Yesterday, we notified all your fine people about our new business deal with Wal-Mart. We broke this news on April 1, and most folks understood it was an attempt at an innocent prank that is befitting of the day.
But a lot of people didn't, which was a little fun and a little troublesome.
Yesterday's "announcement" is here, and the short of it is that we emailed, blogged, and tweeted our new expansion nationwide by shipping Wal-Mart products in upcoming Batches.
A lot of people were excited for us. I got congratulatory emails and phone calls from friends admiring our prowess to land the retail giant. My Facebook page had comments and notes from those genuinely happy about Batch's success. Later in the day, as I ran into two friends, I had to lift the veil and tell them the deal was a farce.
We're proud that you believe in us enough to think we can pull off a deal of this magnitude. We have very big plans for Batch and what it can be and where it can go, but shipping goods you can buy at any Wal-Mart is not part of those plans.
Some other people were angry with us, writing to tell us they won't be customers of ours any longer, that they can't believe we'd want to work with Wal-Mart, and that we're going against all we claim to stand for and champion. While we don't like angry emails, we do like that people are associating our brand with advocating for and helping out small businesses and makers around the US.
But overall, the joke was another attempt on our part to highlight the growing rift each of us feels as a consumer when it comes to big vs. small.
Small can be intimate, personal, and comforting. Meeting a baker or farmer at a local market reassures us that there are people out there dedicated to and passionate about their craft.
Big scales, ensuring that more people can have access to something. And if that something is a well-made, delicious, or satisfying product, then that means more people can enjoy something of value.
Big can also be anonymous, though. Buying something that's made and sold by the metric ton means we don't always know where it came from, what's in it, or how it was made.
Big overwhelms, small walks alongside. Big is powerful, small is meek. Big gets corporate, small stays relatable.
There are times when we want big, and times when our soul craves small. Some days are big days, some days are small days, and our choices determine what we opt for and when.
Yes - at Batch we promote the small before the big, but a lot of our small purveyors have very big dreams.
Big isn't always bad and small isn't always best. Our hope - for ourselves and our purveyors - is that we can grow together but that no matter how big we get, we still have those small beginnings at heart. We want our small values to form the bedrock upon which we dream and build big.
So thanks for playing along yesterday. Back to your regularly-scheduled (small and big) Batches.