My Dearest Brethren and Friends,
I hope everyone is keeping well. The purpose of this blog post is to publicly address the following concerns:
If you have been following us for a while now, you already have a good idea of how we work. With that said, this post is mainly for those who do not follow us in social media (FB mostly), for those who are not subscribed to our newsletter, and for those who discovered us just recently. I hope that this will help illustrate what FraternalTies is and what FraternalTies is not.
Despite being battered by many problems for an extended period of time now, our popularity have gone up. Despite the many setbacks, the demand for our original merchandise are greater than before. Despite losing our good ranking with Google, people still come. I don't know what drives the demand but I understand that these are good problems to have and I'm not one to question good Fortune when she comes.
The gist of this letter is something that I have shared many times before on our newsletters, FB posts, and private messages. Due to the influx of new subscribers and visitors, I feel that there's a need to have this message reinforced and published right here on the website to avoid future misunderstanding.
Since our inception in 2009 and up until recently, FraternalTies.com enjoyed top Google rank for search keywords relating to Masonic neckties, accessories, or gifts. It used to be that when you searched for "neckties for freemasons", "masonic neckties" or other related keywords, you would get FraternalTies on the top spot. And then life happened. All of a sudden we cannot afford even the basic services to keep our business running. Due to our repeated failure to settle our account with our webhost on time for this year, we suffered many online service suspensions. I understand that this caused a little bit of concern to some of our customers but I want to reassure everyone that we are not going anywhere. We are not closing down. We are still on recovery but we are here to stay.
The main reason behind this is the fact that we produce merchandise in small quantities only (typically between 50-100 units) which gets sold out rather quickly. We don't overproduce because we may not be able to handle the volume. If you want to get notified when a new merchandise becomes available, please subscribe to our newsletter.
I will not go into details but our computer and internet access have been severely limited lately. We are testing out certain protocols that we hope will prevent future potential business problems from occurring- I'm talking about delays in communication in particular. I am not promising an instant change, we cannot afford a drastic makeover, but we will be more consistent with our efforts to communicate with you on time. Our goal is 24-72 hour response time.
As for our creative process and production scheduling, I am sorry but not much will change. Please remember that the pure Jacquard woven silk fabric that we use for our neck ties are designed by myself from scratch. In other words, we make our own fabric. Designing the fabric pattern is the easy part, ensuring that resulting fabric will stay true to the design is another matter. If you're like me who value thoughtful design and great quality above all else, the chance of encountering production delay is simply just a part of life that we have to face. There's no other way but trial and error; the pursuit of 'getting it right' always need a good sprinkling of time. I know that this may not tickle everyone's fancy especially in today's age where everyone is used to fastfood and mass production. I hate to see some customers go over this but it is what it is. I will stick with my design principles. If you're still with me, I appreciate your patience.
DID-JAH-KNO: If you like FraternalTies merchandise but can't afford the long wait for our next collection, like when you need something within the next two weeks or so, you will be delighted to know that we maintain another online store with Print-On-Demand made in USA products such as Masonic mugs and shirts. The shopping process is automated. Your order will be quickly processed and shipped directly from USA. Please click this link to visit the website. I encourage you to bookmark it because I will be adding more designs soon.
We don't get a lot of request for refunds but dealing with it is particularly difficult for us at the moment. The vast majority of our customers have been exceptionally understanding of our circumstance but I would like to connect with those who may be thinking that they have been duped. I want to assure you that you're money is at work (invested in production) and not in our pockets. We will honour your refund request, but please try to understand that we simply cannot do it right away. One may rightfully argue that it is our responsibility as a business to find means to provide refund- I hope that the photos below will illustrate why we just cannot fulfill such requests at the moment. Please do not take this as a plea for sympathy or a precursor to a charity drive for our benefit. I was given the option to apply for benevolence through my mother lodge but I chose not to take it.
Home Eviction: Something that we have to deal with almost on a monthly basis
No job, no employment nor insurance benefits. We have no other source of capital besides what we can sell.
That is all for now.
Talk to you soon.