The Real World
So my husband and I were talking over this weekend about blogging. I was torn - I am an honest person, so naturally I want tell you openly about what is going on behind the scenes at RuffleButts, but on the other hand, I am a generally positive person and don't want to bring anyone else down with our struggles. My husband made a great point, that when we watch reality shows like the Real World and Survivor, we want to see it all...the good, the bad, and the ugly! That's what makes them real - they don't get to pick and choose the scenes that are shown, they are human and that is how we connect. So, I want to share my current situation...
As most of you know, these past few months have been challenging to say the least, but really, what business isn't?! As an entrepreneur, I am learning the ropes and as the sole employee, I manage it all. It keeps it exciting and me on my toes, but at times can become overwhelming...like this week. If any of you watch the Real World (shamefully, a guilty pleasure of mine), I felt like one of those characters...one minute pulling my hair out, the next in tears. A part of me felt like the infant in the picture! I was digging super deep to find the positive in the situation.
Last night on the Survivor finale, I was rooting for Amanda, the one that I felt played the most honest game, the most genuine person. Most were rooting for Tom, the one that played the most strategic game. See, I feel that in life, we can strategize our way though, lying and cheating to win the money, but really in the end, is that the legacy you want to leave? Not me, I want to play the honest game...my legacy will be one of trust and loyalty. So, here's the truth...
I have been working so hard over the past few months to have our first line manufactured in the Dominican Republic. I am working with some really great people, but sometimes things just happen outside of our control. First there were delays caused by the hurricane, then they were rushing the order out to make our deadlines. The workers at the factory who have now sadly lost their jobs, simply didn't care. They mis-labeled our products, they made a size 12-18m the same size as a 2T. They made one RuffleButt leg 10" and the other 12". When developing this company, one commitment that I made was to manage by the golden rule, making and selling this apparel that I would be happy to purchase myself. I can not in good faith sell some of these products without making some major corrections. Don't get me wrong, the construction quality is outstanding on most of the items, but there are small issues that need to be fixed.
I spent most of the week going through the products, thinking that there were just a few discrepancies. We were correcting the small discrepancies locally and preparing our retailer orders to go out, with the intentions of mailing them last Friday. It was then I realized that although many of our customers would be disappointed in us, I would prefer them to receive their products late and be elated, than to receive them now but find them unsatisfactory. Our customers are our number one priority and I want them to think highly of us. In the end, a business is based on it's reputation and I am determined to be one of quality. I want to be the company that does the right thing, and I believe that this is the right thing. As the Owner, I am embarrassed and tremendously disappointed, but I can not give up. We have received such amazing feedback on the products that are correct, that I must look forward.
I can not begin to tell you how much I have grown through this experience. It is when you are tested that you truly discover who you are. I have lost sleep, having nightmares on a daily basis. I have found myself at the brink of tears just driving down the street, but I have also gotten up everyday and put one foot in front of the other. I have stood strong in my beliefs and will do what it takes to make it right.