Ever since I started this company, I've had the good fortune to deal with many splendid small suppliers...however, I've also dealt companies who would have done better to hire a pissed-off weasel for their customer service department rather than the person I dealt with. Admittedly, I DO understand being on both ends of the customer vs.company spectrum. There have been orders where I "dropped the ball" soooo horribly that I can't understand why my house hasn't been burned down. (Uh...don't get any ideas...you LOVELY customers.) And I have had my supplier companies let me down so horridly that I've never forgiven them (when you actually have to chase the UPS man down to get your package...well..it's a long and hideous story, and it really was the company's fault.) I've striven to forgive and forget most of the wrongs that have been done to me from small companies, because I honestly understand looking through papers, seeing a little note on an invoice, and having the insides of your stomach clench into a hard mass as your realize, to your horror, that this was supposed to have been made and sent yesterday and you haven't even started on it.
My sister-in-law, Jill (who I will be talking about more in one of my future blogs, because she actually sews a good deal of the corsets you guys are wearing!) is the one who invented the phrase "When I Care Days". This means that when you get quoted a timeframe for a product, you have to take into account that some of those "business" days are also "When I Care Days" and some of them aren't. Hmm...Let me see if I can explain. So, we ordered *a certain item* from *a certain company* and we CERTAINLY needed it badly. The company told us it would arrive to us in 3-5 business days.....2 weeks later it still hadn't gotten there, and we had to humble ourselves enough to darken the door of JoAnn-The GREAT Fabric Whore of the United States. When we have to pay retail price for our materials, rather than wholesale, our profits go down a good 500% and suddenly we're not able to pay our mortgages. Thus, we hate JoAnn.
Anyway, back to the "When I Care Days". It's sort of a formula: for every day they quote you, you must take into account how many of those days will be "When I Care Days" and then adjust the time accordingly. If the company doesn't give a dang that particular day...or the next. Your package is not going out. If they look at the invoice and panic, SUDDENLY, it's a "When I Care Day". If the customer calls yelling and screaming and demanding things, it becomes a "When I Care Day" *(oh, a note to you customers who do this to any company. The employees all make fun of you behind your back.)
Our new goal with our company is to make EVERY DAY a "When I Care Day". We're figuring out better ways to handle the orders, we're TRYING fervently to get our website all set up so you can actually just click through and order the corsets...you know...like any other company! And we do discuss constantly how we can be a better company to work with (Oh, by the way, "WE" is me (Michelle); my husband, Tyler; my brother, Toby; his wife, Jill; and then my friends, Natalie and her husband Dave. I DO understand why so many companies have "When I Care Days" only occasionally, because it's DANG hard work to care every day. I lose sleep over the dang company. I neglect MANY important things in favor of the company. Eventually, we'll get there, but for now, we're still a work in progress.....and today was a day we cared.