local and national non-profits that align with our values; and partnering with BIPOC and other marginalized creators to stock the store, and celebrate our anniversary.
- Navigating the thoughtful re-opening of our classroom spaces, and expanded our class offerings into the virtual realm.
“It’s like putting together a big puzzle,” is how Kim described owning a business. “The creativity that goes into business ownership is exciting but can also be challenging.” One of the most important lessons the co-op learned during year one is just how important teamwork and delegation are when it comes to running the store as a co-op.
One of the most surpising aspects that co-op member, Marta, found about business ownership was just how many meetings it requires! She explains how sometimes, "it's one my favorite parts most days- I love a collaborative, creative, meeting that’s full of good ideas and energy, but other days it can be one of my least favorite things. I love being part of such dynamic team. "
Kristen, one of newest members of the co-op, elaborates this aspect of being part of the co-op, “there are other people to rely on when your plate feels too full and overwhelming. We have such an amazing team of workers at Fancy Tiger Crafts and I trust everyone completely! Everyone has different strengths and interests, so I know that if there is something I can’t fit in my daily routine or that doesn’t align with my top priorities, then there is another member of the team that would love to pick up the task.”
As we step into year two, the co-op members are optimistic for what the future will bring. Christina and Marta are looking forward to community growth, more coworkers joining the co-op, and are “excited to hear all the amazing ideas our coworkers have to offer!” Pink, another founding member of the co-op, is “particularly keen to keep expanding our selection of eco-friendly supplies, particularly items from local suppliers.”
The co-op team, and all our Fancy Tiger Crafts employees, are extremely proud of the work that has been accomplished as an Employee Owned Co-op and we are endlessly grateful for the amazing support our community has shown us! Cheers to year one and many more years to follow!