As many of you know, we began working with Anna Pardal and Comexim several years ago with great success, starting initially with core items and then expanding to include specialized bras for clients. Initially, these customized bras were fully returnable, but because of the financial strain, we reevaluated and finally settled on our current special order policy. As much I as I adore Comexim, the ordering process has never been smooth. Anyone who has ordered through us has probably received some kind of apology email from me at one point or another for late shipments, missing items, incomplete alterations, and so on. Some orders are more problem-free than others, but every single bulk purchasing order has had at least one item that was not correct. When I place orders, I am the dictionary definition of meticulous. It takes me several hours to complete because I triple check (including pulling in my dad/business partner for fresh eyes) every order for even the smallest inaccuracy or unclear request. I also proof my Spanish repeatedly and use picture demonstrations where possible. However, once the order is submitted, I am no longer in control.
Suffice it to say, these orders are usually large and time-consuming for me to write, and they create additional stress because the issues with past shipments are always present in my mind. Certain problems started with Anna Pardal, and to their credit, Comexim has been working to improve, fine tuning important details and implementing a concise, easy-to-read customization key. Furthermore, Anna told me they are streamlining the sewing room organization for fulfilling their burgeoning wholesale business, particularly because wholesale orders are large, diverse in requests, and need to be completed in full before shipping. The constant need to change patterns and fabrics adds considerable time to the sewing team, which in turn impacts their manufacturing logistics.
When a Comexim bra works for a client, practically no one is as genuinely excited as I am for them. I remember how I felt the first time I tried one of their bras and how good it was to have a bra made for me. When I send an email that says “YAY!!!!!”, I truly mean it and am usually smiling from ear to ear thinking about their success and happiness. It serves as a big reminder to me of why I go through all the hours of work and the headaches and the frustrations, not just for ordering from Comexim but also for running the store as a whole. When Comexim doesn’t work though? It can be hard to rectify what the problem is and why it happened in the first place, and the result is usually either a refund of some kind and/or having the bras completely made, which takes more time. Most of you guys and gals are the coolest when this happens. But, even if you have super awesome customers who are totally understanding of the hiccups, it’s still disappointing that things didn’t go right the first time, and it still adds more expenses to your bottom line, more work for the next order, and more time to correct the problem. This doesn’t even include the times Comexim does everything perfectly, but the extremely long lead time means people have changed sizes so the item no longer fits.
My purpose for discussing these details today is not to criticize anyone, especially Comexim who are giving customers something unheard of in the lingerie industry—a customized bra catered to their needs for less than $60. At that price, there are going to be margins for error. I get that, and most of our customers do too. Not to mention, they are constantly working to improve their business, which is admirable. I’m writing today because I am exhausted. This summer has pulled on every reserve I have to persevere. The store has caused me to increase my working hours at home, my home itself is in flux with a potential move still on the horizon, and my immune system has started collapsing under the stress.
After the problems with our last Comexim order, I contemplated not offering custom orders at all or revising our policy yet again. However, I think what I really need is a break. I need to minimize stress for a while until I get my personal affairs fixed. As a result, I am going to be doing a Comexim customer order on August 8th. That will be the last one until sometime in October or November. If you would like anything, please email before August 6th, and I will be happy to include it. Otherwise, you can always wait until later in the year or find an alternative retailer. I am truly sorry for the inconvenience as I know many of you have never had issues with the Comexim and/or order more frequently; however, I think it would be best for our business and for me personally if we focused on replenishment items only for a month or two so I can prioritize myself more.
P.S. The next blog post will be our contest winners! Check back later today or tomorrow morning for the results. 🙂