It's taken me quite a while to get to this point, but I'm officially closing customs. At this point, I have absolutely no plans of reopening them. This makes me feel pretty freaking awesome!! I have a list of items that I need to get crossed off of my list before I'm 100% "free" so to speak. But I'm excited to be able to finally sew on my own terms, with my own creativity, with my own fabric choices, so on and so forth.
Why am I moving to RTS (Ready to Ship) rather than custom? Here's the jist of it...
Let's say a customer msg's me wanting a wallet made with pinks & yellows. I will then ask a few questions about their likes, dislikes, personal style, etc... I get a reply, then I pull fabrics. Customer then ok's or vetoes fabric choices - this can go on, and on for hours, and worse, days sometimes. Photos back and forth and often times what the customer ends up choosing is 100% in the opposite direction of what they originally asked for, and often times another style of wallet which means I'm back to square one as different wallets need different quantities of fabric.
Assume that the average consult time is 4 hours or so, starting with the first message, our back & forth PM's, my having to pull fabrics, arrange fabrics, take photos of fabrics, edit photos if needed, send back photos, etc... then rinse & repeat. Then payment, I refused to chase someone for payment, so if payment is not made after all of that, I cross them off my list and move on. But how frustrating is it for me to have just wasted all that time!? And trust me, this has happened to me time and time again.
Custom work is so incredibly time consuming. I know many who refuse to do custom work, and I've finally realized that I need to take back my time and my life.
Whereas with RTS, in that 4+ hours of time with an undecided customer, I could have instead had two wallets completely made, photographed, edited, and usually even sold in that time frame. But with a custom, I'm often left waiting on a reply, before I can even begin an order. Then if they change their mind or "forget", I've just wasted 4+ hours on someone who wanted to "window shop". My time is quite valuable to me and to my family & friends, so I'm at that point where I refuse to give up that precious time to others who don't value my time as much I do.
I do have a handful of long-term, *amazing* customers whom I will still create items for. (You probably know who you are) I'm sorry if this sounds unfair, but I've built friendships with them, and there is a mutual respect which has been built. These are the customers who have shown themselves to fully, 100% understand and respect the time & effort that goes into a custom order. And they're concise. I know I won't have to spend hours pulling fabrics and texting back & forth for hours on end. They won't disappear after I've spent the time with them working on their order. They won't put off payment for a week or "forget". They trust me & my fabric choices completely. I absolutely don't mind a custom order where I'm simply told, "I would love a wallet with this fabric for the exterior, and anything you choose for the interior." Payment is sent right away and I can get to work! Those customers are amazing and I'll be forever grateful for them!!!!
Another thing with RTS is that a lot of my customers actually *prefer* to shop from 'Ready to Ship' items as they know they're not concise on what they want, and when they see something and they just *know* it's what they've been looking for!
Overall I think, and hope this will be a win/win for everyone! It's nothing personal, it's simply me taking back my time and my sanity. That can only be a good thing!
On that note, it's a beautiful day & I'd like to enjoy it, so I'm off!
Thanks for taking the time to read! :) I do hope to update my blog more often now that I'm taking back my time!