We’re here on a late winter weekend getting ourselves organized after a big run of activity. Taking time off for a small business person is perilous at times especially in today’s digital environment. Our latest trip proved that in spades as we’re just now ‘recovering’ from our time off. With the feeling of being caught up we wanted to come up with a hook for a wool sale. When we looked at our site we started making changes with a sale in mind, but instead we’ve adjusted our prices of a number of items.
We lowered the 21D, 22D, 23D and 24D local carded sliver types to $8/lb. We’ve raised our 21DK and 23DK Primitive Wool carded sliver to $7.50/lb. We raised the prices of our #27DF Fine Territory Brown/Black sliver to $9.50/lb. All this began with the idea that we’d put the D-series on sale and just turned into a major pricing adjustment. We’ll come up with a hitch for a sale later in this piece…
Before we do that we’re going to riff a bit on long time company President, John Davenport (Toppy) Lindsay and his departure from this world 21 years ago on March 12th. Toppy lived a hard fun life thanks to his choice to stay in the raw wool end of the wool business and travel the country by car. He was very direct and outspoken. One of the tolls of his travels is one year he was riding a small motorcycle (to save $) and was hit by a car breaking his hip when he was 50 years old. He received one of the first plastic hips from the guy at Mass General Hospital who invented the procedure. It was meant to last 15-20 years. So when Toppy turned 70 he was a bit sorer than before and he wanted his hip replaced. MGH said no, but he was living in Wilmington, North Carolina at the time so he found a doctor down there to perform which by 1996 was a more widely performed procedure.
He had the operation and son John Lindsay, Jr was there to help Phyllis deal with the hard work of tending to a hip replacement patient. After a few days it was son Phil’s turn to take over and get Toppy and Phyllis through until regularity might return. That one day together Toppy decided he felt well enough to go out to dinner with the boys. We all said we’d rather stay home and eat spaghetti, but Toppy insisted and booked us a seat as his favorite place The Outback Steak House. He had befriended the manager and they had really hit it off. Anyway we spent our day golfing with Toppy watching from a cart and then headed over to the Outback.
There were huge crowds at the Outback and we were slid right into a side booth off the bar. In retrospect we should have known something was wrong when Toppy said he didn’t like the beer (never ever a thing we’d heard before in fact). Then dinner was served, Toppy took one bite of his salmon, said “I feel faint” and then proceeded to expire on the spot. Son John jabbed Phil on the elbow and said, “I guess that’s it.” Phil reacted by suggesting John call 911 on the pay phone right there and he would look to see if there was a doctor in the house. The fellow eating behind us was an EMT and also Dr. Harold Lindsay was in the premises and they tried CPR. Phil was holding Toppy’s feet suggesting the men were wasting their time as he had seen Toppy depart his body. Poor Phyllis who was there was devastated.
With the benefit of 21 years of hindsight we can laugh about it now. What a perfect ending for Toppy but to clear out a bar room on his way out. By the time the EMTs came and scooped Toppy up and we got our act together to head to the hospital the Outback was empty.
So what does that have to do with today? Without Toppy we wouldn’t have made it to today. He allowed Phil to explore and develop the craft oriented business which is the back bone of who we are today. He also would have also been someone who would be part of the process whenever we wanted to launch a sale. If we had a sale we’d mail out to the hundreds of folks who had ordered from us giving them plenty of time to respond by mail, fax or telephone. Toppy would delight in every single order that would arrive. If he was in the office he would open the mail, so he saw it all. It was his idea to have a White Sale in January since that was something department stores did. So here we are in March which can be a slow time for wool crafts wondering what to do…
The easy answer is to offer a coupon! So here’s the only place we’ll put it. We may share a link on Facebook or Instagram, but for sure we’re NOT going to expose it anywhere else. So if you’re sharing, please direct folks to this blog. In honor of the story, the coupon code is #Toppy (if it doesn’t show try #toppy). It will entitle you to a $10 discount on orders of $50 or more. It is active on the site now and will expire at the end of March.
Meanwhile if you haven’t looked on our site in a while, not only are we sporting some rearranged prices, but we’ve added an entire new line of wool. Our new L-series scoured types are available for anyone looking for loose wool that reflects what is commercially available in the United States. Our business model is to bring industrial product to niche or hand use operations, so here’s another step in the chain of products. Also we got some GREAT fresh local Romney fleece in so we’re putting that up on the site. The other think is if you look at it today, you should look at it again next week. We’re going to update a lot of the photos and add more looks of a lot of different things. We’re trying to flesh out the site so here we go.
One last thing we had a big flurry on our Facebook fan site earlier this year thanks to one of our readers. We took our eye off that a bit, but now we notice we’re edging toward 1700 fans. So…. if you’ve been following us for any amount of time you know what that means. So while we’re thinking of how to incorporate 17 into a sale, we hope you check us out and help us grow. We’re also still hoping to run a survey about adding some new products AND if you’re into Instagram (@rhlindsay) we’re going to try to do some fun coupon stuff there. So the fun and frolic continues. We’re having a great time watching more folks discover our wool. It has been exciting and gratifying and we trust and hope it will continue thanks to you.
Thanks and have a great March!