As 2012 draws to a close, we would like to say thank you to our customers and to our artisans. Both our customers and our artisans grew in numbers, and that certainly helped us grow as a business, but both customers and artisans went out of their way, in so many ways, to help us, and that made being in business even more worthwhile.
So, thank you very much, we appreciated it all, and we wish you a happy 2013!
On Saturday 12/22, I got my first inquiry asking whether one of our shipments was going to make it by Christmas. It was a FedEx Ground Home Delivery shipment so it meant that if it was not delivered by Saturday, it wouldn’t be delivered until after Christmas. That is because the Home Delivery service delivers on Saturday but not on Monday.
The tracking information showed no scans since Tuesday 12/18. Clearly this package had been affected by the snow storm in the Midwest. After calling FedEx I knew that this package was not going to be there on time. So I e-mailed and called the customer to deliver the bad news.
As I was contemplating the possibility of making a run to the office to ship a replacement (I would have had to get my daughter ready, drive to the office, prepare the shipment, and drop it off in about 30 minutes–an impossible feat), I realized that at least 10 packages were in the exact same situation. My heart sank, and it sank really deep. I was responsible for 10 ruined Christmases. I was the Grinch!
So I called again and I asked if Fedex was considering making FedEx Ground Home Deliveries on Monday, as an exception, to help those packages arrive before Christmas. They said: “Yes!” and I started holding onto a glimmer of hope until, Sunday night, I saw that all packages got scanned near their destinations but the expected delivery dates where Wednesday and Thursday after all. I was the Grinch!
Monday morning I got my Christmas gift: all the packages had been delivered except for a couple that had an arrangement to be held at the FedEx office! FedEx kept its promise! I couldn’t believe it! Just like that, I was no longer the Grinch. Thank you so much FedEx! You have made my day and earned my gratitude.
At the beginning of December we received our first shipment from Antartidee, the artisans who hand paint some extremely creative home decor items. We felt like kids in a candy store as their products are so unique and beautiful that we wanted to take them all home for ourselves. Before placing the order, we had spent hours and hours trying to pick the items to order and ended up having to pass on so many of the things that we wanted–it was a bit sad. When the shipment finally arrived, we were able to stop ourselves from looting the boxes and focused on putting some of these treasures up on the website. It is a couple of weeks later now and we have six products available for sale. One even sold already!
For Marcopoloni, Antartidee represents an ideal artisan because their products are full of original inspiration (they are heavily copied around the world) and require the attention and skill of experienced artisans. Antartidee will also enrich the selection in the home/office section of our web site, something that we were looking to do for a while. So this addition represents an important milestone for Marcopoloni and we hope that you will enjoy Antartidee as much as we will!
The fall/winter Caterina Lucchi collection arrived in November. We worked really hard to take pictures and post the bags to the web site and were immediately rewarded by an immediate response from our best customers. We are not used to such a response as it usually takes months for new products to even get noticed.
We named the new collection the Heritage Collection because the way these bags are treated and designed suggests a link to previous generations and our traditions. Despite this, the bags are extremely fresh and their practicality is definitely inspired by today’s trends.
After witnessing this great reception by our customers, we now expect Caterina Lucchi to become a more established designer in the United States as well. In Europe, she sometimes seems to attract more attention than Campomaggi, so I fully expect our global audience to begin to take notice as well.