Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordful Wednesday - some serious awesomeness for Heather's Hobbity Hooves

Last summer, I was shopping at our local Lands' End Inlet store and I happened upon a display of flip-flops.  As faithful readers may recall, I have feet issues.  To wit: unevenly sized, misshapen, Hobbity, rhino hoof feet issues.  The first thing I noticed was that these particular flip-flops didn't have the dreaded "between the toes thong" which automatically would rule them out for Heather's Hobbity Hooves.  WIth my feet being two different sizes, walking in flip-flops with the between-the-toes thong becomes an instant game of How Fast Will Heather Stumble and Fall? and as I barely can keep our house stocked with sufficient quantities of bandages for the kid's various boo-boos, adding the cost of bandages for Flip Flop Fumbles by me (with my considerably larger surface area for skinning-n-scraping) would be just too much.  I don't think banks loan money to folks for first aid supplies or general klutziness.

Anyhow, there I stood, perusing the display of non-between-the-toes-thonged flip-flops.  As I gazed and pondered, another shopper walked by, and she had a pair of the same flip-flops on her feet, so I asked her if she liked them (because, you know, I'm like that with the whole "randomly yet politely accost strangers in public and strike up a conversation" and all).  Her response was instantaneous and enthusiastic.  She loved them.  Lived in them.  Most comfortable flip-flops she'd ever owned.  Now, she wasn't some Skinny-Minnie, petite little thing, either.  She looked to be about my age and was taller than I am, so this wasn't a case of someone walking around in their size 4 shoes or anything.  We chatted a bit further as she kept extolling the virtues of these flip-flops above all others she had ever worn, and commiserated with me about the discomfort that comes with most other flip-flops out there in the world.

Well, I decided at this point that if there was a pair in my size, and being on sale at the Inlet as they were, it was Meant to Be for Heather's Hobbity Hooves to find themselves shod in a pair of these flip-flops.  I looked through the display, and lo and behold, there was one pair in my size.  Snatching them up, I slipped off my trusty Birks and tried them on.  They.  Were.  Heavenly.  I walked them right over to the register, paid and wore them out of the store.

One year later, they remain my most favorite flip-flops, ever.  They've worn well, held up to the torment that comes with shoeing my Hobbity Hooves, and have generally been a delight.  As such a delight, I wear them all the time now that the weather is warm enough to put away my ample supply of woolly socks and clogs.  I've even worn them to the grocery store - they're that comfy.  My Birks don't know what to do with themselves, with all this rest they've been getting.

I wear them so often that I hardly even notice they're on, which is exactly what happened one day last week when I busted out my roller and paint tray and got to painting the living room walls.  (We're just finishing up Paintathon 2010, more on that in another post.)  I have a pair of "painting shoes" - those being a pair of mint green bedroom slippers that I wear just when I'm on the drop cloth and painting, then kick off before stepping onto clean floors so as not to track paint everywhere.  (Have I mentioned I'm a klutz?  And that if there is wet paint within 100 yards of my body, I will find a way to get it all over my body and step in it, too?)  Well, on this particular morning, I waved goodbye to Kiddo as the bus pulled away, headed back inside, picked up my roller, poured a tray of paint and began rolling away to the musical accompaniment of my Pandora Radio 80s station.

It was several moments later (well, one White Wedding and a Reflex later, at least) that I went to roll a particularly spattery load of paint, and felt it splash all over me.  No big whoop, since I had.....................


Oh.  No.

I hadn't.  I hadn't put on my painty slippers.  I was still wearing my flip-flops.  My beloved flip-flops, which now had a glob of paint right smack dab in the middle of the top strap.


I immediately abandoned my roller and rushed to the laundry room to try to minimize the damage.  I scrubbed and I scrubbed and I Oxicleaned and scrubbed some more, but there still remained traces of Soft Linen paint in a satin finish on my flip-flop.  I was devastated.

So devastated that I immediately took to my computer to bemoan my idiocy to the world.  I tweeted about ruining my flip-flops by painting in them, I whined on Facebook.  After wrapping up my internet whinefest, I put on my painty slippers and got back to the task at hand.

A little while later, I was back at my computer and saw a tweet to me from someone at Lands' End.  They'd read my tweet (!) and tweeted back:

Your painting efforts impressed us let us treat you to a new pair of soon to be your fave Lands End flip-flops!


I exchanged a few tweets and then emails with a lovely woman at Lands' End with an equally lovely name (shout out to Raija - you rock!) and before you know it, Lands' End sent me these beauties which just arrived this evening, a week to the day of my painting mishap:

Aren't they fantabulous?  Yes, yes they are.  Fantabulous and comfy and definitely my favorite flip-flop footwear.

Here's one in action on a HHH:

(Yes, I know, it's not a pretty picture.  I clearly stated I have horrible feet.  The "scratched-til-it-bled" mosquito bite, half-assed attempt at a self-pedi to help hide my damaged big toenail and glimpse of pink flamingo-n-palm-tree jammies just add to the overall beauty, too, don't they?)

Now, I've been a loyal Lands' End customer and fan for years.  I've never had an issue with their customer service or returns on the very few occasions that I've had to return something.  I have contacted their customer service either online or by phone with questions about sizes, etc several times over the years and their customer service reps have always been friendly, helpful and professional.  I've always found the quality of their merchandise to be excellent (for example, despite her best efforts, Kiddo is unable to destroy any of their Super-Ts, be they long- or short-sleeved) and they have sales often enough that it is rare for me to ever have to pay full price for any of their stuff.  All that aside, how completely awesome is it that they sent me a free, new pair of flip-flops after I was scatterbrained and klutzy enough to spatter paint on a pair through my own sheer idiocy?

Lands' End, thanks!!!  I was already a fan, now I'm absolutely a fan for life!

I wonder what would happen if I tweeted about the scratches on my Sienna.............


tulpen said...

That is so cool!!

They're really cute.

Hobbity Hooves.. hehehehe....

Creative Junkie said...

OMG, every freaking time I read "Heather's Hobbity Hooves" I die laughing.

And how lucky are you that Lands End loves you? Maybe you should tweet something like "a bird pooped on my minivan and it won't come off and it's ruined" and maybe Toyota will send you a new one? I might just try that with my ten year old Honda.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the flip flops! Although, I think I need that thong thingy because otherwise, I don't know how they would stay on my feet?

My name is Andy. said...

That is great!! It's that kind of customer service and word of mouth that can make or break a company!

kwr221 said...


Your feet aren't that bad - you should def come get a pedicure with me and Lea! :-)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Yeah! A happy ending!