Today was the big shipping day associated with last week’s fleece sale. Over the years, I’ve developed a routine wherein I skirt the fleeces over a couple of weeks after shearing and then post the entire lot to our notification list on a Thursday afternoon. Thursdays work for me because I usually set a goal to finish the skirting on a weekend, which gives me four weekdays to get the fleeces documented by photographs and written descriptions. By Thursday afternoon, the emails go out to those who have told us they want to know what’s available. In past years, we sent a single email. But this year required three because of the number of photos. A lot of inboxes are limited as to the size of email they will allow, so in order to include the needed photographs, this time I split them into Romney, white and moorit Romeldale, and black-based Romeldale.
A while after the emails went out in the late afternoon, I started matching up incoming emails with fleece requests. This year we had fifty-three fleeces available, and we sold fifty-two within a twenty-hour period. (There is still one Romney fleece remaining unsold.) There were nearly two hundred and fifty emails racing in and out of my inbox during that time frame, and by midday on Friday, I was ready to invoice our buyers. Twenty-five people were invoiced, with most of them having bought one or two fleeces. By late yesterday, all but four had paid their invoices; this is not at all unusual, since we usually receive payment fairly quickly.
We knew we would be boxing a lot of fleeces over the past weekend. Two customers requested farm pick-up of their fleeces, so there were forty-nine fleeces remaining to be boxed for shipment. We only boxed those that were already paid for, leaving six fleeces still in my office. Overall, we boxed shipments for nineteen people. The heaviest box weighed thirty-four pounds, and the lightest weighed just over three pounds. We loaded all of the addressed boxes into Rick’s Chevy Equinox, and when we were done, there was not a bit of space left for even one more box. He had very little space even in the driver’s seat!
Honestly, it’s wonderful to have the bulk of the fleeces already shipped. My spare bedroom — recently overtaken by the Romney fleeces — is back to its usual use. (The Romeldales were in my office.) I no longer have to worry about shipping fleeces while I have ewes delivering lambs. The remaining fleeces will likely go out one at a time, taking up a much smaller slot in my life than the big bulk of them this past weekend. Things can finally go back to a more normal rhythm; normal, of course, for lambing season — which, to be honest, is anything but normal!
In case anyone is interested in our remaining fleece (which was originally sold, but then the buyer changed their mind), it is Obella’s, and it’s beautiful:
Obella (#0850): 6.1 pounds of coated and heavily skirted, stainless steel colored (with a few small darker areas) Romney fleece from an adult ewe (born 2015). This fleece is very uniform (5) in crimp and length, with staples measuring about 5¼”. It has lovely crimp (5), with very nice luster (4.5). Obella’s fleece is very soft to the hand in the grease (4.5; AFD ~ 29 microns in 2017). This fleece is a bit greasier than most of our Romney fleeces, and has been priced accordingly. Obella’s fleece can be split along the topline to purchase an approximate half (upon request, for a splitting fee of $5 per side purchased). $95