Somewhere in the depths of this lj is a post about brand loyalty, and how I don't generally have any. I'll buy from anybody who has what I want at a price I can afford, and am generally not picky about brand names, companies, manufacturers, publishers, etc. But every now and then I have an experience with a company that's positive enough to make an impression on me.Baen Books
for example, for saying "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" about book piracy, and started just giving away a fairly extensive library of e-books. (Best business decision ever, too. A few years ago you never saw books published by Baen, and now they're half the sci-fi fantasy section at every major bookstore.)
And now Distinctive Fabrics
joins the very short lineup. Why? Well, for starters, they've been amazingly easy to do business with. Their return policies are terrific, their problem solving when something goes wrong is fantastic, the time from ordering to shipping is shockingly short, they have good quality stuff, they give free swatches in return for your signing up on their site, and their regular newsletters are much more interesting than the voluntary spam I get usually is. I already liked them quite a bit, but now they're gone above and beyond. A while back there was some concern about the quality of their long pile fur. People ordering would sometimes get this deep fluffy stuff, and sometimes get this stuff that wanted to lie down flat, and tended to clump. Rather frustrating when you never knew which kind you'd end up with. There was a post on the subject on the fursuit community, and I decided that the solution was to bring this to their attention, so I actually wrote the people at Distinctive and linked them to the thread.
They either had an LJ account, or made one, because they responded! Right there in the thread! The explained about getting a new manufacturer for the fabric, and how they had some new stuff, some old stuff, and they'd make it possible to indicate which type you wanted when ordering.
That was cool enough, but it gets better. The folks at Distinctive are now aware of the fursuiting lj community, and that we're doing a lot of buying from them. They have, as all fabric sellers do, a large stack of remnant fabrics just taking up space. Too small to sell easily, too big to throw away. A lot of fabric sellers deal with this by putting together grab bags of remnants that you can buy cheap, which is a perfectly good solution to the problelm. But Distinctive decided to go and give them away! They just posted to the fursuit community, offering remnants of all sorts of fur on a first come first serve basis.
And I have to say that I am totally floored by this. And frankly quite in admiration. This isn't going to cost them a cent, and every fursuit maker in the furry fandom, from the rankest beginner to the biggest pro, is going to know Distinctive's name, and think highly of them. A totally brilliant move on their part.