I know what it's like. You get a notification that you have a new email. Perhaps you're driving. (Young gymnasts don't usually Uber to practice!). Perhaps you're elbow deep in that sour-dough you're still trying to perfect. Anyway, you get to the point you can safely see the email and gosh-darn. It's the second one today from FlipFlop Leos and you've already read it! I know it's annoying to get several identical emails a day. I feel that I should apologize, but I just can't. Maybe I can explain. FlipFlop Leos is my income and it's a business. I buy groceries; I pay the electric bill; I pay for gas! I also buy new fabrics, elastic, and thread, and replace worn out sewing machines. I need to make money from the business just like anyone else needs to be paid for their jobs. Every time I send an email I get more sales immediately. Perhaps that buyer didn't notice my first email and sees the second one for the first time. Perhaps it jogs a memory that Susie needs a present for a team-mate's birthday. Anyway, I need for FlipFlop Leos to sell and reaching buyers through email is a way that keeps my prices low and keeps buyers engaging with my website. Thank you for reading and for understanding. Debbie
A Word about Leotards
I hope everyone is watching the US lady's gymnastics team and are wowed by the awesome ladies led by the super-human Simone Biles. Not only were the skills stellar, I'm sure no one missed how absolutely gorgeous the leotards were. The crystals and intricate inserts and patterns were stunning! I have a confession to make. The very first thing that drew me to put my then preschooler in a gymnastics class was how adorable the little girls looked in leotards, so I'm sure at least a few of the viewers were motivated to enroll their daughters in gymnastics because of the beautiful leotards!
While these competition leotards are to die for I just want to point out that in work outs or classes COMFORT should be the over-riding priority. First, although the metallic fabrics are fabulous the application of foil to a spandex reduces it's elasticity and causes it to fit more snugly. Every jewel can become a point of scratching and itching inside the leotard. Those complex styles require extra seams that can also be a source of irritation and discomfort. Don't get me wrong - they are stunning and certainly make the girls feel and look special. My daughter competed at the highest levels all the way through college and used to say, "Sometimes it hurts to feel beautiful".
So, if you are enrolling your gymnast in classes for the first time, before you spring for the high prices and high style of leotards that are comparable to what you see on TV, remember that ultimately you want your gymnast to look and feel special - but you also want her to be comfortable so that she can enjoy her gymnastics class!
The mail and Flipflop leos
I have been sewing and selling FlipFlop Leos online, first on Ebay and now on my own website, since 2004. I have been very fortunate and during the Olympics and holidays I have had some days when I mail hundreds of packages from my home business. I have had close to 100% total satisfaction with USPS through all these years and hundreds of thousands of shipped packages. If my current emails are any indication, it is clear that there are are significant delivery delays with the new Post Office changes. First I want to apologize. During this pandemic I'm sure we all are counting on the mail more than ever, first for necessities, but then for that special package that makes us feel a little more normal; a little better....like a new FlipFlop Leos leotard! I want to assure you that I still ship within 24 hours of any purchase. I ship every day, including Saturdays. I am truly sorry for delivery delays that are beyond my control.
Additionally, the PO just announced that there will be a surcharge on postage over the holidays starting in mid-October. FlipFlop Leos profit margins are already pretty slim. I hope to continue to offer fantastic prices and great discount events, but I am unsure as to how this new surcharge will affect my packages at this time.
Coronavirus and Package Safety
FlipFlop Leos is following all of the safety guidelines issued from the CDC and just wanted to add some information that I hope will make you more comfortable about purchasing from FlipFlop Leos during this time.
FlipFlop Leos is a home based business with my shop on my property. I live on 5 wooded acres, which is a nice amount of "social distancing". As a senior citizen I have isolated myself totally for the last 4 weeks. I use Instacart, so the only human-to-human contact I have had is through USPS, UPS, and grocery deliveries, and I do not have any close contact with any of these delivery personnel. I am telling you this to point out that there is no infection in my home, much less anywhere near me. Mail is picked up from my home mailbox so I do not even expose myself to the Post Office.
The USPS has issued this statement about the safety of packages that have traveled through the postal system process:
"Specifically, according to the World Health Organization, “the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and been exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.” And according to the CDC, “in general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets."
I see numerous Facebook and Instagram posts about gymnasts working out at home and I know all of us are eager to get back to normal. If you think a new leotard from FlipFlop Leos may help motivate those work outs please feel safe with FlipFlop Leos shipments.
Solid colors - custom orders
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!
How the magic happens!
flipflop leos customer service
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."