updated 02:40 pm EST, Mon February 9, 2004
Willow Design shuts down
Carrying case manufacturer Willow Design is " runs through the end of February: "All our cases are hand sewn in small batches by individual seamstresses so with all of them, you can count on superb protection, functional ergonomic designs and meticulous craftsmanship. This is an expensive way to make the cases though, and with increased competition of offshore, manufactured cases run through with labor rates of 22¢ - 25¢ per hour, we found we just couldn't compete. Two options would have been to drop our standards or ship our production offshore -- neither of which was acceptable. So we have decided to stop making the cases."