Farewell Willow

I have an original 128K Macintosh. It was purchased, used, about two years ago. It is the 1901st Macintosh produced at the Fremont, CA plant during the 38th week of 1984. (I purchased a 128K Macintosh in 1985, new, but returned it a few days later when I saw an Amiga 1000 on sale at a local dealer!) While my Mac Plus is all setup and I do use it occasionally, the Mac 128K lives its life in a Mac tote bag, safely stored away. The tote bag is made by Willow Design. It was created back in the mid 80’s. When not in use, my iBook 700 lives in a perfect-fit carrying case, also designed by Willow Design. They make good products. They are going out of business.

I am on Willow Design’s mailing list because of my somewhat recent purchase of the iBook carrying case. I received an e-mail from them today, most of which is quoted, below:

    Hi Blake

    I wanted to drop you note to let you know that we are closing Willow Design. We came to the unfortunate realization that with making our cases in North America, with our higher labor costs, we could not compete against offshore production.

    We were faced with the options of 1) decreasing our features or standard of quality, 2) shipping our production offshore as well, or 3) just stopping to make our cases and shut down. Neither the first nor the second option was palatable, so instead, we decided to shut.

    We announced our decision back in February, but with that announcement have received over 2500 orders from previous customers from around the world. So it’s taken until now that we are producing our final runs and have available our final selection of cases.

    . . .

    Thanks again.

    Nigel Peck

    Willow Design

It is with much sadness that anyone who is familiar with the quality of product exhibited by Willow Design cases watches the company fade into oblivian. What’s more, working for the AFL-CIO, as I do, I certainly am aware of the troubling issue of outsourcing—moving American IT jobs offshore. I praise Willow Design for not going down that road, and will remember them with fondness.

Head over and see if you have a need for one of their last production run items at www.willowdesign.com.

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