Pilot Ball Caps

Pilot Ball Caps
Pilot Ball Caps .com

Pilot Ball Caps .com

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Gratitude for our Veterans and Friends

Just a few thoughts to express my gratitude for our friends and customers... this week I received two phone calls from recent customers thanking me for selling them a ball cap! It makes me realize how important our memories are. For us to provide that small link to past friends and relatives and their service or collective experience gives me great joy. For those of you who have shared your stories with Connie and I, tales of brothers and sisters-in-arms, of parents whose service must be remembered and carried with us...it's priceless to us.

We're getting fewer and fewer WWII and Korean War stories (but still some), but many more from Viet Nam. and more from Desert Storm, OIF, and Iraq and Afghan wars. Sometimes our paths have crossed by mutual friends or units we may have served in at different times, or how our ball caps have been recognized by others wearing them.

I've heard and read anecdotes from many of you about how you have helped your fellow veterans. And those stories are not isolated, you know who you are (even though you would be the last to recognize it), that one who checks in (Buddy Check) on fellow vets, visits or volunteers at the VA, takes in a homeless vet while they try and get back on their feet. The Honor Guards, Wreaths Across America, Veteran's Cemetery Challenge, Patriot Riders and too many others to name.

You know the depth of connection that many will never experience. For all of these gifts you have given us, we truly Thank You...for including us here at pilotballcaps.com into a small part of your lives! And Thank You for your Service!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Honoring our Veterans and building a business

Honoring our Veterans is what we're doing here.  At first it started about me.  I wanted MY wings.  I was proud of them, and wanted a reminder of my accomplishments.  The hats came out so well that I thought others would like them as much as I did.  And many agreed.

Next step...make pilotballcaps.com a reality...with no budget. No experience.  No knowledge of how to build a website, of market products, or using social media.  But learn I did... with many mistakes, I finally got a groove and realized my biggest strength was personal relationships.  I could relate to Veterans, we shared a common bond... and that was the easy part. That's why we try and connect with all of our customers, and many have really become friends.

What followed was a gradual expansion to include other aviation specialties, squadrons, airlines and aircraft.  Most were at the request of our customers..and many of those did very well.  Many did not and we still have the original order in stock.

Our commitment to Vets is why we have kept our prices what they were ten years ago.  It's also why we've sent hats to some Vets when they couldn't afford them, donated to different causes, and joined a variety of Vet's groups.  We just believe in it.  The time is coming when we have to raise prices.  Not because of a profit issue, but rather due to ever increasing shipping costs much of which we have incurred.

Thanks to our thousands of loyal customers and friends. To our Veterans...thank you for your service and sacrifice. And remember to tell your buddies about our little endeavor!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Whose Business is it anyways?

Whose Business is this? Maybe I'm confused but I thought it was mine!  But is it?  Yes and no.  I believe like most businesses, it belongs to the principals who keep it afloat.  That means shareholders, board members, sometimes its employees...and its customers.  For us, I think of our customers as our "board of directors".  They drive where we are going...they influence the new product lines...they ARE our marketing department.

I started this endeavor because I liked the product that I came up with.  You see that?  It was all about me in the beginning.  But that all changed when our customers became invested.  That's when our designs expanded.  New items are usually derived directly from our customer requests.  Most of the time they're right and we do well by listening.  Like any board of directors, or marketing department or advisers...sometimes they get it wrong.  Our biggest successes have been from input from our loyal customers and friends. Ideas that we didn't want, or just didn't consider.

As we stroll though our tenth year I am ever grateful for the loyalty, friendship and advise of our customers.  They are what drives the ship.  Connie and I try and keep in touch with many of them, but their numbers are in the thousands now, and we rely on technology to keep track of everyone.  Facebook helps, but mostly it's the repeat interaction that allows us to maintain that close connection.

You see, at pilotballcaps.com you're part of it... part of the design, marketing and consulting force.  For that Connie and I would like to thank you all for your trust and your help.