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Our Story of Factoryless Production

Posted on March 20, 2016 by Etosha Lankatilleke | 4 comments

Community Sourced Production, a factory-less approach to manufacturing.

At ApiHappi we strive to create unique products out of traditional handloomed cotton, which include bags, bean bag chairs, etc.. Being in this industry we are often asked one big question….

WHERE IS YOUR FACTORY???
Actually...we don’t have a factory!

Why? Because we believe that there are more innovative systems that we can put in place that would be more ethical and efficient for our community and our company as a whole.

After observing and experimenting with our culture here in Sri Lanka we have come up with an interesting system that we like to call Community Sourced Production.

Community Sourced production is a system where we train artisans to produce our specific designs and then, we enable them to fulfill our orders while working at home.

Here are a few benefits of Community Sourced Production:

  1. Most of our artisans are women. One reason that stops them from going out to work at factories is that they have to stay home to take care of their families. With our system, they are enabled to work at home while fulfilling their household duties.
  2. Our system is Results based. We pay our artisans per bag, not per hour. This allows artisans to earn money based on their capabilities. From our experience with this system, our artisans are able to earn a much higher income than they would, working for a factory.
  3. We don’t need a factory space. We do have a workshop here where we cut the fabric and produce patterns and samples etc. and distribute the work to our network of artisans.
  4. When we train artisans, they have the opportunity to teach others in their surroundings. This increases their production capacity while creating a form of income for the members of the community. Outside of earning an income this also acts a catalyst to bring communities together.
  5. Scalability and Flexibility. The capacity of a factory is generally finite. If the demand is less than the capacity then you are most likely not running at full potential. If the demand is more than the capacity, then you will need to invest in expanding your factory. In our case, we are able to match up wholesale orders with the appropriate artisans allowing us to upscale and downscale at any time.
  6. Our artisans also have the freedom to work on other projects as long as they are able to consistently fulfill their orders. This enables them to earn more of an income.
  7. Reduced Carbon Footprint - We believe that in the long run, our lack of factory space would reduce our company’s carbon foot print by not having large scale machines and cooling/heating systems running. Also, since raw materials are transported to the artisans’ houses, and the finished product is transported back to the workshop, they do not have to “travel to work” every day. Thereby reducing the carbon dioxide contribution through modes of transportation.

Although there are many benefits of community sourced production, like any innovative idea, there are still many challenges to overcome. ApiHappi is still young so we are still learning and experimenting with new ideas every day. Of course traditional business people might look at our production model and think we are out of our minds. In their minds having a large factory performing at full capacity is what is best for efficiency and profits! We like profits too, but here at ApiHappi our main priorities are creating fun products while sustaining a happy community.

 

We welcome your questions and ideas!! Please comment below!

 

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Cohado, ApiHappi, and Community Sourced Production!

Posted on January 04, 2016 by Etosha Lankatilleke | 0 comments

ApiHappi was created in association with the Cohado system and principles. In short, Cohado is a philosophy that emphasizes playing for a community score opposed to a personal score and eliminating waste in the process. Although it may sound simple, it is a very foreign concept to many corporations and organizations functioning today. At our core we function as a social enterprise where we implement Cohado’s “play it forward” attitude on a very practical level. To read more about Cohado’s game and business model please log on to http://cohado.com/

Taking it to streets…from Baltimore to Colombo

Cohado itself has earned great respect in the Baltimore community thanks to relentless efforts of the founder Paulo Gregory Harris and people who believe in working together for the greater good. On the other side of the world we are taking Cohado to streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Though many of the processes of our company are based on Cohado our greatest manifestation has been through our system of Community Sourced Production.

Community Sourced Production is a system we created at ApiHappi which counters the traditional factory production model. Instead of opening up a factory and paying employees minimum wage to churn out products as fast as they can, we have come up with a more innovate solution that serves as a “win, win” for us and our producers. The basic meaning of community sourced production is that we train skilled workers to produce our products in their own homes and then we pay them based on the number of products they produce.  This system works well with our culture because it enables women who are staying at home to earn an income while taking care of their families. In many cases this income is greater than what they would get working over 40 hours a week for a large company. It also works well for our company because we are able to take on large bulk orders without having a factory. In fact we still work out of our home office.

The first time our method of Community Sourced Production was really put to the test was June of 2015. We received our first large order of 1,000 handloom stringy bags from a company called GlobeIn in San Francisco(https://globein.com/). Although the task was daunting at first, sticking to our principles of Cohado we were able to put together a triumphant community effort and finish the entire order in three weeks. We learned a lot from that experience and now we are confident that we can push our community even further to serve larger orders in the future.

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ApiHappi Update: Free Global Shipping, Pet Products, and more...

Posted on October 08, 2015 by Etosha Lankatilleke | 0 comments

1. Free Shipping: After being in business for over a year and listening carefully to our customers we are proud to announce that we will be offering FREE GLOBAL SHIPPING for all purchases made online!

2. Pet Products: As you may know we are all about bringing together fun ideas and implementing them using handloomed cotton. Upon the request of a few of our retailers we have been busy designing a whole new range of PET PRODUCTS!! this includes everything from cat/dog carrier bags to harnesses and leashes.. We will be releasing them slowly through our blog so look out for them!! 

3. More Fun Stuff: In case you havent seen it yet..ApiHappi is a featured artisan on GlobeIn.com. Globe In is an awesome company that creates monthly gift boxes that contain handmade goodies from all over the world. Thanks to them our bags have traveled to San Francisco and beyond, and their customers seem to love it! Check out the reviews about our bags from random people around world. http://box.globein.com/shop/drawstring-backpack

 

If you have any ideas for products that you would like please comment below!!

We accept obscure ideas too..such as handloom underwear or socks..

 

 

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Funky Pictures from our Head Quarters!

Posted on February 16, 2015 by Etosha Lankatilleke | 4 comments

Much of our inspiration comes from our Home!

The Voodoo Lounge was creatively designed and built by Lalith and Savithri Lankatilleke. However, most of the psychedelic artwork was done by their daughter, Malindi Lankatilleke. 

It has many interesting features that differentiate it from a regular house..for example the house was built without any structural beams, It has many open air areas..and in the middle of house is a pond with huge catfish in it! 

Due to the diaspora of the Lankatilleke family, our house is filled with different furniture from areas of Africa and     Sri Lanka...and even Baltimore. 

Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

 

 

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ApiHappi at Top Drawer London

Posted on February 01, 2015 by Etosha Lankatilleke | 1 comment

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