Things are changing. And things are changing fast. And we have to admit that more than a time or two, we have thought about closing down Softball is For Girls because it is not easy dealing with so many peeps online. Whether you know it or not, we put our heart and souls into this business – this sport – and we agonize over every post, blog post, and sale we make.
In 2011, we started Softball is For Girls as a place for softball families to come together. We were knee deep with twins of our own graduating Rec ball for travel ball, and disgusted with the unevenness of communities for girls and parents of female athletes compared to boys. At that time, there was very little available for US….
So, as a freelance writer I just decided to go for it. And we created the community (on a whim and a prayer) on Facebook, Instagram and created the Softball is For Girls blog and website not sure what to expect, or what we were even doing.
Within a year, we had rounded up a nice amount of awesome fans and the Softball is For Girls brand became taking over, becoming a business of its own.
Along the way, WE HAVE LEARNED a lot!
We have admittedly failed more times than we can count, disappointed customers, dropped the ball a time or two, and we have also succeeded along the way. It’s been an amazing, and sometimes stressful experience – and we never expected to be where we are right now with so many awesome fans, products, and followers.
Being softball fans, did not make us perfect at running a business.
It did not automatically translate into tech savviness, and along the way we have spent a ton of money and time in order to keep Softball is For Girls afloat. We had the creativity to write cool things, and design some awesome one of a kind products – but we have been learning a lot of things as we go.
And so here we are. It’s 2017, and we have over 165K fans online, and reach +- 500K fans per week. We have sold around 10,000 products from our store, and are slowly but surely getting around 100K people per month to visit our blog.
And still, our main goal of empowering the athletes, and being an online community that is safe, uplifting, useful, and family friendly is still in place. While much of social media is pure garbage these days, we have been able to keep ours fairly clean with the minor exceptions of a few jerks along the way. We believe in God and are not afraid to share it. We leave the politics of this world to other people online. And even though we cannot monitor every single post and comment, we sincerely try to get rid of anything that does not fit into our idea of what is wholesome and positive.
But y’all!!!! The last few months, we have grown so much that y’all have been crashing our websites.
Our store and our blog have been crashing on a daily basis because of too many visitors. This has been annoying for YOU and for us, and we have FINALLY SOLVED THE PROBLEM thanks to some help from tech savvy peeps.
So, what have we done to improve Softball is For Girls?
- We are now on our very own dedicated completely secure server. So no MORE crashing. And if more than a 100 of y’all click at once, you should be able to get through without a problem! YAY! Prior, our server was secure, but it could not handle the traffic – thus loading slowly and crashing. So now, we have our own server, which should make your experience both on our blog and at our store safer, and more secure.
- We will be the first to admit that our customer service is not as great as it should be, as great as WE want it to be. One of the reasons is that we easily receive well over 100 emails a day – sometimes 200-300 per day coming from all different directions. Many get lost or covered up by other emails, land in junk or spam folders, and its nearly impossible to keep up. So we have created a Brand new customer service email address, that will go to Meg, who we have hired to take care of y’all. (Because to be perfectly honest… we work and have 4 kids and two travel teams and we aren’t always planted in front of a computer, well – because kids and life and dogs and softball and dinner and laundry and cars that break down and grass cutting and family and OH MY GAWD….you name it…. pulls us away at the most inopportune times.Sigh!) Customer service hours will be Monday through Thursday 9am – 5pm EST. And with a dedicated server and email address, we should not have the problem of your emails being buried. OUr customer service email will be firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We have also enabled online chat on our store front. This way we can handle your questions or concerns online in real time, and you will know when we are online to reach us. Just click on the little comment/quote icon in orange on our store.
- One of the biggest complaints we get is our turnaround time on made to order items. We understand that no one wants to wait very long anymore (especially since our stuff is SO AWESOME) – and especially with companies like Amazon spoiling us with overnight shipping on nearly everything…. So we are working VERY HARD (VERY VERY HARD) to reduce the waiting time, and will soon be self sufficient in our printing. Currently, we hire all our work out third party. We also want everyone to understand, that one of the reasons that our items do take longer is because we do them in batches. If we didn’t do them in batches we would have to limit sizes and color choices and the cost would be much higher. So there is a delicate balance there, but you can definitely start to expect your items in a more timely manner. So we will be shipping FASTER but it still will not be overnight…Please keep in mind when ordering from us, that we are a small, family owned business….And that being said – we can tell you with 100% certainty that you will not find a more dedicated family to softball than us. We believe in these girls, the games, the parents, the sport, and are working hard to keep this gig rolling!
- We have a new Dear Abby style section on our blog for fan questions. We LOVE our fan questions, and we will still post them up on social media, but we will also start answering them online in posts. We warn you, there may be some sarcasm in some of those replies.
- DEAL OF THE DAY! We know that everyone loves our flash sales. We also know that many of y’all miss them. So Monday – Friday, our FLASH SALE ITEMS – which are always discounted in stock items available at a reduced price with no shipping – will happen at 10;30am! The best place to watch for them is on our Facebook page – so make sure your social settings are set to see our page. And remember if you don’t LIKE or COMMENT on something, anything…at least every day or so – Facebook will simply assume you are not interested in our community and hide us from you. (We have no control over that and don’t have the money to spend thousands of dollars per month advertising on Facebook to ensure you see our page!)
- Type 1 Diabetes Awareness & Fundraising – We will continue our efforts to raise awareness and money for Type 1 diabetes. If you follow us, you know we have a softball loving, cross country running, track racing, Savage Race winning 15 year old Type 1 diabetic. We know there are so many girls out there that battle this auto immune disease and yet continue to play the sports we love, and we think they are warriors!
- Our Partnerships. We have found some really amazing companies to partner with. Companies that believe in our kids, in our female athletes, and we hope that you will patronize them for your softball needs. You can find each of them on the home page of our blog, and we can honestly say that they are truly invested in your family and your athletes!
- Brick Dust Diaries! Last but certainly not least – we are going back to our ROOTS, and have a book release coming soon. We believe that the written word can touch many people and change lives, and we hope that through our upcoming book, we will be able to continue to touch the hearts of softball players and their families.
We appreciate everyone sticking with us through growing pains, and we hope to continue to serve our community for many years to come! Thanks to each and every one of you – even those who have been much less than nice, for we have learned a lot of lessons that will only make our business better.
The Softball is For Girls Family