“We just don’t customize.”

Those were the words of a company to which I (and likely most of you reading this) have paid a lot of money for service. When I called them to change the scope of my service, I was forced to walk through a litany of options, although I had a clear directive about what I wanted. I explained to the customer service rep that, although I understood she did not set their prices and policies, I was downgrading my service and incorporating new technologies, allowing me to get the same mix of offerings at a much lower rate. After much back and forth, I was unable to change the service to my satisfaction, lowering the cost but still not meeting my preferences.

I look forward to the day when I can cut my ties with the company altogether.

Because they don’t customize.

Let’s turn away from the negative and take a look at five companies that do customize:


Create photo albums for special occasions, or just upload your own great shots to make artwork for your walls.

LL Bean:

As a New Englander, I had to give a shout out to this iconic brand. (Duck boots are a must have for winter.) Their classic Boat and Tote bag is available in many color combos. Don’t forget to add your monogram.


The popular site offers countless choices – from jewelry to housewares to clothing – from talented craftspeople. Many designs can be customized with colors, initials and more.


Looking to get visibility for your business or artwork? Your legion of fans can order merchandise from t-shirts to coffee mugs from your store on this site.


Create your own – from invitations to iPad cases. You can even upload your Instagram shots and turn them into pillows.

Do you have any favorite companies that customize? If so, please share in the comments.


The Castle Group, Managing Director, Hilary Allard
Written By: Hilary Allard


Outdoors of the Castle Group office