Running a business is a lot like playing whack a mole. You bring the hammer down on a problem, and another one pops up! It's a lot of fun, but occasionally frustrating.
In early 2015, the biggest critique I received from customers was about low inventory. After transitioning from made-to-order to carrying stock, it was tricky maintaining inventory with just one factory. Our original factory has super strict quality control standards- the side effect of that being that they are often slow to turnaround orders.
So we found a second factory to work with. We were able to stagger orders, and were taking in new shipments of inventory every 2-3 weeks. Which was awesome! Except that we saw a sharp uptick in quality control issues.
While our second factory has incredibly fast turnaround, it seems that their fail rate is higher than our original factory. I gave them a few chances, hoping that it was just a learning curve, and that they would soon improve. I forwarded them a few images that customers had sent me in emails where seams had gone wonky, etc- things that can't always be seen until a garment is tried on.
Finally, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine from high school who has ordered a few times sent me this:
This is inexcusable to me. I didn't even order the Bali Bliss leggings in Capri length, they were only made in Ankle! There is NO reason an error this blatant should have made it past quality control.
Clearly, my second factory is just not up to our standards. We will be ending our relationship with them in 2016. For now, all of our inventory will go through our original factory. We will also be looking into a second factory with a similar fail rate. (Between this and our switching to custom prints, there may be periodic inventory shortages early this year.) Our goal is to get back to the extremely low exchange rate that we had when I was still sewing each pair myself.
Why tell you this? Because I lead from the heart. I am transparent in all aspects of my life, including my business. It is crucial to me that every piece of clothing that I sell is perfect, every time. I want you, my customers, to be 110% satisfied with every purchase.
If at any point, you've received a flawed pair of our leggings, wore them, and did not request an exchange for a new pair, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can work out a solution with you.
Love and light- Katie