Though we work hard to ensure the success of anything—from our stunning collectible Year In Review print edition to our simple baseball caps—that carries the speedonthewater.com logo, there are no guarantees. Such was the case with our first product store, which would have turned one year old next month had it been worth preserving.
The new Speedonthewater.com store features more than 100 branded products (click image above to enter the store).
But it wasn’t. The store failed. Thanks to a fulfillment-to-order vendor who overpromised and underdelivered, the project was a disaster from start to finish. We tried to work through the vendor’s laughable attempts at customer service; in the end, it was unacceptable.
So we pulled the plug and reached out to Grow Marketing, the Osage Beach, Mo., product fulfillment company we should have partnered with in the first place.
Truth be told, Grow Marketing’s Susan Laudwig approached me about getting our apparel business during the 2018 Shootout On The Strip street exhibit, the annual Wednesday night precursor to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Central Missouri. Laudwig had produced dresses for our models, as well as event-based T-shirts, and had done a fine job with all of it.
But we already had started working with our previous vendor and I was feeling overconfident. Strike that. I was full of myself—a complete alpha hotel male if you will. I was snarky and I more or less (more) blew her off.
Our discussion was not one of my finest moments, and I still cringe when I think back on it. I apologized to Laudwig the following night during the Performance Boat Center welcome party, but I never felt good about it. I have no use for arrogance, especially my own.
Laudwig graciously agreed to give us a shot a redemption after we let go of our prior vendor, and the fruits of her labor can be found in our new online product store. More than two months in the making, it has more than 100 speedonthewater.com-branded items for men and women. And there are more—many more—products from bikinis, board shorts and jackets to tumblers, youth apparel and event-specific gear on the way.
We would have loved to get our store right the first time. We didn’t. But we also didn’t give up on it. In Laudwig and Grow Marketing, we’ve found the right vendor. And I didn’t even mind eating a little well-earned crow to get her on board.