Custom Work

Last week I was featured on the Westfield Patch.  I am so thrilled to be able to share this with you! If you would like to read the article, you can find it here.  I was able to include some pictures for The Patch, one of which was a shot of my studio (you know, during the 30 seconds it was clean so that I could take a picture… a clean studio is NOT happening right now during the holiday season!).  Take a look!

My favorite parts of my studio are the big picture window that throw natural light on my entire work space (very important when trying to match colors.  I work with the lights OFF when it comes to matching and selecting!), the ledge for my plants and fresh cut flowers, and my design wall.  The magnetic dry erase board is very useful, though not very attractive.  I also love the glass bowl of embroidery thread up on my shelf :)

Anywho… During the interview, I was asked about what kind of work is my favorite to do, and I answered that I absolutely love custom work.  I think one of the great parts about the handmade community is that buyer and seller really can build a relationship and it seems to make the piece that much more amazing.  It gives the piece its own story.  I also find it incredibly refreshing to be able to work on something new.  The day after the interview, I received an order for a custom pillow cover, so I thought that I would post the process here on the blog so that you have a better idea of how easy it is to order a custom cover!

On December 2nd I received a message on etsy that read,

Hi Meg,
I was interested in the 12×16 pillow for my sisters baby shower. She is having a girl “Savannah ” and the bedding she picked is purples and greens(lime). Curious if you could do something that would match this color scheme. Also, her shower is dec 14, could it be ready by then? 
Thanks so much! “

A few moments later, I replied with,

Good morning!

I can definitely do this for you with a ship date of the 10th – I think that would be plenty of time to receive it by the shower, what do you think?

When I am back at my studio this afternoon I will go ahead and pull some fabrics to use in the pillow. Once I send a pic, we can switch them up, etc until we find something we are both happy with!

Have a great morning, talk soon!”

My customer then went ahead and attached this pic for reference for me (I’d give her credit, but I’ve decided to keep her anonymous, unless she specifies otherwise!)

On my first fabric pull in the studio later that afternoon, I came up with these fabrics, and messaged my customer the following image:

Turns out that she loved these, on December 3rd she wrote, “Love it! Lets do it!

In the past, clients are not usually completely thrilled on the first pull, and that is fine.  I just go ahead and swap out a fabric or two, replacing the ones that they aren’t thrilled with until everyone is happy!  In some cases I have even purchased specific fabrics that my customers request.

In this case, I was able to move forward,

Ok fantastic! Just go ahead and order the pillow cover to the specifications that you’d like (zipper vs no zipper, form vs no form).  In the “message to seller” box, please write “savannah” and the greens/purples request so that I have it on my invoice from you!

Have you thought about the color for the embroidery? I could send you a pic with some options once I piece the front for you.

I’m looking forward to this! Meg”

And her reply,

For the embroidery I was thinking something in the purple family – I’d love to see what u have and what you recommend :)”

What a fantastic customer, no?  She was just so thrilled to be ordering this for her sister.  On the 5th of December I had her pillow cover pieced, and I sent her the following image to help her choose what embroidery color she wanted.

I personally liked #1, and that was my recommendation to my customer.  She was drawn to both purples, the lighter and the brighter.

In the end, she chose the second purple, the brighter one that is as close to an exact match to the purple in the pillow that you could get!  I embroidered and backed her pillow with an envelope closure that day, and her order was packaged and shipped on December 6th, well before the timeframe that we had specified.

In regards to the turn around time of this pillow, it went quickly because my customer was very quick to answer and had given me a specific date that she needed the pillow by.  When working through Etsy conversation, it is important to reply as soon as possible as you have no clue when the next time the person is going to check their messages.  I have message alerts come to my phone, so I know when my customers are contacting me and I have yet to miss a message.  By responding so quickly, and being actively involved in the creation of this pillow, my customer really insured that she would get what she wanted when she wanted it.

This pillow is one of my favorites to date.  I cut enough fabric to make 2, maybe 3 more of this front.  Can you believe it, a limited edition! I’m going to name this pillow The Savannah, of course. I will be listing it in my shop shortly.  Once they are purchased, they are gone!

I hope you have been having a wonderful weekend and enjoying the holiday season.  Thanks for stopping by!





1 comment
  • Kelly

    Where did you learn quilting and embroidery? Have you ever or are you thinking of offering classes? Your work is beautiful!