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Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
MLD delivers as promised! on 08/15/2007 11:04:16 MDT Print View

I just received an email from MLD (Ron), stating that my order will ship-out today, and should be at my door by Saturday.

So, he was almost spot-on, with his original 8 week delivery promise!

I'm happy!

Thanks Ron!

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: MLD delivers as promised! on 08/15/2007 11:08:15 MDT Print View

I had the same experience. I emailed after about 8 weeks and he said my Zip would be in the next batch he made,
2 days later in an e-mail he told me it was in the mail!

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Yup on 08/15/2007 15:26:29 MDT Print View

I've had nothing but good experiences and great communication with Ron as well. He's one of the best. That was never my point. My point all along was that back in the fall, he announced (as I recall) that along with the new web site, they would also be hiring / sub-contracting a small production staff to resolve the delay issue. That was never done.

As for "picking any two"... I'd have to disagree. There are a number of companies out there that are innovative and well priced without the wait times (Gossamer Gear, Six Moons, Tarp Tent, etc.)

That doesn't mean I'm going to stop ordering from MLD.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Waits are common for all the Cottage made gear! on 08/15/2007 16:14:30 MDT Print View

Hmm, Lets see now,

ULA is closed till December.

Tarptent doesn't currently list any of their shelters as available to order.

GossamerGear doesn't have their Spinntwin tarp or Mariposa Plus packs available in the most popular size of medium.

Some of SixMoon Designs most popular shelters are currently unavailable as well.

So, waits for most of the cottage gear guys, is not exclusive to MLD, and being that Ron is still making each piece of gear himself, and delivering within 8 weeks is pretty darn good.

He was even on vacation for a week and still met his deadline on my delivery.

Edited by mfog1 on 08/15/2007 16:22:04 MDT.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Wait are common for all the Cottage made gear! on 08/15/2007 16:19:19 MDT Print View


Edited by davidlewis on 09/19/2007 16:14:45 MDT.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Re: Waits are Not common for all the Cottage made gear! on 08/15/2007 17:48:46 MDT Print View

Mike, et al,

Excepting for an occasional shortage which is always posted on our web site, all Jacks R Better quilts and gear ships in 24-72 hours from when the customer checks out after purchases....This in stock peformance has been consistantly maintained Since February 2005... It really is a bit unfair to paint all the cottage manufacturers with the same broad "order and wait" brush.


Daniel Benthal

Locale: Mid-Coast Maine
Jack's R Better and Oware on 08/15/2007 18:04:49 MDT Print View

Interesting timing on the post from the folks at JRB.

I just ordered and received a JRB Shenandoah Summer quilt from JRB. It is on sale and I received it in a few days.

The quality is impeccable, the price was good, and service was quick.

I have also ordered recently from Oware and had the same great experience.

I am a happy customer of both of these small businesses!


Edited by DBthal on 08/15/2007 18:07:00 MDT.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Ok many, not all. on 08/15/2007 18:22:27 MDT Print View

Sorry JRB,

I should have said: many, some, or a few, not all.

I'm' wondering if you guys (JRB) are seeing as much volume though?

Edited by mfog1 on 08/16/2007 09:04:34 MDT.

Ron Moak
(rmoak) - F
There's no perfection in business! on 08/15/2007 18:54:54 MDT Print View

Unfortunately there will always be delays in shipping from time to time. We work hard to keep them to a minimum, but none of us is wise enough to always anticipate demand.

Fortune 500 companies have deep supply chains, 150K a year paid guru's who's sole job is to try and anticipate the demand for a new products. People with years of experience in doing so. Yet they routinely underproduce for the demand.

It should also be noted that they just as frequently overproduce. As a result they have excess inventory that may hang around in stock for a considerable time before being discounted and sold.

The problem is you don't know when we've overproduced you just know when we've "screwed the pooch". Or you, as the case maybe, if you're unable to get what you want when you want it.

Believe me, none of us want's stuff on backorder. Not you not me, noone. If I don't have someting I can only pray you can wait long enough for me to fill it. Otherwise you're gone. At best, I've simply lost a sale. At worst, I've lost a potential long term customer.

For the little guy, trying to figure out what you want is frequently like playing the lottery with 10's of thousands of dollars. If you're right it's great! If not, well you get the picture.


Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Cottage Gear on 08/15/2007 19:41:57 MDT Print View

Hey All,

I want to thank all the MLD customers from this year. Sometimes I have missed some delivery predictions a bit but most folks get orders close to the delivery prediction. The main focus has been product quality and innovation and I think we have done pretty good in that area. Backlog has been the most stressful part of the biz so far; and you folks have been awesome and understanding.

In past years when the biz was very part time the waits had run very long at times. However: Never never never has a customer asked for a refund at any time and not received it immediately; nor has a customer not been able to reach me within one Biz day.

Pretty much all the facts posted by all above posters are correct and I always welcome customer feedback- That's how we improve. So, thanks again for effort and your input to make the gear avialble to you better...

When thinking about cottage gear makers as group, think about the market between the LW, UL and SUL. Each niche will have companies that have to work a bit different based on the avialble customer base and those customer needs:

My guess at the metrics as to the ratio of currently avialble customers:
LW 1000 : UL 25 : SUL 1

What's your guess? You see what I mean about a Biz challenge!

I also wanted to point out that MLD is perhaps the most unlike the other cottage makers in a couple of ways.

Were are the newest FT company, less than a year FT. Getting better along the way...AND we focus exclusively the entire Biz and product line on Super Ultra Light gear.

I may be wrong here, but I think we list more SUL/UL major products on the site than any other of the cottage companies. (By Major Products, I mean major items that require construction-I'm not counting for resale preassembled/prepackaged smaller items) In effect, this makes us more of a custom shop than many other companies with the products listed and all the options really a pick and choose boutique of sorts.

Take just the Soul Bivy for example: Reg Zip /or Side Zip L or R - DWR or EVEnt top in two colors - 1.35 or 2.0 bottom - wide, long or wide and long + even more little custom tweaks requests we get regularly. That's somewhere around 50 different combinations for that one product. Of course, no one could ever keep that many options in stock.

I think we offer around 250 listed product combination/options. Add the tweaks and it's over 350. Whew!

I feel good to be "Cottage Gear Maker" because so many of the other small companies are really good people making good gear. We are all a little bit differerent and that ultimately translates into good choices for all of you. Celebrate the Diversity!

You folks keep hiking and looking for SUL converts and MLD will keep innovating and getting better.

Many Thanks,


Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Cottage Gear on 08/15/2007 20:23:37 MDT Print View

Ya know,
A wait for the hottest items are good.
I demands attention from other companies and even new prospects who see that people want these items enough to wait.
It's actually now hard to make a lot of items out there for a fraction of the price. Especially with fabric and insulation products.
Plus the workmanship is and will always be better than mine.
The only real reason I still like to make my own gear is for a more precise fit to my body.

What I hate the most is the price of Cuben and how hard it is to sew. The cottage gear companies are making the cuben products for almost the same cost as to buy the material. That is just awesome.

I also hate the fact that I can't buy Event fabric, but here Ron sells products with 2.0 ounce event. Doublely awesome.

If you can't respect what the cottage companies are doing for, (mostly the SUL crowd), then you're probably just some light weight packer who doesn't look at this gear as anything special.
Poo on you!
Cottage gear rocks!!!
And Ron is on top of the heap.

By the way Ron, when are you going to come out with a "no-frills" sub 6 ounce, (true to fit) Event Jacket?

This has been at the top of my MUST HAVE LIST for about 5 years now.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/15/2007 20:35:56 MDT.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
MLD News on 09/19/2007 16:22:44 MDT Print View

Great new posted recently at MLD: "We opened a new shop this week and are hiring production help to help catch up on backorders. Orders are being built and shipped everyday. Thanks for your patience while we build your custom SUL gear."

Thanks Ron. That's awesome. Thanks for the reply above too.

reply to Aaron: "If you can't respect what the cottage companies are doing for, (mostly the SUL crowd), then you're probably just some light weight packer who doesn't look at this gear as anything special. Poo on you! Cottage gear rocks!!! And Ron is on top of the heap."

Again... I agree! It's possible to say "I'm disappointed Ron hasn' added the production capacity he talked about last fall" and still be a loyal customer who loves his gear, buys his gear, think's he "rocks"... etc.

Anyway... this sounds like good news. Good to see MLD growing and doing so well.

Edited by davidlewis on 09/19/2007 17:09:52 MDT.