Small Biz Betties (and Shoe News): Things Don’t Always Go According to Plan…

It’s been some time since I’ve written a Small Biz Betties post, but I thought now would be a good time to talk about the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, well, ganging aft agley.

If you follow along in my footwear adventures, you’ll know that I post now and again about new shoes “coming soon,” or “coming next,” and then you hear nothing about them again for months and months.  This is because, for one reason or another, something changes and we can’t offer that shoe in the time we’d hoped.  Reasons for this can be great or small, and include:

  • The fabric is difficult to work with
  • The factory making that shoe shuts down or changes its focus
  • Another order is late in completion, pushing back the release date for a new style
  • Sampling is taking for-flippin’-ever (the most common cause)

…to name a few reasons.


Unfortunately I get really excited when I see photos of new samples, and I want to share them with you!  I’m learning to sit on exciting news until production is a definite, though, because as frustrating as delays are to me, I can only imagine how frustrating they must be to all of you.

So, in your own entrepreneurial adventures, what do you do when things get derailed?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep your audience/customers informed about time frames/release dates/pre-orders, etc.
  • Keep your eye on the prize – continue to “get ‘er done” as fast as you can.  If you’re dealing with manufacturers, this means bugging them for updates, samples, delivery dates, etc.  If you’re making items yourself, buckle down and motor through to completion.  Try not to get frustrated.
  • Share exciting new product news for the first time only when production is inevitable, or when you’ve actually got the product in your shop – (not always sure-fire, as I’ve announced some “inevitable” things that have then fallen through, but it’s a good general rule).  In other words, don’t jump the gun.
Keep your customers informed
All that being said, and following my first suggestion, here is some shoe news:
  • Kensington black leather 18th century shoes are being inspected for quality July 15th, and with a passing grade will ship to us the next day.
  • Highbury satin Regency shoes are currently unavailable on the website, but ARE in production.  The factory has had immense difficulty working with the specialized dyeable fabric we sourced from New York, making this order very late in delivery.
  • Pompadour is now being sampled by a new factory with better quality and skill working with textiles.  We’re completely out of ivory Pomps on the website, but they will be available to re-pre-order as soon as I approve the new sample – when that will be, I don’t know.
  • We’re preparing to re-order black Tavistock button boots in regular and wide calf sizes, and Astoria in both ivory and black.
  • Claremont 1930s Oxfords were set for pre-ordering in July, but are now being re-sampled.
  • Tissot dyeable 1860-1880 slippers are being sampled by the factory specializing in the tricky satin textile, the same used on Highbury.
  • Everything else is in development in various manufacturers across the world – Hartfield boots, Anoinette mules, Abigail Adams slippers, Stratford Elizabethan pumps, Madison 18th century shoes, and on and on.
Hartfield boots – still proposed for December


  • Unknown

    July 13, 2013 at 4:17 AM

    Thank you so much for the update. I will definitely be ordering the Tissot slipper once they are being offered. Your shoes inspired me to make more costumes just so I have something equally fabulous to wear with them!

    • Lauren Stowell

      July 13, 2013 at 7:22 AM

      I'm hoping that day is soon – I think I've got the manufacturer settled for this tricky fabric. We'll see 🙂

  • melissamary

    July 13, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    I am desperately in love with the Hartfield boots. I will order them as soon as humanly possible!

  • Cassidy

    July 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    I'm so excited just to know that all of these options will be available at some point! You're a godsend, really!

  • Noemi

    July 13, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    awww…I was hoping to jump on the pre-order bandwagon for the Claremont. Hopefully soon. Thank you for the update.

  • Calevey’s Closet

    July 13, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Thanks for the updates with everything! Like everyone, looking forward to all the forthcoming lovely shoes.

  • Scene in the Past

    July 14, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    The Hartfield boots are really cute! Those are Regency, right? Any chance of doing some in non-satin fabric? I keep reading in Georgette Heyer about "half-boots of orange jean" and now I really want. 😀

    – Ginger

    • Scene in the Past

      July 15, 2013 at 3:13 AM

      Oh! Or nankeen! A yellow-tinged cotton cloth. I'd LOVE some of those! They seem to be mentioned a lot more in fashion discussion than leather boots.

    • Lauren Stowell

      July 15, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      Hartfield will be in leather for the first run, but I suspect they're going to be quite popular. If they are, then we'll do a variation in something close to nankeen 🙂

  • Anonymous

    July 14, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    I want those Hartfield boots to fit my feet so badly! Though I have doubts since my hobbit feet are 5.5 Wide 🙁 Maybe I could get them stretched though? Will them come in black?

    • Lauren Stowell

      July 15, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      If you normally wear 5.5 wide, you will most likely be able to wear the size 6 with ease. The first run of Hartfields will come in ivory and dark brown (much darker than the brown shown here).

  • Lauren

    July 16, 2013 at 12:25 AM

    This is such a good post, and a good reminder. I'm always overambitious of what I can accomplish, and have had quite a few things that haven't reached completion. I thought I learned my lesson, but them I announced my 1899 jacket pattern early, and life threw me a few curve balls so it didn't get done. It will! But instead of holding onto it and putting it up for order when everyone's excited about it because its new, it will have to be old news. Oh well.
    Thanks for the reminder, Lauren!


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