About 3 months ago I was looking for a computer bag/sleeve for my tablet PC. While online, I heard about these marvelous cases made by a company called Waterfield. Their website is www.sfbags.com. Customer after customer was raving about the craftsmanship and the amazing customer support.
I found it strange that their URL didn't have their name in it...and it seemed to imply that they were in SF...so I checked them out.
They are in SF. They make AMAZING bags using the material used to make bullet-proof vests. Their bags are stylish. They make over 40 different sizes of their computer sleeve case, so they have a size that fits like a glove for virtually every laptop on the planet.
And they make all of their cases in SF.
That's not a mistake. I said SF. Because of the high cost of doing business in SF, their prices are high and they don't sell retail.
So why buy from them -- other than the obvious reason that they're doing the right thing and bringing production back home?
Lots of reasons. First, their product rocks. It really does. Attention to detail, amazingly strong materials, and customizable options so you get the sleeve or bag you want. Fast, friendly customer service -- they even wrote me a personal thank-you note on my invoice. And if something goes wrong, there's a limited lifetime guarantee on their products.
Here's a quick story (hopefully). I have the computer sleeve with their piggyback clip-on pouch for when you need to carry a little more than just your laptop( brilliant, I say!) . On Sunday, while shopping at RiteAid, one of the clips that held the piggyback snapped. The metal just sheared in half -- obviously a fault in the metal. I e-mailed this morning and asked about getting it repaired. Got a with an address to mail it in and a promise that they would have it back to me in a few days. I wrote back and explained I was in SF, and asked if I could just drop it off? They replied yes, but explained they couldn't do it while I waited because it would take a couple hours. When I got there, the person who opened the door told me that it would take an hour and they would call when it was finished. As I was walking out of the building, Gary, the owner called. He apologized about the problem I was having and said that the clips were very strong, but he had seen a couple break. Shouldn't happen again, but he offered to replace them with the larger, more expensive and even stronger clips that they use on their shoulder straps. He explained that they weren't as "cute", but said they were even stronger. I said, yeah, that would be great. He told me that they would call me in an hour. Since it had taken me half an hour to get there, I went a couple shops down to a cafe to wait. I didn't have my computer with me, so I groaned. I was expecting the one hour quote to slip to two before the job was done. After all, they would have to disassemble both well attached clips (you have to see the craftsmanship to believe it), and then attach the new ones...and surely, I wasn't their only customer.
Well, half an hour later, my soy latte at the halfway mark, I got the call. My piggyback was ready! I went back, picked it up, and finished my latte on the drive home.
I'm looking at one of their bigger bags right now. Before this pleasant experience, I was recommending them to anyone who'd listen. Now, I'm gonna bug even those people who won't listen. Customer service is a dying art, if not already dead. The pluses in doing business with this company are so many -- they left me wanting NOTHING from the experience, and when you can say that after having a problem, well, what more can you say? Who says you can't manufacture products in the US anymore?
Damn, I love this bag.
Pass it on...
P.S. Want a cool, plastic wallet? Another SF born and bred company, www.thejimi.com produces these. I met the owner at a cafe and he gave me one. I can slide my bus pass in it and you can see it through the translucent plastic, so I never have to take it out. I will never go back to a traditional wallet...if I can help it (: