The conversion of a non shopper

Let me tell you a story. A story about how excellent customer service and a sense of humour can win over a non shopper.

Shopping for me is right up there with Agra and Yoga. I know, I’m not normal. Book shopping I love, obviously, but there is no danger of a book not fitting, or being too small. Clothes are another matter. However one company managed to include me on their data base and bizarrely keep me there without being blocked. In my defence, it was a shoe company, and shoes, rather like books tend to fit, or at least, don’t make you self conscious if they don’t. This company, Mandarina Shoes appealed to me because of their kitten heels. Due to having had toe joints broken by horses in my youth, I can’t wear heels. My feet are also, rather like the rest of me, slightly chunky and not that elegant. So these kitten heels appealed, and I figured they may kill a couple of birds with one stone, more height than I’m used to and elegance! But there was a problem, they were in the UK and I in India. I couldn’t try them on.

Hoewver, having been tantalised by one too many newsletters I decided to write to them to see if I could figure out if these beautiful, elegant kitten heels would squidge into my little porkers.

I sent an email and had an immediate response from Caroline, the founder of the company herself. She said I could order a pair and I’d they didn’t fit they could be posted back. I pointed out that I was in India and, from experience, didn’t quite trust the post. We then got chatting about her previous India collection. The result of our chats were that if I could send measurements of my feet, we could work out if they might fit.

Not having a tape measure, I let this lie for a few days until, one Sunday, returning from a Delhi Sunday champagne brunch I decided that I really would like those red shoes. I scavenged around the house for anything that I could use to wrap around my foot, tipping out drawers and emptying toilet bags and causing destructon in my wake.  Eventually I found a piece of string, never has a piece of string caused such euphoria. I proceeded to wrap it around my foot and then, gripping onto the exact place on this string that marked the width of my foot I realised that I needed to figure out how to turn this into a usable measurement. I was momentarily stumped but then it dawned on me. My laptop! I laid the string out across my keyboard and counted the number of keys.

Thoroughly excited with my ingenuity, and with thoughts of those red kitten heels at the forefront of my mind, I promptly emailed Caroline and told her that my feet were approximate as wide as a piece of string that measured XX keys across a laptop key board.

Nonplussed, she responded, she had a desk top but made that approx xx no of cms and therefore her size 6 kitten heels should be wide enough for my feet. Delighted I went ahead and ordered a pair in brilliant red suede. They arrived, beautifully presented and I am delighted to report, they fit perfectly!

A year later, I have just made my 6th purchase…. A fabulous pair of Christmas boots which shall be sported on New Year’s Eve, regardless of whether they match my outfit or not!

A non shopper has been converted. Good customer service goes an long long way. Thank you to Caroline Townsend and her fabulous creations, my bank balance will remain forever in your debt!  Do check them out at:

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