There is a group of ladies that head-up the Boutique Buyers Blog. They are moms and buyers and seriously educated in the boutique buying community.
Together, they complied The Best of '08. It's their hand-picked selection of girls, boys and accessories designs. Some amazing and very talented designers/friends grace the list.
I was so touched when Michelle (the originator of the blog and past customer of TLD) contacted me weeks ago for a picture of a past design. She had already featured *Twilight* once before on her blog- when it was listed.
I was flattered and graciously emailed her with photos in return.
I can't imagine having to narrow down that list. Ebay is lucky to have a ton of amazing designers offer their work.
I had no idea that this was any sort of contest. My vote just may be for *Small Something* or for the most darling little purse (in awe with the details).
So hop on over to see THE LIST and check them out.
As I look around and assess the 'important things' in life it's summed up in 3 people. We spent LOTS of family time and recently together on a trip for Our 15 year Anniversary. I blogged it of course- see here for a recap. In preparations and planning on top of house repairs and what-not my little guilty pleasure takes a back-seat.
My machine stares at me. Bits of fabric practically leap from their piles as I pass by. I want to.... I really, really want to. But I have preschool to taxi, a 4th grader to mentor, a backyard in desperate need of some weeding etc etc.
Patterns and sketch pads are at my side, in my purse and on my mind.
I will return, I can't believe it's been so long. I have a new little gift item in the works that should be up in a week so there is hope. Just a little something, but still I will be creating again and I miss it.
It won't be tomorrow though. Tomorrow I work with 25 toddlers at Sydney's preschool.
I've taken notice that my sewing is always the first to subside when things get hectic. Poor neglected bobbins, serger and faithful pins... I will return to you soon.
It takes all of 10 seconds and there are LOTS of fun options. It would make an awesome family tree or a cool classroom project. I just plugged in my blog, selected the direction and customized the colors to match my layout here.
HOWEVER!!!! it it growing thin at the moment as I wait for my new fabric to arrive!
It is from the new collection by HEATHER BAILEY. I made a point to order it directly from her store. Sure, it's available elsewhere and it's in stock but I thought I'd do a good thing and buy it straight from the source.
I ordered it AUGUST 1st as part of the 'early birds' for the grand opening. I saw and read the disclaimer 'it wouldn't start to ship until the 14th with 3-5 business days following to catch up'. I know, I know... so I waited ever so patiently. Finally on the 22nd I thought I'd nudge them with a little 'hi it's me, here's my order #, how are things going with this, I'm excited to get it' kind of e-mail. They referred to that disclaimer again so I wait even though the disclaimer is expired at this point.
The part that makes it SO hard to be patient is seeing the projects already turning out with the new line... I also paid in full on August 1st & had to pay for PRIORITY shipping. Seems there is no priority to ship it however... So I have to WAIT, WAit, Wait... But seriously- what is the hold-up??
The last few weeks (okay, months) off have been awesome! We had lots of fun family time and have really been enjoying our summer!! I spent time organizing all the closets and drawers in the kids rooms and then moved on to all my craft stuff... no easy feat let me tell ya!
I really can not believe half the things I've held onto, ridiculous amounts of minuscule scraps of a remnant (tons of them). Lots of bags of junk stuff got tossed and it feels good to be organized and clutter free!! Although it's not all arranged the way I'd like at least I know what I've got, where it is and everything has a 'home'. I was spending way to much time considering how to 'store' stuff.
For example with fabric... do you store it together in:
Color prints grouped together: Reds, blues, pinks, whites...
Specific 'lines' of fabric together: Freshcut, Park Slope, Manzanita
The amount of fabric you have: Lg cuts, 5yds, 1yd, Strips, End cuts
Similar prints: Polka dots, Stripes, Florals, Fruits, Plaids
Style of Fabric: Cotton, Silks, Denim, Twill, Stretch Lace etc.
I couldn't really decide so there are still lots of little piles all over. Yes some is still in drawers and bins in the closets but most of that is flannel, chenille and 'seasonal'. I couldn't even get going on trims, flowers, patterns yet that's another week...
I am proud of what I did get done though and I am itching to get back designing and sewing!! Maybe just a little project like a pincushion or a few headbands before it's time for our new Fall Launch!! I got my fabric in the mail today and it is Bea-U-TI- Ful!!
I think I'm going to sketch out and journal my next project... a little peek into the madness that consumes me but is SO much fun at the same time!
Recently I sold a set for another Sydney, finished it up so beautifully and USPS lost it (insert big sad tears). This happened one time in the past when they lost 2 outfits with NO insurance. I refunded my customer 100% and took the lost. I require insurance on custom sets now because it sucks x2 when you consider the $$ lost & the WORK!
Anyhow- I shipped it 12/17- it got to Maine on 12/19 and there begins the mystery. The USPS is lame and I don't even think they looked for it once I mentioned it had insurance. After WEEKS they were like 'just process your claim' and I was like JUST FIND MY PACKAGE! Seriously, how can it just disappear?? Anyhow after 6 weeks I conceded - processed the claim - and got my check. Still very upsetting but now I realize what AMAZING customers I have... read on:
I continued to update my client of the happenings and she was beyond understanding. Here I'm livid and frustrated and she's like 'give it a few weeks sometimes things get lost' (note to self: it's not the end of the world). Anyhow, after keeping her up-to-date she says - don't refund me just make me 'whatever you want' for this spring/summer = LOVE HER already.
I shipped it and crossed my fingers and toes for her to receive it this time. Nervous it wouldn't arrive but more nervous that her version of 'whatever' is something she would like! So I get her e-mail, yes it made it to her safely- PHEW! but now for the best part...
"Thank you so so much! It is gorgeous and so so "Sydney!" Sydney already asked to wear it, unfortunately it is about 32 degrees out and we still have snow. I really hope to order from you again. Do you plan to still sell on Ebay? Please let me know, as I am super impressed with your design, quality and most of all your customer service. Thank you so much!"
WOW! Can you believe how sweet she is... So patient and understanding! I realize that people often react to how they were treated and it's not what 'happened' but how they felt that leaves a lasting impression.
Here is an e-mail I got today from a dear return customer who recently bought lots of resells and placed an order for a custom set:
"I cannot thank you enough for the FABULOUS kitty set, Maddy LOVES it... and my hubby thinks it is super cute! I wanted to say thank you, you are so sweet and I just love working & chatting with you. You are so talented and I look forward to more of your TOO LOVELY designs."
So I'm gushing happiness this week! I love what I do but even more excited to hear that others appreciate and value the time and energy that goes into a TLD set. I'm always honored that Moms choose to dress there little ones in my designs! I'm feeling a little customer appreciation launch coming on...