Thursday, March 26, 2009

Keeping it real

For many years Mongrel Socks have operated a stall at Salamanca Market. One day a week we get out of the sweatshop, and amongst it. We love it. Working as we do from home, it really is still a thrill and incredibly motivating to sell direct to the public. In the early days, money couldn't buy the market testing of our then "new" Mongrel Socks. The face to face feed back we got there helped us to develop and tweak our product range to what it is today. This feed back continues, tweaking continues, targeting our customers changing needs continues. Without Salamanca Market keeping our feet on the ground, we could easily become "out of touch" with our customers. For our business to be a success we don't dictate what products we stock, our customer's needs do.
So while working a 6 day week can at times be a slog, we'll continue to stick with our Saturday at Salamanca Market to keep our feet firmly on the ground. No pun intended.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Snail Mail

2 weeks before Christmas was a busy time for us getting those last minute online orders out. One of those Pure Wool Mongrel Sock orders was to Italy to an Aussie expat. Auspost quotes 7 - 10 days transit time, so week thought it would probably arrive by Christmas or shortly after. But no. I received an email from the customer in late January to let me know they hadn't arrived. She wasn't worried - and thought they would turn up and was happy to wait a bit longer as the Italian Postal Service is renowned to be slow. Over the next 2 months we communicated, waiting, waiting. Good thing I was sitting down yesterday when her email arrived to tell me they had arrived! Intact! Unbelievable! The Italian Airport Customs date stamp was Jan 31 2009, it then took over 6 weeks to get from there across town to be delivered. They certainly went the long way. I'm thinking the Postman's vespa must have broken down. As consequence we now have to change how we send those Italian orders, opt for the much dearer Express Post option, hopefully they'll arrive a bit quicker.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Inbox

Along with many of our online line orders coming though we have an area for comments often it's used for extra delivery details etc, but also some of our lovely sock customers leave comments for us. Here's a few recent ones.......

Hey, I am the proud owner of 3 pairs of your sexy socks, and they have travelled with me extensively, including hiking the inca trail. Kept me cosy and foot fetishly attractive the whole way. Just excellent socks!Lucy

Friend brought pairs back from Tasmania. Ideal for diabetics. Phil

Love wearing your sox so much want to share the pleasure with friends! Thnx so much! Bev

Your help was very much appreciated the last time. And she loves the socks, it is just that the chemo makes her feet turn septic, and anything that touches her skin causes her extreme pain.
Thanks again, Janet.

Hey there very groovy people. I am the one who bought a purple and blue beanie today, who takes all my friends who visit me from the west, you remembered me today by face. Anyway I am a musician and have a myspace site up and I would love to put a banner advertising your company up. I have absolutely no idea how you do that, but if you figure it out and you are cool with me doing that, can you let me know. Kris.

Hi Helen,

How much is postage to the UK?
What colour are you running at the moment?

I'm loving these socks over here in London.

- James

Knitting away as we do in our rural workshop, it's does give us a lift to hear that our socks are traveling the world and people really like to wear our Mongrel socks.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm back!

I just can't believe how long it's been since I last updated this blog. Nothing as exciting as a holiday has kept me busy, just lots on. On the sock front we've been busy in the sweatshop. actually really sweating because the weather has been great, just plugging away. Our pure wool Mongrel production has been steady, but the Tuff Mongrels have ground to a halt because the yarn(which we import from Germany) prices have gone through the roof. Our low aussie dollar has been a disaster. Making the product costs increase to a point where it is marginal. We'll just have keep an eye out for a good time to buy the yarn, until then it will be "go slow". We do have a new product nearly ready to hit the street. Its a pure mercerised cotton sock, aussie cotton and aussie made. Mercerised cotton is great wear, it is stronger and more absorbent than usual cottons. But the very best thing about our new range is the fact that our colours and very "Mongrel", much like our pure wool mixes but much lighter weight. Again, like our Mongrels no two socks is the same-sure makes pairing a challenge. The colours of course match but the the way the colours show is random. So every pair is a surprise. Just in the process of having the labels sorted then it will be all go-we can't wait. I must get back to work, but I have made a promise to myself that it won't be as long between posts.

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