Friday, July 13, 2007

Defense of our Manufacturers: Part 1 Crates-Leather Company

I suppose this is more of an explanation than a defense.

Often when my wife takes one our children to the doctor, dentist or other very expensive professional I am treated to her summary of that professional. Krista, my wife, relies heavily on a person's bedside manners in determining if that person is worthy of us hiring them. I, on the other hand look more into financial and practical traits. So, after taking one of our kids to the eye doctor, our conversation may go something like this:

Krista: We found a new eye doctor today, his name is Doctor Jon and he was very nice. He really listened to me when I was looking for the glasses that matches my purse. They also have hot coffee in the waiting room and he was really nice to Jorgi (our daughter) as said that we look like sisters. I think we found or family eye doctor.

Me: That's nice, but do you see better and how much did this cost?

Crates Leather Company headed by Mr. Dan Crates is one of those companies that not only produces a quality saddle with much detail and workmanship, but he is simply a very nice and genuinely good guy. We have a Q & A session with him that reveals much about his character. I have a little more info that reveals his character much better.

We ship many saddles to Sweden, and we have one particular customer that is also our single best customer of all customers. I firmly feel that Crates is a big reason for this. Several years ago, and I believe the first saddle this Swedish customer bought was a Crates saddle. It was mid priced between $1,000 and $1,700. This customer had a special shipping arrangement with a friend that was flying from the States to Sweden, saving a few hundred $ in shipping and customs fees. Crates had a deadline to ship this saddle, and agreed to it before we put the order through. There were unexpected delays, so the saddle was not made in time. It therefor was not shipped in time. We were a bit upset with Crates, and our customer was also a bit upset with us.

What happened next was amazing! A few days later Crates finished the saddle and shipped it directly to the customer. You would think "good free shipping - that was nice", but no, Mr. Crates shipped the saddle, paying for the shipping himself, and not charging for the saddle at all. Our customer got a saddle free of charge.

So yes, I am greatly impressed with the quality of the hand crafted Crates saddles, but I am also on my wife's side being more impressed with the genuine nice guy Mr. Crates.