Sunday, September 14, 2008

Capabilities Turns Three

It is hard to believe! We have been making our list of just how much has changed in three years, of how far we have come. We are mostly struck mostly with how many more people we serve today. Sometimes in those early days we used to wonder if we needed to get out on the street with a sandwich board. We are grateful to all our customers, to the health care community who trusts us with referrals, and to our suppliers and business partners who help us provide such a wide array of products.

Speaking of products, we are also amazed at just how many more products we carry now compared to that opening day three years ago.

So how exactly does that happen? First of all, we take our lead a lot of the time from our customers, who come in with special requests or describe their needs and their wish lists. In some cases, we find exactly what they need with one of our suppliers already on board. Occasionally, we have to go on the hunt, wondering if such a thing exists. This was the case with gas cap wrench, one of my favorite products discovered early on because of a particular need expressed by one of our customers.

We also discover products because they find us. As you know from reports of our annual New Product Showcase, we are presented with new ideas all year long, some from local inventors and suppliers, others from companies and individuals from around the country. We are recently hearing from companies abroad who are discovering Capabilities.

Pam and I also like to shop! So, we go to shows around the country. And, not just medical trade shows. We like to attend gift shows and kitchen shows; meetings for folks with specific physical conditions, such as the Possibilities Fair and conference for folks who are blind or suffer low vision; fitness shows; specialty events. Making the rounds, when we can, exposes us to all kinds of wonderful tools and products that we would not otherwise find or think about perhaps. Such was the case with the Buddha Board, which we happened upon quite by accident, but which has given a unique flare to the gift giving habits of many of our customers.

A major source of new products is our suppliers, most of which are always looking for improvements, for ways to enhance their offerings. For example, we have just discovered the Diamond Rollator, a streamlined four-wheeled walker from Drive Medical, with a “straight-leg” design, making it easy to maneuver, fold and store. We had one on the floor as a sample, and within days this product was scooped up, with a bit of a waiting list already.

We have a lot of fun expanding our collection, introducing new products, working hard to satisfy both practical needs for mobility and the ever-important need for comfort that we all have as humans.

Please let us know if there is a product you want us to know about or to be sure we have.

And, thank you so much for supporting us these three years! We are very excited to begin our fourth! Watch this space for news soon on our brand new website! You will be able to find lots of our products easily as you do research or make purchases for yourself or someone you care for.

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