I am finding a new niche that is working out well for me and my buyers. Custom requests. I have always tried to fill custom requests for out of stock sizes and even long sleeve leotards, but with the new photo-realistic fabrics I am getting many requests for personal interests. Kylee wanted an ice cream cone leotard. After a little searching with my vendors and a week's wait, and here she is. I have filled requests for pineapples, elephants, and others. I'm on the hunt for jelly fish right now. One buyer let me know that she would like to see more red & black styles because her gym requires the gym colors several days a week. I immediately sent her some pictures of available fabric. Within a week she and her team-mates placed custom orders for leotards in several of the fabrics and within 3 weeks they were wearing them in the gym. A gym in Hawaii likes tropical florals and each team buys custom sewn matching leotards. I have a source where I can have fabrics custom printed so that this gym has prints that are not available on the open market.
If your gymnast, team or gym has a special interest in FlipFlop Leos, please let me know! I can't guarantee that I can always find it, but I can guarantee that I will do my best to search it out!
sI have been sewing and selling leotards for over 30 years now. 13 years ago I opened a store on Ebay where I still sell today. When I first started selling on Ebay it was like the wild, wild west, and "Buyer Beware" was certainly a valid warning. I knew from the start that caring about my customers, selling a quality product, and providing the best service I could was essential. In 13 years I have sold 1.5 million dollars worth of letoards on Ebay. I have over 30, 500 unique positive feedbacks with 100% customer rating. Ebay recognized that buyers didn't always trust it's sellers and started implementing policy after policy after policy to force sellers to comply with what it felt were "best practices". For the most part, they were right, but the pendulum has swung so far that Ebay sellers can be penalized for events and circumstances that are totally out of the seller's control. Ebay's cookie-cutter approach to "best practices" isn't right for every seller or every store, yet we are required to comply. Eventually, this will mean that I am likely to close my Ebay store.
Having said that, I have one simple mission statement where customer service is concerned, and I'm sure it is familiar to you. It is the Golden Rule. I strive to treat my buyers as I would want to be treated. Although I try to be a perfect 10 in every transaction, I am human and sometimes I do not stick the landing. When this happens, I bend over backwards to make it up to my buyers. Recently, a listing error or my inventory control function on this web site allowed a buyer to buy a leotard that was no longer in stock, and I was out of the fabric. I refunded her payment for that selection, sent a substitute for it, and on top of that sent a complimentary leotard as an apology. I included a note explaining all of my attempts to make up my mistake. I was so thrilled to receive the following reply:
First I want to say, Thank you! I think you are amazing and your product is amazing too!
We received our order today, which is amazing in itself, we only ordered over the weekend.
When my daughter opened the bag I noticed an extra leo in there and said we need to call or email and let them know we only ordered 4 not 5 and then I saw your note! Apparently the website read a choice of a leo in her size that was no longer available and you then replaced it with another which she loves and then sent us another one! I am floored by your kindness and your generosity! I am so grateful and my daughter was thrilled to pieces!!
Your customer service is more than amazing and you stand behind your word 100%. The leos fit her perfect, thank you for teaching me how to measure for them! I am so happy that you are a local business here in South Carolina! I will tell as many people as I can about your business! According to my daughter we will be doing gymnastics for years to come and so you are my new go to place for leos! This was the first time we have ordered through you and it has been the most wonderful experience for us and I just wanted to share that with you! God will bless you tenfold for being such a great person! You have to be a certain kind of person to do what you did and I just wanted you to know it was greatly appreciated and we are truly grateful!
This is why I do what I do. I frequently say, "I strive to have the best customer service on the internet - I already have the best customers."
FlipFlop Leos will be taking holiday exchanges through Jan. 15. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an exchange or return. Please provide me with your gymnast's current girth measurement (video instructions included in the "sizing" tab). Please understand that I have been selling, sizing, and fitting gymnastics leotards for almost 35 years and the girth measurement can tell me a world of information and help us get the perfect size for your gymnast. FlipFlop Leos sizes are very close together. If the elasticity of a certain fabric is generous, a girl may be able to put on any of 3 sizes, but the most comfortable and best fit over time will be the one that matches her girth measurement. When I hear, "wedgie", "binds under the arms", "legs cut too high", or any number of other issues, my very first thought is that it is the wrong size and the girth measurement will tell me that. On the rare occasion that the girth measurement does not get the perfect fit, I know to look at the horizontal measurements or even the elasticity of the fabric of that style to figure out what size would work best. Exchanges will be done on a first-come, first-served basis. The buyer is responsible for shipping the leotard back to me in unworn, new condition with the tag attached with the $3 shipping/exchange fee. Having shipped your initial order free, I cannot continue to provide leotards at FlipFlop Leos' low prices if I also provide exchanges for free. Contacting me as soon as possible will help ensure that I can provide the same style as the one you have, but if I cannot I will work with you to choose an alternative style.
I love this Christmas one! One year my daughter Dana and her team-mates had a "fun meet" between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I made all of them white leotards and gave them glitter fabric paints to paint Christmas graphics on all the leotards. They wore Christmas bows in their hair instead of the usual scrunchie. They all found Christmas music the right length and beats to do their floor routines to rather than their regular music. They had so much fun and the spectators from other gyms and the judges just loved it. When I found these cute Christmas prints it took me back to what a wonderful time I had being a gymnast's mom.
It is clear that my buyers are starting to fill stockings, take advantage of early coupons, and are gearing up for Santa. I know that this time of year is a time of secrecy and surprises, but I urge you to measure your gymnast's girth so that the leotard she opens on Christmas day fits. There is a brief video under the "sizing" tab that shows you just how easy and quick it is to measure and avoid returns and exchanges. Having said that, I will take holiday returns and exchanges through January 15 as long as the leotard is unworn (feel free to try on!) and the tag is still attached. I may not have the same style - Christmas can get hectic, but I will work with you to provide a great replacement. I charge a small shipping/exchange fee to cover my postage and supplies since I ship the initial domestic order free. I understand the desire to surprise your gymnast, but let's face facts. If she's a gymnast she probably already knows that she'll get at least one leotard for Christmas. Wouldn't the surprise be better if it fits perfectly right out of the package?
Kylee shared her pictures in a "Flaming Skulls" FlipFlop Leos gymnastics leotard today. I am out of this particular one, but FlipFlop Leos is the perfect place to outfit your gymnast for Halloween fun!
FlipFlop Leos lost power to Hurricane Irma on Monday evening around 7 p.m. Actually I was grateful to have had power all that day because the wind howled and howled and we have lots and lots of trees. OK, the temperature was OK; we were still safe and I haven't had time to read a book in ages. A call to the power company said it "may be tomorrow" before they are able to restore power. Reading by candle-light isn't all bad! The next morning I hung a battery-powered lantern above my cutting table and wielded my rotary cutter for hours. I thought every sound on the street was the power company. Tuesday night came and went and still no power. Wednesday morning we took a trip out for coffee and WIFI so that I could generate my invoices and shipping labels. I was able to check emails on my phone at home, but couldn't take care of other business with the power down. When we got back home my hubby hooked me up with the generator to print invoices and labels. I think some packages went out without invoices, but I think they all went out anyway! Wednesday night the power was still out, so I had mapped out my day to repeat my actions to get the leotards out for the next day. I was totally overjoyed when I heard the power company up on my street at 5 a.m.!! During all of this I have been running an "irma" promotion where the coupon code "irma" and a $40 purchase will get 25% off. I will continue to run it through the weekend - so stock up and help me make up for lost time!
I'm biased; I'll get that out of the way first, but as a former preschool director at a large gymnastics academy, I think that gymnastics is the PERFECT beginning sports activity for your preschooler! A good preschool program should be heavy on movement and positive reinforcement; low on waiting turns and technique development with safety on top. The goal of preschool gymnastics should be in growing the child's confidence to try new things and developing a love of movement. We are not training 3 year old Olympians. Teaching the preschooler to love being physical, try new things, and develop strength and flexibility along the way provides the foundation to not only progress in gymnastics, but in any sport the child wants to try in the future. The classes should have a concentration of skills that teach concepts - up, over, down, around under; eye hand/foot coordination - put your hands here, step there; body awareness - point your foot, stretch your arms, arch your back; directionality - forward, sideways, backwards; and how to do all of this safely. I think the best teachers constantly reinforce the correct movements with positive comments. There should be a minimum of corrections that make a child feel that they have done something wrong. Reinforcement is much more successful when a coach can point out what a child has done right. Classes should be progressive and build on activities as the weeks go on. As much as possible, again with safety being paramount, classes should allow the preschooler to move, move, move! There should be very little instances where the entire class sits and waits, while each child takes an individual turn at an activity. Inactivity breeds boredom which can have all kinds of negative consequences! Even though a teacher may need to work one-on-one with a student; as often as possible there should be other safe activities for the rest of the class nearby so that the teacher can monitor them but allow them to keep moving. Great coaches are creative, give lots of praise, and above all, make preschool gymnastics classes FUN. (Of course, I also think that cute, comfortable leotards make the class more fun and inviting so visit www.flipflopgymnasticsleotards.com often!)