Friday, August 31, 2007

Lantern Moon: Amazing (heartfelt endorsement follows)

A couple of weeks ago, I reported on the knitterly excursions of my visit to Tampa. In that review, I mentioned my frustration at having multiple needle-snaps using my luxe Lantern Moon sox stix.

Much of the joy of knitting to me is related to the feel of the yarn and needles in my hands as I knit so when I'm able to afford the lovely tools available, I do indeed indulge. I regard the costs of knitting as entertainment dollars; in that regard, these costs are relatively small compared to the damage I might do if I were into, say, Coach diaper bags. We've all got our thing, I'm not knocking anybody's particular pleasure.

What doesn't work for me is wasting dollars---and that was the only implication of my remarks. I couldn't keep replacing sock needles at $22 per set at the rate I was experiencing snappage. So it was that Lantern Moon's Logistics Director came across my remarks and contacted me. Mr. Sean Larson took the effort to express his regret that I'd had trouble with their product and replaced those items for me, as doing so is Lantern Moon's policy. Arriving in the mail today, I have now the needles to complete the sets that I treasure for my sock knitting.In fact I did know that LM had a lifetime replacement policy but I found it unwieldy to work through my LYS to do so; on two occassions, the needed stix were sold out and there would be a wait, and you know how people forget sometimes... I simply gave up. No one had bad intentions, the process just didn't work for me.

When I first began working as an epidemiologist, Dr. Richard Hopkins, my mentor of many years since (and among the finest State Epidemiologists ever), told me: "when I have concerns about the quality of your work, I will address that directly with you. When I am pleased, you will also know that but I will also tell your supervisor and other leaders. You may rely on my support and discretion in developing your skills." I've thought about that a lot over the years and I think a similar approach in supporting good business practices is prudent (Richard, I'll bet you never thought that your public health managerial approach would be compared to retail knitting goods...). In fact, I don't think I've ever really trashed a business entity here but I do make it a habit to feature good business practices, in conversation and when I write.

Lantern Moon will guarantee its place in today's market by the kind of action Mr. Larson took in my behalf. I've enjoyed a great many of their products since they came on the scene several years ago: my "summer" knitting basket, silk needle rolls and many sets of needles: sox stix, circulars and traditional (extremely elegant) straight fact I remember quite well knitting with a beautiful set of LM (US 13's, ebony) in the hospital for many weeks anxious over the outcome of my husband's illness. Ladies and gentlemen, those are the kinds of product-experiences that make loyal customers.
Even better, Lantern Moon is a company with a corporate culture and mission of compassion and concern. Excerpted from their website:

About Lantern Moon

We work directly with our producers to provide income, education and self-reliance to Vietnamese women and their families.

In 2004, we established an educational trust fund to benefit the children of these families. The natural materials that inspire our designs are combined with traditional handcrafting skills that have passed down from generation to generation. Our knitting needles are crafted in a family owned and managed business that provides training and opportunities.

With your purchases you help provide a market for these wonderful products and contribute to the economic and social well being of the areas where they are produced.

When I have a choice about the impact my consumer dollars may have, I will always choose to support good business practices, conscientious citizenry, and excellent customer service. I think Lantern Moon is the kind of company I want to do business with and I'm glad my LYS carries their goods. If you love a knitter, consider a gift from Lantern Moon (In case you're not coming up with anything, I'll note real innocently here that most of you DO know me...); if you're a knitter yourself, indulge.

The hours spent knitting should be as lovely as the garments you produce---Lantern Moon does its part to make certain of that. Its refreshing to know that in this very big world, a company would reach out to a single customer to make things right. How lovely. Just like their goods.

I might add, as I was pulling graphics and URLs from their site for this post, I noted several items that I probably need to buy. What a deal!


Melissa said...

ok, if you are talking about me, it's not coach - it's kate spade :)

Kathy said...

not talking to you, but that's nice to know! Do you like it?

Melissa said...

I love it! Kate Spade's online sample sale is great!!! It made something very fun and outrageous, a little less outrageously priced...

Special K said...

Wow, I can't believe they contacted you - I really just hardly can believe that! That IS good business.

Kate Spade Sample Sale? Where do I sign up??? (:

Melissa said...

I think they do it once a year. Next time I see it, I will have Kathy post!