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View Full Version : Success, A Mess, and the Perfect Storm



georgecarr
05-02-2017, 08:38
There has been a great deal going on here at Loco Libre Gear, and I felt it is time to give a little insight, as we have had to make a few tough decisions recently.

I was (am) super grateful for our new sub forum, and everyone who had a hand in making that happen. I promised I would do something special to say thank you,and I have not forgotten. I wanted to tie that celebration in with an announcement that we moved into new digs. Unfortunately, we have had so many issues with our new location, that after just three weeks we are looking for a new home. The first move played heck with our lead times, and instead of hiring new help I have had to focus on siting issues with a town that is not very business friendly. I have since learned that as a growing business it's not enough to be good at what you do, you also have to be knowledgeable about zoning, politics, contract law, etc. That being said, we have learned from every thing so far. The good news is that the other towns we are in talks with are much more receptive, and we are a little better schooled on what to ask and who to talk to.

Because of these continuing distractions I have stopped taking orders on synthetic quilts for the time being. After the current synthetic orders are done all of my efforts will be focused on getting caught up with our down quilts. It is my highest priority to get my leads down to about 2-4 weeks, and keep them low. I have quite a few new products in the pipeline, but for the most part have to put them on hold due to our leads. The only item we are releasing is a summer quilt series of stripped down UL quilts called our "Operator Series". They will be out within the next week, and we will continue to offer them as long as they don't impact our leads.

In the spirit of staying positive, we will be giving away a set of quilts from the "Operator Series" after it is released and I decide what kind of contest to run.

Thank you everyone for your continued support and patience as we go through our growing pains.

Jedi hanger
05-02-2017, 08:41
I will have to save up for my next orders so I will not be adding to your woes for a while. Good luck with everything.


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coachhahn
05-02-2017, 08:53
Good luck, George. Everything will work out in the end.

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georgecarr
05-02-2017, 08:57
Good luck, George. Everything will work out in the end.

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Head down, plow ahead, yes,everything works out. Thanks CH!

Pennsy Camp and Canoe
05-02-2017, 09:23
sorry to hear you are in such a bind, don't give up! Stay positive and focused on the long term goal, LLG will come through this a better business in the end. We're all pulling for ya

TrailSlug
05-02-2017, 09:36
Good luck in your (hopefully) final move and thanks again for letting us know the situation.

BigSkyGuy
05-02-2017, 10:45
Good luck George! You've got a lot of supporters rooting for you.

kitsapcowboy
05-02-2017, 10:50
We are with you, Geoge. Thanks for the update.

Flash Grundelore
05-02-2017, 11:00
g'luck...
Wait time for any of your stuff is worth it.
Any hints on the Operator series that will "Help me place my call"?

[my apologies to Jim Croce... I'll see my self out...]

dakotaross
05-02-2017, 11:32
A shining example of how to communicate when things happen that could affect both current and potential customers. Well done!

georgecarr
05-02-2017, 12:25
g'luck...
Wait time for any of your stuff is worth it.
Any hints on the Operator series that will "Help me place my call"?

[my apologies to Jim Croce... I'll see my self out...]

Oh I don't know, any interest in a 8.2 ounce 50 under quilt (with baffles, NOT sewn through)
149522
or total weight for a top and bottom 50 set of about 18.5 ounces.

mountainhanger
05-02-2017, 12:33
Oh I don't know, any interest in a 8.2 ounce 50 under quilt (with baffles, NOT sewn through)
149522
or total weight for a top and bottom 50 set of about 18.5 ounces.

I've been waiting for this.. just a fyi

Gravitythief76
05-02-2017, 13:31
Hate to hear of these growing pains George. My Ghost Peppers were worth every day I waited and I'm certain my Reapers will be also! Look forward (for your sake) to you having these things sorted through. Keep the great stuff coming!

Rouskof
05-02-2017, 14:10
Good luck !

Trail Troll
05-02-2017, 18:15
Oh I don't know, any interest in a 8.2 ounce 50 under quilt (with baffles, NOT sewn through)
149522
or total weight for a top and bottom 50 set of about 18.5 ounces.

Oh that sounds awesome! Can't wait. Hope it all works out sooner then later for you.

JmBoh
05-03-2017, 07:47
heya George!! Glad to hear things are moving forward! I was thinking to myself the other day why no one offers a 50 degree UQ then BOOM, you drop this on me. Perfect!! I've been saving for a juicy order. Just need to sell the current winter stuff. Hopefully June I'll be able to replace all my stuff with your quilts.

bamudd
05-03-2017, 10:02
Not waiting on an order so no skin in the game, but:

I really appreciate the quality of the quilt I have from you, and am glad to see you managing the difficulties of growing a business in an open and forthright way. A lot of small hobby manufacturers have initial success then crash and burn when they try to expand, often not communicating well and/or burning a number of customers in the process. It's always good to see someone doing it the right way. Growing pains are a fact of business. How you deal with them shows what kind of person and business you are. Kudos.

georgecarr
05-03-2017, 10:23
Not waiting on an order so no skin in the game, but:

I really appreciate the quality of the quilt I have from you, and am glad to see you managing the difficulties of growing a business in an open and forthright way. A lot of small hobby manufacturers have initial success then crash and burn when they try to expand, often not communicating well and/or burning a number of customers in the process. It's always good to see someone doing it the right way. Growing pains are a fact of business. How you deal with them shows what kind of person and business you are. Kudos.

Once I get through all of this I was thinking about writing a post to discuss the issues that face growing cottage manufacturers so others can better understand the potential highs and lows.

lilricky
05-03-2017, 10:40
George, get out of New Jersey buddy! Come on down to a state like Florida or Texas that want businesses to succeed!

georgecarr
05-03-2017, 11:54
George, get out of New Jersey buddy! Come on down to a state like Florida or Texas that want businesses to succeed!

If only I could! Same story told a million times about wives and their families. I want to go to North Carolina, but it doesn't look good. Wifey did mention maybe Delaware, but I ain't holding my breath:(

bamudd
05-03-2017, 12:39
Once I get through all of this I was thinking about writing a post to discuss the issues that face growing cottage manufacturers so others can better understand the potential highs and lows.

Some might find that helpful. I've seen in a lot in the armoring cottage trade, although admittedly that's a more complicated field because of the relative availability of being able to find help that can forge armor vs sew quilts.

georgecarr
05-03-2017, 15:51
Some might find that helpful. I've seen in a lot in the armoring cottage trade, although admittedly that's a more complicated field because of the relative availability of being able to find help that can forge armor vs sew quilts.

Finding qualified people who can sew is a challenge as well. I know a lot of people who can hem their kids clothes, quilts are another story.......

Firesong
05-03-2017, 16:54
The life and times of a cottage vendor. It's complicated.

Scouter_Ken
05-05-2017, 06:57
George,

please re-consider North Carolina.

lots of great hiking in the mountains and a much better business climate. Have the wife's family move too. we need more cottage vendors in the western part of the state.

149665149666

JmBoh
05-06-2017, 07:34
hey George, you're getting a lot of invites to move to other states. Just remember one thing though: There is no other Winter Hang like the Pine Barrens Frozen Butt Hang!! Stay local brotha!!

curlymaple42
05-31-2017, 10:51
George,

please re-consider North Carolina.

lots of great hiking in the mountains and a much better business climate. Have the wife's family move too. we need more cottage vendors in the western part of the state.

149665149666

They could have a display at that Cary Summer Daze festival thing!! My buddy lives down there and is always telling me we should move there as my custom furniture would sell great there. I just can't give up Maine summers!!

Treeshadow
05-31-2017, 11:48
Finding qualified people who can sew is a challenge as well. I know a lot of people who can hem their kids clothes, quilts are another story.......

Maybe give my sister Debbie Barcello a call at (Cattell's) In Medford. She has quilters come to her shop. Maybe someone she knows would be interested. Worth a try. I'll send # privately if you need it

georgecarr
05-31-2017, 12:01
Maybe give my sister Debbie Barcello a call at (Cattell's) In Medford. She has quilters come to her shop. Maybe someone she knows would be interested. Worth a try. I'll send # privately if you need it

Thanks. I actually talked to Pat a couple of weeks ago. It's slim pickins. I did manage to find a couple of ladies, but thanks.

souperjen24
06-09-2017, 10:32
I'm sorry to hear of your troubles, George. I've emailed you previously - I used to live in your town for a brief while, and then bought a house not too far away... taxes are ridiculous. I thought I'd never leave, but now that I'm gone, I realize how less expensive things are in the rest of the world. But I hear you, families require a bit of an obligation. My parents still live in the area and I try to encourage them to get out, but they've still got kids at home... so yea.

I'm really looking forward to the contest! I went to my first hang this year (MAHHA) and I was just drooling over your 0* UQ... like it was going to be my first and #1 choice if I had won. Your products look great, and I hope to be able to own one some day!

sloanie
07-10-2017, 13:37
So am I thinking correctly that we won't see synthetic quilts available again until we see down quilt lead times in the 2-4 week range? Definitely kicking myself for not pulling the trigger on the synthetic quilts I had sitting in my cart in April.