Hats Off to this Company

by Frog Prince & Family

I first discovered The Sheepskin Shoppe while at the Bristol Renaissance Festival, near Kenosha, WI, with my husband.

We were there as one of our anniversary celebrations, and as was our habit, the only time we split up during the day was for a brief period dedicated to roaming around, visiting merchants on the sly that we’d noticed each other eyeballing longingly during other parts of the day.

This particular merchant was selling leather goods, one of which was a particular hat that had caught my husband’s eye when we met up with a friend who was wearing one of them, and which had fit his head really well when he’d tried it on, too.

I knew he wanted one, and I knew where it came from, but had found this out after we’d already done our sneaky shopping for the day, so I couldn’t do anything about it just then.

The reason this became a fabulous customer service experience was that the aforementioned was from our last year in that area, and it was two years later when I had a good opportunity to pull out the contact information for the artisan / vendor and put it very unexpectedly to use.

A relative of my husband’s had heard him talking about how he wanted an everyday hat he could wear when it was rainy or overly sunny or windy, and had asked me if I knew what kind he might like for his birthday.

This lead to making special arrangements with the merchant, who responded to my initial e-mail-through-website on the same day, and with a very pleasant and ready-to-help demeanor.

He accepted without any problems a scenario in which I was going to order the item from him and have it mailed to me in special, sneaky packaging we planned, but the money was going to come to him by check from another source (the relative).

Normally he sold directly at faire sites, or over his website but accepting only credit/debit cards and with very standard shipping options, so this was already going out of his way. He also was in the crush of traveling with pre-made stock for the faire season, so would not have an opportunity to make any more hats in some months, and he only had ONE hat of the color we wanted, left in stock.

Despite the fact that every piece of varied stock and chance at sale counts, when a large part of your business comes through being a Renaissance Faire Merchant – despite the fact that he already had the hat with him for selling on-site – and despite the fact that this was not a standard order so he had not yet received any money for it – he set the hat aside specifically for me, and waited to receive the check.

Even when the check had not arrived within the expected range of time (it had gotten stuck in the bottom of his mail slot), he did not immediately put the item back for sale, but contacted me to find out if something might have gone awry, or if I was no longer interested.

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