Makers Monday- Custom Orders

posted in: business, Makers Monday | 0
Welcome Monday.  
Today of all Mondays is definitely feeling like a Monday. 
I had a ton of fun at Lovebomb this weekend (more to come on Thursday) including some group crafting, but fun is never free.  Fun meant a weekend of things piling up and half unpacked bags scattered about the house.  Yep. So today I tackle that.  But before I do I wanted to share with you some of the great things I’ve been working on.
Getting crafty at Lovebomb
Custom orders!
Love ’em & hate ’em, I’ll just be honest.  They are so fun to do and a great way to hear people’s stories.  Yeah, not what you would have expected, right? Me either when I started doing them.  But it seems whether it’s an independent or start up business looking for business logo pins or someone requesting a custom embroidered portrait for someone they love, there is always a story.  The best part is I get to be invited to be part of it. 

Custom Pins for a California business
But I hate them, too.  Why? Self doubt is always one.  That lingering worry that they won’t like it.  I can honestly say I haven’t had it happen, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still fear that.  Why you make a piece of your own creation it’s simple.  You make. Person like. Person buy. Done.  But what if Person ask. You make. Person hate. Person cry. Now what?  But I’m working on letting go of it.

Custom wasp pin for a beautiful babe over in Australia
 It’s helped to pick the brains of the beautiful women who surround me and deal with this in their art time and again.  My tattoo artist, Kelli at Wingnut Tattoo, gave me some great advice when I was starting and that was, “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Lots of questions.”  By trying to determine what their vision is you are better able to meet their expectations even if they don’t think they have one.  I heard the same from Jacki (an amazingly talented woman whom will SOON have something for me to link to) this weekend, “They always have a vision even if they don’t know it.”  Which I think is very true.  It may not be a solid picture in their head, but there are parts of the place/person/thing that they specifically recall or that characterizes or encapsulates the subject.  Find out what that is because this will make or break your piece. 
So that’s what I do and you know what the best part is? Really, no guess? I already told you! The story.  You get to hear their story.  What is special about the subject and it helps you learn more about your buyer.  It’s weird, but I love to know the names of the people that I embroider.  There is something that happens over the course of the piece that makes me feel like I am doing this for a friend. It’s like, “Oh this piece? Yeah, it’s for Allison for her anniversary.  They’ve been married two years now! Isn’t that great!”  Maybe that’s a little creepy, but I like to think it’s what makes the piece great.  I think it contributes something the buyer can see.  They can see their story in thread or plastic or whatever the medium and they walk away with a great story of their own.  
The second part I hate… When they are gifts and I CAN’T SHOW YOU PROGRESS PICTURES! Ugh! It’s killing me not to show you what I’m working on right now, but believe me it’s lovely and come Christmas I’ll have so many great things to show you *wink*.

Okay… So one SMALL peak won’t hurt. Right?