Written by: Elizabeth Howard, LEFTY’S SAN FRANCISCO:
Lefty’s is the premiere online store for left handed products. The company was founded in 2008, its mission is to find and offer the best selections of left handed products for left handers.
Lefty’s is far and away the world’s leading provider of products for left-handers. We manufacture many of our own products, and have constant customer and staff feedback. You should probably just look on the web to see what our competition looks like. Anyone with lots of products is an aggregator, and most of what they show on their sites is not actually available. We, however, are real, and you can visit the stores, talk with the staff, and try out the products. No other left-handed product vendor has a physical store.
Our history is sort of funny. In 1978, a store called “The Left Hand World” opened on PIer 39. It was very popular for a few years, but eventually closed due to a family illness. For years, the Pier 39 management got calls from their customers begging for them to bring the store back. When their original small space in the center of Pier 39’s main drag came available, they asked us if we would do the Left Hand Store there. We have a couple of other concepts on Pier 39. In 2008, we opened Lefty’s the Left Hand Store in the original space, and the store was literally mobbed from Day One. Even today, people come in and tell us that they shopped with us in the 70’s. In 2011 we moved to a much larger space nearby on the Pier, and now we have room to demo the products and really show the variety we carry.
There are two smaller stores in Florida, one in the Marketplace at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, and another nearby in Old Town Mall in Kissimmee. San Francisco is the flagship, the largest and most comprehensive.
Our website, which opened in 2009, is very comprehensive, and contains substantial numbers of customer reviews.
We have searched the world over for left-handed products, and carry the best of them. However, it seems that most of them get discontinued. The demand for left-handed products just doesn’t support the production and marketing costs for a large manufacturing company. This has led us to manufacture our own whenever possible. All of our left-handed notebooks, for example, are custom made for us in America. We make 3 sizes of general scissors (little kids’ scissors, youth scissors, and adult scissors), as well as manicure scissors, and perhaps embroidery scissors again soon. We manufacture left-handed measuring cups, can openers, and corkscrews. And of course our famous dribble mugs are custom made!
Because we’re on Pier 39, we have a large novelty section which includes things like the very popular dribble mugs (these have a tiny hole in the side so they drip onto the users when used in the right hand, and they are printed with lefty sayings), as well as T shirts and other fun things. The best selling saying is “I May be Left-Handed but I’m Always Right!”. They make fabulous gifts.
Our most grateful customers are often the right-handed parents and grandparents of left-handed kids. Right-handers just don’t understand how to help their kids, and they feel terrible as they stand by and watch the kids struggle. We have developed not only products that kids can use easily, but also fun instructional tools for writing and tying shoes, 2 big lefty issues, as well as a fun activity book that also builds confidence among young lefties in an engaging way. We get letters and reviews from these people all the time telling us that their kids’ lives have been transformed by having scissors and other tools that actually work for them. This is a key developmental issue around 1st and 2nd grades as kids begin to learn to write and use numbers, as well as cutting.
Next year, we intend to work more with schools to make sure they have left-handed school supplies. We are adding a Wholesale Left-Handed School Supplies section to our site, and are looking for ways to reach out to more schools. A number of school districts buy from us directly, and even PTA’s occasionally decide to help with lefty school supplies.
We’d also like to find a way to reach more companies like Fleet-cor who might support their left-handed staffs that way. Lefties make up 10% of the population, but they are a very under-reported minority. That’s what made Fleet-cor so remarkable.
We sell to specialty schools, like beauticians who need left-handed scissors, for example.
Our two biggest seasons are August into September, because of both Left-Handers’ Day (August 13) and Back to School, and the Holidays, because our products make such wonderful gifts. Right handers want their lefty loved ones to know they sympathize even if they can’t really understand.Activate Social Media: