Happy New Year!
Dear valued customers, friends and facebook fans,
We're really so terribly sorry that we’ve been slow to respond to you all until now. I just thought I would take a few moments and explain what’s been going on behind the scenes of Magical Alley. The fourth quarter (September through December is always the busiest time of year for us) but this year was SOOO much different from all of the years past. The sheer volume of sales from October through the end of the year was staggering! We had roughly 750+ orders which came in; it was like feeding Gremlins after midnight. We’d never seen such business in a short amount of time. It was fantastic, yet very overwhelming for us at the same time. You see, for those of you who aren’t very familiar with us yet, Magical Alley is made up of just two people; myself (Terie) and my husband Tim who is our brilliant, artistic, mastercraftsman and wandmaker.
The unique designs which we’ve become renown for is our build a wand concept. The fantastic idea of being able to create your own design instead of having to opt from designs that someone else has crafted. But with this amazing concept means is that every single order is a brand new custom made design. It’s a one of a kind; hand crafted wand. No one in the world will have a wand like it. There is no repetition here; it’s not poured in a mold made of resin, not made on a large duplicating machine. If there was, we could bang out so many identical wands all day long and orders would fly out the door so quickly; with no waiting time for anyone. But with custom orders, such as the build a wand, these orders take much longer to make because each of these are hand selected, many of these orders are hand carved. So when you take into account of orders which came in such a short time frame and they all wanted to be finished by Christmas, I hope that each of you can understand the bigger picture here of what we were faced with.
Now you might think that the simple remedy would be to place an ad in Craigslist or in Home Depot or Lowe’s for a part-time woodworker to help with the workload. But it’s not that simple. The precision lathe work that we’d need to find would be an advanced lathe turner who has had many years of precision lathe turning. So basically what it boils down to is this: although if someone who has done DIY work, construction, etc. and is quite handy in a wood working shop, but never been around or worked on a lathe before, will have a problem because the lathe is an entirely different animal. It takes years to achieve the skill level to get good enough to take on any of Tim’s designs. Tim didn’t/doesn’t have the time to apprentice someone and teach them the bare basics of lathe turning.
There are a few reasons:
1. It’s very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.
2. It would’ve taken Tim away from his own work. Time was something too precious to waste.
3. Tim would constantly be inspecting the work of his trainee, to ensure his work would be up to our standards.
4. Our name would be tied to every single piece that this person would be creating. Our customers are paying for quality and if it’s not perfect, it’s not going anywhere. No question about it. We’d rather something be late knowing that the order is perfect than ship it quickly out of haste and sloppy just to say the order was sent.
But please understand we worked MANY 12-16 hour days, including the weekends trying to fill as many orders as we could. There were just too many orders for one wandmaker to fill and unfortunately we couldn't fill every order before Christmas and by the time we went on our own holiday. It broke our hearts knowing we weren’t able to finish all of the Christmas orders. Just the thought of all of the children that would be so unhappy because they wouldn’t get one of our wands for Christmas—a special present that was their Christmas wish, sickened us. It made it really difficult for me to enjoy my own Christmas, moving me to tears to be honest, but we desperately needed the time of to recuperate from the nonstop business we’d had since the summertime. Well… burning the candle at both ends took its toll on both of us! We both came down with a very bad case of the flu over New Years. Our intent was to return back to work again on January 4th, but it nastiness of the flu wasn't going to allow this to happen. Tim's finally starting to feel good enough to get back out into the shop on Friday the 6th; but I wasn't so lucky. It hit me like a hurricane, knocking me flat out for almost 2 weeks and I'm still not totally over it. So I've been trying my best to start answering the huge flood of emails. So we would like to ease everyone’s worries about their orders. YOU WILL receive them. Our website and business is real. You haven't been scammed out of your hard earned money.
We do however, have a new business phone number. So just in case you've tried to call the old number and start to panic because that one is no longer in service. The new number has been updated on our site now. It’s 360-277-4150. It’s a landline, not a cellphone so this one won’t have texting abilities. I do have one little favor from each of you: I realize that each of you who've not heard from me yet regarding your late order and want to know the status of it, if you've sent me an email anytime from late December until now, please PLEASE refrain from sending me multiple emails. I promise I will get back with you. My inbox has over 1600 emails in it right now. There are several multiple emails. Our customer base is quite large and I've got a lot of people to answer to so it'll take me awhile. It'll only slow me down further if I'm getting bombarded with many messages from the same people. Thank you for understanding and most of all thank you so very much for your business!
Very Warmly and Sincerely,
Terie & Tim