Sunday, October 23, 2011

Creating Special Custom Orders

Really, it’s a simple process. At least, for Lanetta’s Creations it’s simple. I’m sure other handcrafters would agree. Making the just right apron, or a handbag/tote, or a doll dress ~ whatever the case may be ~ for the customer is my main goal/purpose/reason I create items here in Texas. When someone’s looking for an apron… they may like a design/style that I’ve already handmade and listed in my ArtFire Shop or shared on my Facebook page, but would prefer a different color scheme. That’s not a problem, simply ask!

I love email! Communicating via email helps to make the process simple, and fast! I’ll explain what usually happens when someone requests a special custom order––
I receive an email asking: “Do you do custom orders?”
I respond, “YES!” and ask, “What do you have in mind?”
It’s then the getting-down-to-details conversation begins, either via email, sometimes by telephone!

For example, recently a customer said she was getting her Christmas shopping done early and wanted an apron designed like my "Signature Collection" and three aprons designed like the one I entered (and won First Place!) at the 2011 State Fair of Texas Creative Arts Competition. (She had seen the picture I posted on my Facebook page.) She didn’t want the elaborate detail I did for the fair’s apron. She simply wanted the halter style for the top with a gathered skirt and any embellishments were up to me. She also told me she wanted them in traditional Christmas colors/prints.

I looked through my inventory of fabrics and combined pieces I thought would work well together, took snapshots, and emailed the pictures to her. I also explained she wasn’t limited to what I had on hand, that I would be willing to find other selections whenever I could get to Joann’s. She wrote back immediately, loving what I had shared, listing the ones she would want and for which person a particular color combination would work nicely.

A few pictures with suggested fabrics I emailed for her consideration:

After she selected who would get what fabrics, the next bit of information I needed: height and dress size for each lucky person she’s giving a Handmade in Texas apron for Christmas! Heights ranged from 5'3" to 5'6" in a variety of dress sizes.

Wondering how I would trim/embellish the aprons, I asked, “Do any of them like fu-fu things?” With this last answer of "NO, not at all!" in mind, I began the actual cutting out and sewing process!

After completing each apron, I would take a picture and send to my client for her approval. She would respond with, “Perfect!” Once she wrote, “These aprons ACTUALLY look like **** & ****!!”

Since I don't know the eventual recipient, it’s wonderful when a plan comes together!

Based on a bit of communication and pictures via email,
the result of three "Fair Designs" and one from my "Signature Collection"

all are Special Custom Orders:

I've done this same process with others... sometimes a client knows EXACTLY what they want it to look like... this one was an easy concept for my mind to wrap around:

See, it’s simple ~ and easy ~ to have a custom special order for someone special in your life! Try it! Make this Christmas, or birthday, or a just because, gift extra special with a custom made, item that’s Handmade in Texas by Lanetta’s Creations!

Hope to hear from you!

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