Friday, 21 February 2014

Poor little neglected blog.

Back when I was young and foolish, I thought that making an offer for something was easy and quick.

No. Actually, I did not think about it (and why should I?). I didn't even know the difference between an offer and someone telling you what it would cost, approximately. Then I started my own business, and I learned.

One thing I learned is that the more items you have, and the more variations you have available, the longer it takes - and not only a little bit longer. The time needed increases very much non-linearly. Add to this the need to obtain samples, test techniques, source materials, and find the right suppliers for things... and we're not talking a few hours, but more like weeks until a packet of possibilities is done, finished, and embellished with the appropriate price tag. And there's hours going into all that, plus into the necessary research to clear up details as well.

For now, I've got a big block of offer-related work off my desk, which is also the reason for this late blog post - I was so caught up in finally wanting to finish the thing that I completely forgot the time.

So. My stress levels are up, as are my caffeine levels, but the big list is done and now I can relax for a bit (and get back to my sewing work). That was the third request for an offer this year with a time-frame for making the offer that was, uh, let's call it "less than generous". Mind you, I'm not blaming the people who requested the offers - textile stuff and the scope in getting all the information you need is often underestimated in its complexity and time-eating-ness, just like the
textile work itself is often far underestimated. In addition, I know all too well that in many cases time just is that short, and it's no fault of those planning and requesting, since they often have a schedule imposed on themselves as well, and the way things are, that schedule is in all probability also way less than generous. I'm happy to be asked for an offer, and I am excited to do the research and handle cloth samples and try to find the best solution for everybody for these projects - it's the work I love.

For you, though, just in case you should have a bigger project that includes historical textiles to plan for one day, such like a museum exhibition or something similar, and you know it well in advance - please get to planning the textiles, and asking for offers or proposals or at least getting in contact with your prospective textile workers straight away. It may be that you could have the perfect fabric for your plans - but getting it woven takes a few months. Even getting to the point where you find someone to weave something historically correct for you, bespoke, and get a quote for that can take several weeks to a few months! So everyone is served better if you get into contact as soon as you can - you will have more choices, the crafters will have more fun and less stress, and you may get the extra dollop of research as well.

(Same will apply to other crafts, too. Let your crafters know well in advance. We love to offer you choices and discuss them and find the best possible solution together with you - but that, you guessed it, takes time...) 

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