Friday, August 23, 2013

Dare to be different

When I get a custom order, I am excited first, but then I panic. Oh no, what if he/she does not like it?  What if I do not fulfill their wishes.  We all know how shopping on the internet can be touch and go.  Some shops are great, others, not so much.  Although I try to do a great job on all my items, my custom orders get even more special treatment. Seams are doubled, sometimes, tripled.  I often charge less for custom work. I am not sure why. I suppose it is because I feel like I have more of a connection with someone requesting a custom order vs. a random shopper.

This last order I filled involved sewing replacement cushion covers for a customer. After the last set of covers I made, I swore I would not make anymore.  They are time consuming, supply consuming and worry about them fitting just so.  Because I have not had a regular, paying job for over a year - I am getting my teaching certificate - I felt I had no choice but to accept the job.  What I learned was that custom work can actually be fun, especially when the buyer allows you to play around with color and fabric.  So many times in my shop, I make the same pillows over and over again because a certain pattern sells or I got a good deal on the fabric. With custom orders, I am able to really be creative. Not all customers want input, but others appreciate it.  This last customer even taught me to use different size pillows on the same couch.  I am always matchy matchy thinking that all cushions are between 16 - 20 inches and they are all the same size on the same piece of furniture.

In closing, I will now look at custom orders in a new way. No more panic, but more excitement. Hey I get to play with other people's money. How great is that?  And in the end, the customer is happy and I grow my wings a bit longer and reach for the stars.

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