Had a customer the other day quite outraged that it was taking 3+ weeks to receive the items she had ordered. She wanted two hand-painted frames to go with specific much older designs, and several charts that needed to be ordered directly from the designer and not through a distributor. Even though the frames were quite a bit older, she just couldn't figure out why the designer (1) didn't already have them made, and (2) what was taking the charts so long. It should only take a couple of days she'd figured.
In our needle art Industry, we are really the 'mom and pop' businesses of 'yore. The designers do not have warehouses in which to store thousands of charts and frames. They have a spare room in their home, or part of the basement. When they run out of stock, they do not automatically 'make more' ... it's a supply and demand business. If a chart hasn't sold in 8 years lets say, and the chart needs to be re-printed, it probably won't be. At least, not immediately. Why pay that kind of money in the hopes that someone, rather many hundreds of someone, will now want multiple charts of that design? The same for 'custom hand-painted frames' .. when out of stock, another will be made when there is that call for it.
Plus, in this mom and pop industry we know and love so well, designers do not have 'people' sitting around manning phones waiting for orders to be called in, people packing up orders. They have 'themselves'. They do not have a design studio they 'go' to .. they design in their homes. And, just like you and me, the designers have a life. Sometimes a family illness or tragedy befalls. There is no one in their 'office' to take over in crisis times like that. (I remember one customer who was calling us daily about her order .. and the designer had had a major heart attack. The customer was informed this, but that didn't seem to make a difference .. she wanted her order!) Sometimes a designer is planning for their childs' wedding or college .. and the design part of the business has to be put on a back burner until they can get back to it. Sometimes a designer goes on a vacation. There is no one left at home to run their business for them. It all waits until their return. In this customer's case ... the designer was on a business trip in Europe. We didn't know she was. And said designer didn't have to tell us that she was going on a business trip and since I'd e-mailed the order in, there was no answering machine message advising me of this.
Illness, death, divorce, weddings, college, babies, vacations .. just like us, the designers have these happening in their daily lives too. And since they are a 'designer', it's up to them to balance their business with their life events, just like we are forced to do.
Just thought I'd put in a good word for the men and women that keep our fingers so stitchingly entertained! Designers - I appreciate you!
And just a side line that has nothing to do with this blog ... at the top right hand side of this page is the LINK to my Etsy store - Deb Felt It ... the little 'black sheep with the big Etsy heart'!