The 2022 paddling season has finally arrived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the trees are budding, and the ice is quickly turning to liquid water. We hope you’re as excited as we are - that was a long winter!
Things in the shop have been busy. In fact, we’re so busy that we’re struggling to do some basic things that you deserve, like returning phone calls and emails and getting orders sewn and shipped before expected delivery dates. Many of you want to place orders with us by email or phone, but Cassandra and I literally don’t have the time to follow up and are so sorry for the silence.
That’s disappointing - for you and for us - and we have a plan to fix it.
The Bag Lady at RedLeaf Designs has grown beyond our expectations and it’s time for us to get some help. We’re hiring and training sewing and communication staff so that we can give you the appreciation and care you deserve, while ensuring that our product quality remains impeccable.
The first step in this process is to increase the new order lead time to 10 to 12 weeks. That will give us the time to create the production references and training materials for our new employees, then train them. It will also give us the time to finish the customer resources (how-to videos, care instructions, repair information, etc.) that have been languishing, half-completed, on my computer.
If you already have an order in the system as of today, Friday, May 6, 2022, you can expect to receive it within the timeframe that was in your confirmation email. If we’ve already missed that date, you’ll have it within the next two weeks - before we start work on the training materials, we’re going to work through the backlog of 43 orders that are behind schedule.
Over the next 3 months, you can expect to see a lot of positive changes - prompt customer communications, shorter lead times, a new website, new online customer resources, and new product care information. We’ll also be releasing new products that have been prototyped and beta tested, but that we literally haven’t had time to photograph and list on the website.
The core of RedLeaf Designs won’t change - we’ll still be a small family business. There are no silent partners or investors and no parent companies. But, we’ll be a small family business with employees who will help Cassandra and I deliver on our promises to you.
Thank you for helping us arrive here. What we thought was going to be a side business has, instead, become our family’s full-time source of income. It’s grown beyond what the two of us can do on our own and, honestly, that’s such an exciting problem to solve!
We are grateful every single day for all of you, even though we haven’t had the time to say it enough.
Jeremy and Cassandra