Don’t you hate when someone does everything right, but things still go wrong? That's the way my husband and I feel right now. For a dozen years our team has been designing the best maternity and postpartum support products on the market. No one had ever heard of us, but in 2008 we launched the Belevation brand with low pricing on our own website and then later on Amazon.
Want to know what happened next? When something is special, it’s guaranteed that it will be copied. And copy it they did. Most of the copies are from China, but some don't list a country of origin. There are ten or more with gobbledygook names like Peauty.
We struggled to compete and lowered our pricing even further. Then the pandemic hit. In this election season, during a pandemic there's enough pain to go around on all sides.
Next Amazon started taking eight weeks to acknowledge inventory at its fulfillment centers. Steve, the manager at the Southern Pines UPS terminal stopped returning my calls, signaling he was unwilling to help me track thousands of dollars of missing inventory.
Overnight, it became more challenging to stay in business since lost inventory means things cannot be sold. That's when I contacted a handful of local retail stores that sell maternity products and lingerie. Not a single person returned my calls. I noticed they feature imported goods for twice the price of my items on their websites.
Then it was recommended I try to sell our unique new breathable face masks at a local craft market that has vendor booths. The shop's owner told me she doesn’t handle machine made products, although I saw plenty of them at her store.
Online, Target is advertising they sell Belevation's trademarked products, but they don’t. When you click on the ads it's a classic bait and switch tactic, using our name to divert unsuspecting customers to buy their products, instead or ours.
I tried to find a lawyer to represent us against Target, but they charge $567.00 per hour and won’t work on contingency. A cease and desist letter will cost around 1,200 bucks.
On both sides of the political aisle, people agree that Americans need jobs to sustain their families. We worry about our staff, who joined us when we expanded our Belevation business into this old textile mill across the road from a broken down trailer with no roof, in the middle of the beautiful state of NC that we now call home.
We've done everything right, but are coming up short on answers. We need your help to keep Belevation growing. Supporting manufacturing in the United States is not a partisan issue, it's an American issue. Belevation has proven things can be made here, but we can only succeed if you buy those things from us...