After months of stalking her shop, I finally purchased a black leather obi belt from elizabethkelly (http://www.etsy.com/shop/eliza....._shop_more) on Etsy.
I sent the seller Jo several messages on Etsy with questions regarding her belts and she answered them patiently and in great detail. I narrowed down on the black belt but wanted the ties shorter than normal and she agreed immediately, even giving me advice on a good length for someone my height. Needless to say, I was impressed with her shop even before I got the belt.
The belt was shipped in 3-4 days and Jo sent me the tracking number the moment the package was shipped. It reached me in a few days and with the belt, I found a lovely handwritten tag saying 'Handmade for Ki'. I don't know about you, but I am a sucker for personal touches like this!
The belt itself is made of a very soft leather. When I first tried it on I wondered if getting the ties shortened was a good idea since they seemed a little too short to me. However, after wearing it around the house a few times, I realised that this is a good length for me as it doesn't overwhelm my 5'4'' frame. I also love that Jo sells her obi belts in two different widths, 5'' and 3''. I chose the 3'' and it is the perfect width for me - any wider and it would be too much belt for my short waist.
I had a great experience buying from elizabethkelly and even though the belt wasn't cheap, I feel like it was well worth the expense. I hope this helps those of you who are thinking about ordering from her (like Shannon) or anyone who is on a lookout for a quality obi belt.
Here is a link to the belt I ordered - http://www.etsy.com/listing/81.....-wrap-belt. (see pic 1)
Pics 2 to 4 show me wearing the belt.
P.S. I am in no way affiliated with this shop, I just wanted to show off my latest purchase ;)