Letter to IceStone Partners, Oct. 17, 2011
IceStone is in crisis. If nothing changes we run out of money by the end of the year at the latest.
Michelle Gibson, our CEO and President, announced her resignation last Thursday to save the company her yearly salary. Dal LaMagna took over as CEO and President effective the same day.
We co-managers agreed to hire Mitch Hauser of Strategic Ventures & Research to assist us in finding a strategic partner for IceStone. We are looking for a company that can provide us with capital, dramatically expand our sales effort, and/or utilize our factory to make a product they need. We are three weeks into this relationship and we have already begun to speak with target companies.
During our Town Hall meeting Thursday we alerted all our employees about the urgency of our situation. Presently salaries are $55,000 per week. IceStone practices responsible capitalism. We want to minimize layoffs. Friday Dal began meeting with every employee to determine who will accept partial deferred salary, take ownership in lieu of pay, or take days off without pay as the first step in an effort to cut back on our salary expense.
We are grateful to Michelle for her substantial contributions to IceStone. She instituted systems for every aspect of the business including production, quality control, cost cutting and innovation.. She also recreated the sales team. Regrettably the selling effort and the marketplace are not delivering enough. Estimates are that we need over $550,000 a month just to break even. September sales were only $175,000!
Our view is that IceStone remains strongly positioned to succeed. The brand is well known and respected. Our workforce is competent, honest, and hard working. We make a quality product. Here is a link to two new videos about IceStone. One was produced in-house http://bit.ly/osM1xo and the other by the Brooklyn Navy Yard http://vimeo.com/29160534. When you view them you will conclude, as we did, that there must be some way we can make this business work.
By November 1st and then every month afterwards Dal will be back to you with reports of our situation and our plans to save and grow this company. Thank you for your support during this critical period.