When my gymnast daughter was around 9 or 10 years old, her team had a meet in December right before the holidays. Her coach had the idea that it would be fun to let each girl pick out some holiday music for their floor routines. I quickly sewed up some solid white leotards for the girls. At that time decorating shirts with fabric paints was the rage. I provided some glittery fabric paints, holiday templates, a kitchen table and a sleepover. Each team member spent half the night decorating their solid white leotards with holiday graphics. It was so much fun, a nice team-bonding experience, and a huge plus when they arrived at the meet. Today, I get requests for solid color leotards. Sometimes it's just that their dance class requires black, but I know that some others have been purchased to allow the gymnast to "bling" it out with crystals or gems with her own individual creation.
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!