2009 - Until further
notice, scooter seat covers is still on haitus.
those of you who have asked, I'm not giving up the business,
I'm just taking a break from it to figure out how to best move
forward to better serve customers. I'd planned on the "break"
to be a lot shorter than it has been, but because I love scooter
seat covers as much as I do, I want to give it the proper attention
it deserves. The 2008 season was the busiest ever, and it was
also exhausting! Because of how busy it was, my ability to give
good customer service was compromised, and I don't want to work
that way. It's not good business and it's not who I am.
I've tried to write this open letter so that
you know just what I've been doing, rather than just posting
a standard 'gone fishing' business notice. One of the reasons
you've told me you like doing business with me is because I'm
a person, not just a business. And that's one of the best parts
of it for me, too. I've grown to know thousands of you in the
scooter community through forums and my blogs, and you are one
of the best communities I've ever belonged to.
It's just amazing to me how scooter seat covers has grown in
four years. It's had its ups and downs, and 2008 proved to be
a tough year, and not just for the reasons that usually befall
a company in tough economic times. Even with all my efforts to
grow scooter seat covers in a smart, effective way, I'm still
a one person company, and to put it quite simply, I'm at a fork
in the road and I'm not sure what my next step will be.
I love scooter seat covers. I'm proud
of it, and there is no doubt in my mind that I have created
a great product. I have tons of happy customers
all over the world who love their scooter seat covers.
I'm my best asset,
and my biggest limitation. Almost since I started back in 2005,
I've been trying to find a sewing contractor. Most
sewing manufacturing has left the US, and finding a good one
either here or overseas is a full-time job in itself. While I
belong to industry forums and groups, I've found that other people
in the sewn-products industry simply don't disclose who their
own sewing contractors are. During the busy months, I can't
spend time searching for help, either trying to find a home sewer
in the area or interviewing contractors because I have to
spend every minute producing. The busy-ness is a blessing and
a curse - I make more sales, of course, but orders can get backed
up and the queue gets longer and longer and emails can take longer
to respond to - especially if something comes up, and this summer
a lot of things "came
a major move and a serious back injury among many other events.
Most customers understand and are absolutely great, and I really
do my best to keep in touch and get orders out as soon as I can.
I make it clear both on the site before purchase, and through
email after an order is placed, that I'm a one person company
and do everything myself and sometimes the queue can get super
long - if you ordered a cover in 2008, you may have experienced
this first-hand. This past summer, the queue got a LOT longer
than I wanted or expected, and even some nice polite understanding
customers who said they
would wait got tired of waiting and requested refunds. I totally
understand their frustration! But my understanding doesn't make
the queue move faster or make customers happy.
Besides having frustrated 'normal' customers, this season I
had to deal with some daffy - and sometimes scary - situations.
I'm not alone in this, according to others I've talked to who
sell or do service in this market and from others who do custom
work. Must have been something in the air. I have pretty tough
skin, but dealing with customers making personal threats gets
Another frustration: because I've had more orders,
more orders seem to get lost in shipping. I don't know if there's
a black hole out there full of scooter seat covers, but I've
also had the extra task of filing lost package claims as well
as calming down customers whose covers go missing, re-making
covers or issuing refunds.
So, if you've read this far, thank you. If you would like to
receive a notice when scooter seat covers comes back online,
please let me know and I'll add you to the mailing list.
One last thing for now: Since I still have to buy groceries
and pay the mortgage, I'm working full-time in my previous career
again as I ponder what to do next with scooter seat covers. I'm
also talking with a business consultant to help get an objective
view on the whole picture. I'm also on the road for a couple
of weeks coming up, so if you've written to me in the last few
weeks and I haven't replied, I assure you I will soon.
you for your support, patience, and belief in me and my great
- Crystal Waters