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


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