Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thank-you for your patience!

Wow. I can’t even begin to describe how crazy the last few weeks have been! When we re-opened after our brief vacation 17 days ago, we never could have anticipated in a million years how many orders we would be met with. We are incredibly thrilled and happy that our little store has taken off in a big way, but we are really overwhelmed as well.

Because of this, we made the hard decision of no longer accepting custom orders while we get caught up. But don’t fret! We will re-open as soon as we can, hopefully within the next 12-14 business days. And, we will have all of our ready to purchase items available, plus hopefully more that we’ve been sitting on as we have had no time to list them.

If you have already placed an order with us, are in the process of communicating a requested order to us, or are having us set up a listing for you, your order(s) will still be filled, and will stay pretty close to the estimated timeline indicated upon placing your order. See below for some more information on timelines, as well as the behind the scenes reasons we have to take a break to serve you better.

Boom goes the business
A couple of weeks ago, we used to get anywhere from 1-4 orders a day, so about 7-20 orders a week at MOST, and we thought were busy then! In the last 17 days, we have received over 79 orders. Most of them for multiple items!

We are a mom and daughter operation

That means there are two of us only right now. Prior to the last month or so (leading up to our vacation we were getting steadily more busy), running our store was a part-time thing that my mom and I did together out of our home sewing studios, and we were hoping it would expand over time. Now, we have had to kick it into overdrive in a very short period of time, and we are both working around the clock to get as much done in a day as possible.

For my mom, this means sewing, sewing, sewing (and some cutting too). She’s at it all day long and well into the night.

For me, it means answering up to 20 convos/emails a day, setting up listings, issuing requests for payments (when applicable), keeping track of orders, getting those orders to my mom, picking up finished orders to package and ship (and sometimes photograph), tracking down fabric and supplies from local sources and ordering in from external sources, and then cutting new orders for my mom to sew. In there somewhere, I have also been doing a little sewing, mostly small accessories that have been requested for custom orders. Which, by the way, I love doing, as that’s what we’re all about (so don’t be shy about asking for new products when we start taking custom orders again, as the worst thing that will happen is that we say we can’t at the moment).

Amongst all the busyness of our Etsy store, I also run my graphic design company, which is technically my “real job”. Luckily, most of my projects have been on a 2 week hiatus while clients deliberate over changes to designs, otherwise I might be locked in a rubber room right now.

Timelines are approximate
When we started out back from vacation, our time line read approximately 7-10 business days. Until today, it has stayed right about there, but we decided to up it to 12 for new orders because we are starting to get a bit backed up. And we know that if we keep it up at the rate we’re going, we will get even more backed up and that’s no good for you or for us.

At most, we are estimating that there might be a couple of actual days delay (not business days, as we are using weekends to catch up) to what it read when you ordered, and unless we see it surpassing that, you probably won’t hear from me as I just don’t have the time to follow up with every single order should it go a day or two over what was estimated.

Also, something to keep in mind is that we don’t count the day you order as a business day. At the end of each day, that day’s orders are placed into our work order queue, so technically it arrives on our to-do list the next day.

We don’t want to sacrifice quality for speediness

We want to continue to provide you with quality, handmade, custom products. Each unique item is lovingly hand cut, machine stitched, and then packaged and shipped from our house to yours. While we take this time to catch up on orders, we are also going to find ways to increase our efficiency in both sewing and business practices. However, this may very well mean that our turn-around time will have to increase considerably so that we give ourselves more time to complete your orders in the high quality fashion we are known for.

Also, in fairness to all of our customers, we will not be able to accommodate rush orders or additions to orders several days after your initial order. This affects the timeline for everyone else, and makes it harder for us to estimate when we will be done making your items. However, we will gladly hang onto your order so that it can be combined for shipping if you’re okay with waiting, and if it’s a rush, you always have the option of purchasing faster shipping.

Thank-you for understanding

Again, I want to thank each and every one of our customers and potential customers. Without you, we would not be the small (but fast growing), make-your-own-bag, 2 woman operation that we are today. We see bright things in our future, and we sure hope you will all be along for the ride!

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations and good luck to both you and your Mom! What a great thing to have your business take off like this. Wishing you both the best in your success and the ability to find extra hours in the day ;)

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  2. Awesome! Thanks for the explanation! I kind of suspected that you guys were going to have trouble keeping up with such demand since there are only two of you! You do awesome work though, keep it up!

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  3. Katie,

    No worries about the wait times! I know you're super-busy, but try to enjoy yourself in the process! I'm really excited to see the goods in person, but I can wait!

    Hang in there... and have FUN!
    Trouter

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  4. I ordered a couple bags from you (previous Etsy virgin) and I know they'll be great. The good stuff is worth waiting for. Congrats on the business boom - hope it keeps up :)

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  5. Wow, thank-you everyone for your amazing support! It's because of all of you that we love doing what we do and will continue to improve our processes so that it works out for everyone.

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  6. Katie, don't stress! I think it's so great how much your bags have taken off, and I'm sure that people will appreciate that hand crafted items take more time. Anything that great is worth the wait!

    (Says the owner of three bags!)

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