One of Us

Malisa with one of her HDS MEDALLION bags

Malisa with one of her HDS MEDALLION bags

When we started HDS MEDALLION® we knew there would be some hurdles to clear and mistakes to be learned from. This was a new business idea for us and not having backgrounds in fashion or retail we understood there would be a learning curve as we adjusted to the new environment. Feedback from customers is of utmost importance to us and through a recent exchange with one of our clients we not only learned a valuable lesson but also got to know her on a personal level that reinforced our belief in what we do and why we do it.

Malisa Matheny purchased a distinctive carryall bag from us but during the shipping process somehow her bag arrived without the necessary straps for attaching the bag to a stretcher she uses. Since the age of 14, Malisa has struggled with a mitochondrial disease. Now at 36, her health has been further complicated by pancreatitis, muscle pain and weakness, autonomic dysfunction, migraines, peripheral neuropathy and severe fatigue. These conditions have made it very difficult for Malisa to walk and she has been bedridden for years at a time due to the pain and weakness. In March of 2012 Malisa started on the only FDA approved drug in clinical trials for mitochondrial disease called EPI-743 and she is hopeful that the drug may improve her quality of life.

We became more personally acquainted with Malisa due to the missing straps and an email that got caught in a system changeover. We were dismayed with the errors, but we have actually become grateful for the mishap since it gave us a chance to review our customer service and practice damage control by reaching out to Malisa and doing everything we could to rectify the situation. After all, a carryall bag without straps isn’t much help for people who use walkers, wheelchairs and other mobility devices so we immediately expedited a pair of straps for her bag and gave her the choice of a partial refund or a coupon towards the purchase of a future bag.

During our correspondence with Malisa we were touched to get a reply from her in which she said she understood mistakes happen and was “relieved and grateful” to find out how responsive our company is when it comes to fixing a problem. Even though Malisa already has two of our bags, she chose the coupon for a future purchase. How great is that? She did say, “I love your products”.

We would like to share her story with all of you. Malisa’s inspiring story can be found on a web site called, a nonprofit organization that helps friends and family connect, share news and receive support when dealing with an illness or debilitating condition. The community web site is used by half a million people on a daily basis and was founded in 1997 by Sona Merhring who wanted to create a communication portal for family and friends dealing with a major health event. Malisa’s page can be found at

Learn about her journey and about a wonderful charity called Make a Film.

Thanks to Malisa for reminding us how wonderful our customers are and how our bags can enhance their lives a little!

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