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.