When Rand and I purchased the Crystal River product line, we were very excited. We’re still excited. We planned to sustain and grow the business, providing you with quality kits at reasonable prices, well packaged, and in a timely manner. That’s still the plan! So what’s changing? We’re taking a brief hiatus, and when we come back, it’ll be with a new approach.
Effective today (20 May), we’re putting a freeze on new orders. We’re going to finish cutting the kits in our production queue, mail those to their buyers, and then spend the time between now and the National Narrow Gauge Convention in the first week of September cutting copies of our most-popular kits to sell onsite at NNGC. We hope to see many of you there.
The new approach
When we come back from NNGC, we’ll reopen the online store–with a twist. Instead of offering any kit in our catalog for sale at any time and making the kits after an order comes in, we’ll instead offer a selection of 3-5 kits each quarter. We’ll make inventory for these kits in advance so we can quickly fill orders, and we’ll post a list of the kits on offer during the next quarter on the website and to our mailing list so you can plan ahead. We’ll post the list of kits we’ll offer in Q4 2022 (October-December) here in a month or so.
We’re shaking things up a bit so we can measure up to our standards
for filling orders with top-quality products in a timely way. We feel good about the quality of our kits over the last couple of years, but the produce-upon-order model has made us really slow to ship, and that’s not OK. All of you have been super patient and understanding, and we appreciate that. But since Rand and I both still have full-time jobs an
d can only put a small, fixed number of hours a week into the business for now, we weren’t going to improve our shipping speed without changing something about our business model. The predictability, repeatability, and efficiency of small-batch, up-front production of a limited number of kits each quarter should give us the kind of second-work / life balance we need to live up to our commitments to you and the Crystal River Products brand while also doing right by our families, our faith, and our communities.
Thanks for your support as we’ve learned the ropes of this business and worked our way through some growing pains. We couldn’t be more excited about the future. :-)