KidKnits was founded in 2010 by nine-year old knitter, Ellie, who believed that “You’re never too young to change a life on the other side of the world.” Through the fair trade import of handspun yarn from women living and working in developing countries, KidKnits offers a simple craft kit for students that is integrated with a comprehensive service-learning curriculum. KidKnits is dedicated to two separate, yet uniquely connected goals:
- To support dignity and sustainable employment for vulnerable families living in poverty in developing countries.
- To honor our founder’s original belief and inspire American youth to help change lives around the world.
Through this innovative model, KidKnits has been able to impact hundreds of lives around the world, including families in Rwanda, Kenya, Chile, Mexico, Liberia, and India. However, as this small, family-run business was growing, the logistical challenges of managing the supply chain, inventory, and customer challenges continued to mount. This is where NEXMachine stepped in to allow KidKnits to continue to scale their global impact.
Members of the NEXMachine team helped to create a custom solution for KidKnits, built upon the ten free licenses that salesforce offers to all non-profits. This solution allows KidKnits to stay in close communication with their rapidly growing list of customers and partners across a variety of channels. For example, school teachers represent the largest portion of KidKnits demand, as they implement the program inside of their classrooms. KidKnits is able to stay in close communication with the teachers to ask any questions that may arise about the curriculum, can provide additional yarn to any students that are interested in knitting additional hats outside of the classroom, or can stay in touch to offer the KidKnits project the following year as a new group of students comes through the teacher’s classroom each year.
Another key sales channel for KidKnits is their ecommerce site, hosted by Shopify. Because KidKnits uses salesforce both for managing the customer relationship as well as managing inventory, it became critical for KidKnits to have an integration between Shopify and Salesforce. While many off the shelf integration tools exist, none of them met the specific needs of KidKnits. Because of KidKnits’ interest in tracking product inventory, passing customer information to salesforce is insufficient, rather the details of individual order items must also be passed to salesforce.
The NEXMachine solution for KidKnits allows us to capture purchases on Shopify in the recently introduced Order object in salesforce.com. In addition, KidKnits is also participating in the Orders trial program through salesforce.com which makes it possible to immediately convert opportunities into Orders. We can now take orders through any channel, convert them to orders and manage our inventory.
The Cloud makes it possible for organizations like KidKnits to have the same features and capabilities that are enjoyed by the largest, most sophisticated enterprises in the world, including the Fortune 50 company located in Ellie’s home town. This means that KidKnits is able to integrate their sales and marketing, eCommerce which is on Shopify and ERP—Quickbooks Online, to create a single platform upon which to manage her enterprise…. her global enterprise that keeps nearly 100 people outside the US working.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can help address the issue of global poverty or are interested in getting your hands on your very own craft kit, visit www.kidknits.org.