Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Happy Customer

At the recent Creativ Festival a customer fell in love with this coat. I had the pattern but no more of the fabric. She loved it and wanted to buy it from me. I said I'm willing to sell it to you but quite honestly I find most people are not willing to pay my asking prices. She said, "Try me."

I gave her the price and she did not bat an eye, did not hesitate a second. She said, "Sold."

I'm happy. She's happy. Yeah!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I'm Such a Nasty Woman

This blog shows my nasty side. This is where I rant about what bothers me in the world of retail and elsewhere for that matter. I call out, First Lady style (I wish), the behaviours that I find inappropriate or unacceptable or just plain hurtful. Because many people in the service world take a lot of nastiness from the general public. And I would like to see it stop or at least tamed down.

I have to admit I was one of those self-entitled people, when I was younger. But I have mellowed and been humbled by a lifetime of experience. And I wish someone had of called me out when I was acting so poorly.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Eight Words A Vendor Doesn't Appreciate Hearing

Christmas season will soon be upon us. Vendors will be plying their wares at local craft and consumer shows. Most of them have worked very hard to be there.

So what they dread hearing are these eight words, "I promised myself I would not buy anything."

If you're not going to purchase from a vendor, don't feel compelled to justify it to someone who is trying to make a living. It may make you feel better, but the vendor is not your therapist.

Try this instead. Politely greet her and ask if you may have a look around. Thank her when you are finished. Small kindnesses go a long way.

P.S. Personally, this doesn't bother me. What prompted this article is the upcoming Creativ Festival and my many vendor friends tell me how frequently (a lot) they are told this. People think it is well-meaning but it is a little unkind at the same time. All of the vendors handle it with grace but if I can educate even one person to avoid saying this, the show world will be a better place.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thoughtless or Ignorant?

I recently exhibited at QuiltX in the lovely town of St. Marys, ON.

A woman came into the booth, admired the sample garments and looked through the patterns. She seemed in a hurry so I didn't engage her other than a welcoming look.

To my surprise she asked me, "Is there somewhere else I can buy these patterns?"

I replied, "There is but you can't expect me to give you that information."

She pointed at a box of patterns and said, "I can buy Burda at other stores."

I said, "Yes, you can."

She said, "The only reason I asked is that I don't have any cash with me."

Me thinks, 'As if', but says, "I take credit or debit."

She dashes across the aisle to another booth.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

How Much for That Top? Don't Ask.

I sell batik rayon and sewing patterns at consumer shows. To promote business, sample making is a requirement. This lovely basic top is one of them.
Inevitably people will ask if the samples are for sale. Generally, the answer is no because they are needed for fashion shows and displays but if a fabric and pattern have sold out, then I would consider it. The conversation goes something like this.

Woman: "Are these garments for sale?
Me: "They are samples of my fabric and patterns. If the fabric and pattern have sold out, I would consider it. But in my experience most people aren't willing to pay what they are worth."
Woman: "What about this top?"
Me: "Yes, I could sell that. If you are serious about paying what it is worth, I will give you a quote."
Woman: "Yes please."
Me: "OK. Give me a minute to calculate the price."
Me: "To cover the price of the fabric, pattern and my time (I only included 2 hours although it took much longer) $80.00."
Woman: (With look of disbelief.) REALLY? (Turns back to me and walks away.)
Me: "Have a good day."

Now I must say that I have sold sample garments to really nice people who appreciate their worth and have paid the price without batting an eye. This post has nothing to do with those kind souls.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Being Grateful in a World of Entitlement

Whether I am working online, teaching, serving coffee, running a meeting, giving a seminar or exhibiting at a show, I am in the public sphere on a regular basis. Providing service is what I do for fun, entertainment and for a living--and I love to do it. So I am often witness to a disturbing and increasingly common attitude of entitlement. And it concerns me greatly.

While some blame weak parenting styles and attribute it a specific generation or millennials, in fact the entitlement syndrome permeates society of all ages, backgrounds and genders. I liken it to those bad, thoughtless drivers who cut us off, won't give an inch to let you merge into traffic or tail you even though you are travelling at the speed limit in the right hand lane. Nobody in the room would ever do that, right? Yet someone does--a lot of someones. So maybe it is time we all took a long hard look at ourselves and asked the question, "Am I a self-important, always right, narcissistic jerk who deserves more than anyone else?"

Someone somewhere said, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." But a squeaky wheel is a legitimate need. A complainer, is often just trying to get more for themselves, at the expense of others.

So, for the self-entitled and needy, if you enter my booth at a show, please remember, you are stepping into my territory and my property which I am providing at great expense and with an incredible amount of work. Be respectful of my staff, my other customers and my inventory. Please shop at your pleasure for that is why I am there. Form a line for service if you are asked to. Don't ask why my products are so expensive. This question does not deserve an answer. Don't ask me to accept a lower price. I am not running a flea market. And most importantly, if I ask you leave the booth please do so quickly and quietly. Thank you.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Sewing Hacks? Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh.

If there's one single annoying, misused and generally irritating word, this is it: HACK. It even sounds nasty. Hack already has perfectly good meanings that make sense. Like, to hack off a tree limb, or a person who professes to be good at something but is not, and more recently, breaking into computer systems. I'm all for language evolution, when it makes sense, but using hack to replace a word like tips is just wrong. Unfortunately, sewing teachers and professionals are using the phrase 'sewing hacks' at an alarming rate. I can only think that someone told them they would look more 'with it' on social media. I wish them good luck. The second most annoying replacement for the word tips, is secrets. Really? Sewing secrets revealed? How many times before it's not a secret any more? When I see these words bandied about, I really feel distrustful of the author.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Consumers Beware the Discounter

If you thought you were getting the same product or quality at an outlet store as you receive at a regular retail store, you have been misinformed. The biggest offenders are Winners, Marshals, Home Sense and all those dollar stores. They may have started out selling overstocks, but now 90% of the goods or more never were available for sale at a regular retailer. The same applies to discount fabric stores and discount online retailers. The word is buyer beware. It is sounds like it is too good to be true, it probably is. Go with a retailer, online or storefront, that you trust. After all, you put a lot of time and effort into your sewing.