GENUINE SHEARLING (A/K/A SHEEPSKIN) SLIPPERS,
MITTENS, HATS, EAR MUFFS, AND OTHER SHEARLING PRODUCTS STILL HAND MADE IN VERMONT, USA FROM
DOMESTIC AND IMPORTED SHEEPSKINS. (OH BUT THE FTC WANTS US TO TELL YOU IT
IS "SHEARLING FUR.")
WELCOME TO THE HOME OF SHEPHERD'S
FLOCK®, NOW IN BELLOWS FALLS, VERMONT
We do an honest business here. That being said, if you are in a tremendous
hurry, you can't deal with anything but point and click ordering, you really
don't care what the domestic and global impact of your purchase is, you simply must do
everything with your smart phone, you have to be a walking advertisement for
some company, and/or you just can't cope with "different",
you really won't much care for our old style approach to business (proof to follow). Since
we do not wish to waste your valuable time or make you angry, we suggest you
click here for a list of a lot of
other firms that will better fit your vision of professionalism. So, your
very brief stop here has already saved you an immense amount of time. Have a
great day, BTW.
We received an email in the spring of 2013 from a very frustrated individual who was complaining about our web
site and some difficulty they were having placing an order.
(See that button
that says "Site Menu" above the picture? Mouse over it, scroll to the
right over "Ordering", click on your choice and like, WOW!")
(Note that a customer has reported -very politely we should add- that it does
not work with IE 11 but it is
not just us with issues so we feel a bit better. Things work so much better
in compatibility mode so learn how to do that. Besides, MS is getting rid of IE,
we wonder why.) Nothing really bothers us at our age and
we answered that email in our normal and polite manner. Honestly, we do actually
try our best to refer people to a business that will be able to provide what
they want be it a product or a more professional manner of doing business if we
cannot offer them what they desire. That is exactly why the list mentioned above was
developed, not just for our visitors but so we can check on other firms from
time to time and maybe be able to refer someone elsewhere rapidly.
But, before we answered the first email we read an email from a friend of the
individual who just had to take a bit of their extremely valuable time to
do nothing but tell us how "unprofessional" we are. You will find the entire
story here if you have a minute
but we won't make you read unless you want to. Your option entirely.
We do have to say that the seriously irate email seemed to suggest there were
"rules" that we had to follow. Rules? When we were "discussing" using these
emails as the basis for our current home page with our
Facebook fans, one of them
put it much better than we could have ourselves, "An independent businessperson
from Vermont is going to do what they want...." Rules? If we had followed
the rules when we quit our jobs to start this business late in 1978, no money,
no business plan, and our first child on the way, we would most certainly not be
here today in 2018 as we would not have lasted 6 months, much less 40 years.
That is Business Rule 101. Actually, based on what we started with and where we
are today, we have been more successful than "The Donald", relatively speaking
anyway. We have never stiffed a supplier, never declared "bankruptcy", the
two of us who run the business have been married for over 40 years, and we never
even thought of "straying". We really get
everything wrong. Oh well, so much for living the "American Dream"
and getting rich.
It does seem to pass some of us by.
We are unprofessional, we admit it. We have even set up a
chart for you just to show you
how unprofessional we are and why you probably don't want to business with us.
It is all about charts these days, right? Our chart is not about price
comparisons but we
worked very hard on a special page that will
help you more rapidly determine that we just can't cut it in today's
marketplace. Once again, we have saved you from reading and researching anything
all by yourself. So, if you are in a big hurry, go check out our
If we have not lost you yet, we will just brief a few important things out for
you. If you made it past our "cheat sheets" and we still have your attention you
are probably capable of "thinking outside of the smart phone" and are
willing to use some of that very expensive education you have received, much of
it at public expense.
is a tiny little concern in Vermont that has been around since 1978. We are just
two people and a (new) cat though our old and dear friend (pictured) passed away
in November of 2015. The youngsters are all grown up now and
living lives of their own but they were subjected to life on the road for many
years as we went from venue to venue selling our goods and breaking those
business rules. The new cat, a real gem of a partner, is plastered all over our
Facebook page but we are going
to leave the picture of our old buddy here 'cause he was the best CEO, ever. Two
people who do it all; take orders, cut and sew the product, pack and ship the
merchandise, answer hours and hours worth of emails at times, take care of the
crappy web site, clean cat hair out of the computer, and joke around on Facebook with our incredible customers.
Want some proof? Click Here.
Or, for video even,
We put our first web site on line in 1995
thanks to that first child so we are not new to this game at all. But, we don't
make our living doing web sites, we make it cutting, sewing, and shipping
sheepskin products. We play around with new things when we have some spare time
but we certainly do not expect our web site to be 100% compatible with every
device out there. We could hire someone to take care of things but, how much
more are you willing to pay for a pair of slippers so we can look more
"Professional" costs money, the more professional, the more
money. Fancy web sites (most done with templates anyway), professional photographs,
expensive videos, special packaging,
paying models to showcase your products,
paying people to do your "social media" stuff,
highly paid company heads, and, worse yet,
capitalizing on the tragic death of an actor, it all costs money and that money
is figured in to the price of the product you pay. (Et tu Carol? Surely
Carol Burnett would wear something USA Made. We are simply heart broken.) We
are sure that if we paid Tom Brady a fortune to hawk our products he would be
happy to do it. Come on, where is your regional pride, dude? Obviously, with the success
of a particular "ultra professional" firm, people are more than happy to pay for
all that "stuff" that has nothing to do with the quality or the usefulness of
the product they are buying. We just don't see the world that way. Our customers
would simply not pay this
much money for partial sheepskin footwear, made
in Vietnam, for
their toddler. So, one of the ways we keep costs down is to use pictures from our
customers to supplement our own product pictures. These fine folks receive no
compensation of any kind and they sent them to us just 'cause they like us. (This proves, of course, that the
real "beautiful people" are just everyday people,
"Professional" means make your products overseas using foreign skins and tanners (and, in some
cases, not caring at all about the ethics of the supply chain) to increase the
profit margin. We still use American lambskins, tanned in the USA for the
majority of our products. This makes us very unprofessional. Yes, we do have to
use some skins from tanners outside of the USA but supply these days is always
touch and go since most all of the sheepskin tanneries in the world have shut
down due to competition from China. What few foreign tanners we deal with are
highly reputable and we have a long history with the individuals that we
purchase through. We would like to stay in business, at least for awhile
longer, but we do need supply. We have no intention of attempting to deceive
you, something else which is not professional. No alternative facts from us. Country of origin information
for the skins and the tanners is fully posted to the best of our ability.
products right here in Vermont, USA. Yes, you can still
purchase sheepskin slippers that
are made in America. "Make" has a twinge of lack of professional conduct as
well. Few of the "professional" firms actually make anything themselves.
They are "branding" companies.
Those days are long gone. Take a look at our
ultra modern factory.
The operation has moved from room to room and floor to floor over the years but
it has never left this location.
Our honesty and, therefore, total lack of professional attitude,
extends even further. We have published a great deal of information about ourselves, how
and why we do business like we do, the global shearling industry, the raw
materials we use and, in some cases, disputed claims made by professional firms.
Honestly, there is so much information available on our
FAQ's page we even tricked none other
than Snopes into thinking we
were professional enough to quote. Boy, did we ever pull the wool over their
eyes! Seriously, you don't have to read it, we aren't going to force you, but
you can read small sections of it by clicking highlighted links on our
individual product pages and that might be a good idea if you are actually
foolish enough to do business with us.
Our products are 100% (real)
shearling (shearling fur,
chuckle) except for
sundries like thread, ear muff bands, etc. We do not use any other leather, fur,
polyester, foam, what have you, nor do we falsely sell you shearling "lined" cowhide items as shearling by tucking
alternative facts into the fine print
like the professionals. Inside and outside, 100% shearling, right
down to the inserts in our fabulous ear muff
collection. We know shearling and, while it is
very professional to slip in
some non shearling to
cut costs, we just can't bring ourselves to do it. It pains us to even think
about it. Obviously it does not bother
We refuse to SPAM you in any manner, phone, email, or mail, sell your data to other
firms, treat you like a credit card number instead of a human being, keep
everything/anything about you on our computers so it can be easily stolen, or do
anything to you that we would not want someone to do to us. We have
no intention of pulling a "data breach" on you and the best way to do that is to be
unprofessional in the handling of your information and keep it off the computer
(system). Ask Equifax how well that database thing worked out for them. Our
sweet, not dozens of pages of small print. (Come
talk about reading, when was the last time you read all the terms and conditions
before placing an order with someone (or signing up for the "free" Equifax
credit monitoring service)? Try it sometime, it will make your head
We do not "push" you to buy things you don't need like the
professionals do. No big "fashion" items here, just plain old utilitarian
"stuff". We even try to help you NOT replace items by doing repairs when
practical for a small fee. We
soled slippers, replace ear muff
bands that break, and
patch soft soled slippers if worthwhile. This is only for our stuff though
which we believe is fair and there is little we can do for the crepe soled
slippers. There is nothing that makes us happier than to have someone
contact us and say, "I have had this hat for 25 years and it is still going
strong." If our customers want to wear our products at their
wedding, they just do it, we don't need to force a special "line" on them.
are what we are about with no visible labels to show off to your friends. You will not find a hundred different
styles/colors/items on our pages. We offer you a small but nice selection
of shearling slippers which can be
purchased with plain shearling bottoms or an add-on outsole for those who
run in and out of the house a lot in their slippers. We have a variety of
shearling hat styles,
mittens, and smaller items like
boot/shoe innersoles that we have
been informed are life savers for forestry professionals in the Northern
Midwest. We also have that wonderful
earmuff selection we mentioned earlier.
don't do boots. Actually, we do not believe that 100% shearling footwear
is suitable for constant outdoor use. Yes, we have customers who wear our
footwear all year, inside and outside, but those folks do so because we are
the only people who can produce something for them to wear. We are making
a very big issue of this because of the
promotional campaign of Deckers Outdoor Corporation, the parent company of UGG Australia®.* We
understand their desire to protect their trademark which they have spent
so much money on. Don't get us wrong. We even send them links to very blatant counterfeiters. However, we tire of having folks
refer to our products as "fake UGGS®"
simply because they are made of sheepskin. FACT: we have been deeply
involved with the actual production of sheepskin (1973) and sheepskin items
much longer than Deckers and the original sellers of UGG®
boots in the USA who were nothing more than importers themselves. We bet you that
not one Deckers' employee has ever had their arms deep in a pit of tanning
solution pulling the skins out of the pit. So, we are taking a moment to
strike back and set the record straight. We even have a whole section of
our FAQ page that explains the "uggly
side" of things. We are not usually this mean and uggly but we are really "ticked off" about this. * UGG Australia®
is a registered trademark of Deckers Outdoor who are a mean and UGGLY type
US corporation. We are making it very clear that we have/want absolutely
nothing to do with them or their product/multiple trademarks especially
since it is our belief that they accelerated the demise of the US and UK shearling industry.
If you want more info on their uggressive tactics from the very beginning,
just click here or
#1, Update #2,
We do face to face business with people as well,
in barns and outside in the pouring rain at times. We have to ask,
when was the last time the CEO of Decker's (or the CEO's/owners of any of those
"professional" firms) worked as a salesperson in one of their stores
(or in the pouring rain) or in any
manner dealt directly with the end consumer? We do and we really enjoy it (much
more when the weather is nice). We
don't get around a great deal these days as the production of the merchandise
consumes most of our time and we are getting older but you can check out
our list of venues and see if we
will be in your area. You can see that we too are real people, not just a
website or a "business".
If you decide to order by phone,
the "call center" consists of a single phone line, hard wired no less,
with no "prompts". The "operators standing
by" are the same people people who are doing all the rest of the work so we
are available during the prescribed hours most of the time but not always
(please note the clock to the left of our phone number before calling and
do not call outside of the posted hours unless you want to get our version
of Mr. Hyde) .
When we answer the phone, we will just say "Hello". If the phone rings more than 4 or 5 times, we
might have stepped out for a minute or actually taken some time off. We do
understand just how much you enjoy being stuck on hold and/or pushing
buttons for an hour or better but, remember, we are not professionals.
We do charge shipping and
handling. Free s/h is a professional gimmick to make you think you are
getting something for nothing. Again, we have posted a lot of
detail about s/h and how
much it really costs, especially for a firm as small as ours. But, we tell
you the costs right up front so you do not have to place an order, give
out all your personal info, etc. before you find out what the charge will
be. We start at $8 and the maximum is $18 for all US customers.
We DO ship to PO Boxes. THAT may be the most unprofessional thing we do. All merchandise is
shipped via USPS unless you request otherwise and are willing to pay the
additional costs. For all you PO Box owners, some respect, finally! (Only
PO Box holders understand that statement.)
We do not do "sales". That is right, no sales.The prices
are the same whether you buy in the summer or the winter and there is no
such thing as "overstock" or "clearance" here. Waiting for a better price actually
only gets you stuck in line during the busy season meaning you might wait
for 6 weeks to have your order filled. While the professional people
scramble to get your last minute orders during the Holiday Season, we
never know when we are going to stop taking orders for the holidays and
we take the
last two weeks of the year off to spend with family and friends and to
pause and regroup. That is simply insane.
Now, as for finding your way around we know you are used to
every website looking the same so, of course you are confused. We have already
introduced you to our "Site Menu" button. This was/is a carefully crafted site menu
designed to be completely out of the way unless you want to call it up
and it is not our fault that Microsoft can't get their head out of that
dark place. (IE 11 fix)
We have no idea just how many hours went into adapting it for each page.
You will find a similar button at the TOP of all of the main pages. When
you want it, it is there, when you don't, it is not in your face.
We have been around since the
dinosaur age as much as we hate to admit it. Blue text with an underline means it links to
something though it will may change color once you have
clicked on it. That is the way it was in 1995 and, yes, we
do understand that many folks are clueless about this so this is an educational
endeavor as well. (How many of you remember "floppy disks"
All text links are there for a reason, they ARE NOT advertisements. They
either link to internal pages or carefully researched and relevant outside
sources of information.
If you are
viewing a page with a close up of the merchandise on a black background then the links are white
text with white underline though all of those actually open up in a new
tab. Just shut the tab down and you will be back to the original page.
(Note that we listen to our customers and what may be second nature to you
is not to someone else. We are NOT being condescending, we actually pay
attention. We had to explain how the tab thing worked to a customer
recently. You and your grandmother may be at very different skill levels.)
At the very bottom of each of the main pages is a section which contains
text links to all of the main pages, our
address and phone #, and
information. We have tried very hard with all our links to determine
which should go to a completely separate page or which should open up in a
new tab in your browser. This has been a judgment call on our part. If we
have failed, we apologize but it does show that time and thought goes into
this web site.
We have a very basic customer service
philosophy. We are pleased to do business with all people and welcome them
into our "secret society" (see our
chart, "Branding") regardless of
their race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, etc. (Something
that seems necessary to say these days as sad as that is.) BUT, the key is, you treat us
with respect and a bit of good humor and we will do exactly the
same for you. Good humor is most welcome around here at all times and we
don't much care for jerks. Remember that wonderful
list of other places?
Well, kindly make use of it if you tend to be a jerk.
Once again, have a great day and Happy
Shopping! Thanks for hanging out with us for a time.
Should you wish to come
back home simply click on the shepherd at the bottom of every page.
Supplies. In product development and testing. More items pending. - Note:
this page is not on our drop down menu yet but it is listed in the text
links at the bottom of the pages.)
Available Colors (Currently Available Colors and Country
of Origin - for the sheepskins- Information, Like Really! We are as honest
as we can be in this global market.)
(Say what? Yep, for your reading pleasure. A down to
earth, non-bureaucratic explanation of what shearling is.)
After you look through our product line we invite you
sit back in your chair, relax some, perhaps have a cup of Green Mountain Coffee®
which, in itself, is very unprofessional as you should be drinking that "other"
and visit many of the people and places that make
Vermont (USA) a special place to live and work. Come "chat" with us
and take a tour of our little corner of the world as
if we were all just hanging out at the store counter with nothin' better to do.
No hurry, no hassles.
Then, you might enjoy
the series of sheep
cartoons that came about as John Hege struggled to redefine the ovine
as we know it and create the logo that is plastered at the top of the home
page. Yes, it resides in the
of the US trademark office for anyone or anyone's lawyers who may be remotely
interested. How's that for professional? You just won't be a walking
advertisement for us.
Our last (so far)
contribution, strictly for your entertainment. Pop over to our
Customer Art Work page for some more fun. Everyone else tries to
impress you with letters from their customers telling them (and you)
what a wonderful product the company makes. Well, we get those letters too
but we think differently here and celebrate the imagination and the
creativity of those who built our business. Isn't it about time someone recognized that it
is the customer who actually builds the business? You think it is hassle
ordering from us? Look at these examples of people who went above and beyond the "fill
in the order blank" thing. This is true "outside of the smart