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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

To change or not to change

In my last post I showed a necklace that I changed to suit a customer.  I really felt it was an improvement.  But that doesn't mean that every time someone suggests that I change something, I go home and immediately rip it out.  Sometimes I disagree- and I ultimately have the final word.  But of course, sometimes that means I lose a sale.

Take this collar for example:


I struggled and struggled with this fringe- tearing it out multiple times and changing it until I was happy with it. In fact, it was my favorite part of the collar!  It looked pretty impressive at my art shows hanging on a mannequin- if I must say so myself!!

So a woman came into my booth and tried it on.  She was a small woman, and she loved it, but felt that the fringe was too much for her.  I could understand that- it looked great on her- but it was outside her comfort zone.  So she asked (wait for it) if I could remove the fringe!  Yes she did.  I felt like crying.  Now, it was a slow show.  I definitely could have used this big sale.  But it would have broken my heart to remove this fringe!  Luckily (?) her next question was, "How much of a discount can you give me if it doesn't have the fringe?"  I say luckily because that made up my mind for me.  No, sorry, I would not remove the fringe.




Now, maybe I was wrong- it probably would have looked fine without the fringe- maybe even better.  But I couldn't do it.


A few shows later, a woman loved this collar and bought it.  With the fringe.  She was a small woman and she wore it well!!

19 comments:

  1. Stick to what you believe in.

    It might not be an instant result, but it paid off in the end

    Lovely collar, Betty, as always !

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    1. Thanks Amy. I guess it is sometimes hard for me to stick to what I believe in and still have an open mind. A fine line sometimes.

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  2. Love your story! Staying true to your intuition, your art, is the only way to go. And it's wonderful when those choices are validated.

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    1. Thanks Mary. Yeh, at least THIS time it worked out!!! I wish it always did!

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  3. Good for you, Betty. That piece needed to stay whole.

    Did you considering offering to create a custom piece for her along similar, yet fringe-less lines?

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    1. Thanks Carol Dean. You know, I can't even remember if I did offer that to her- I guess I was so traumatized by it all!!!!

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  4. Boy, I'm with you on this one. Fringe is always difficult for me when I'm making an embroidered collar. When I hit on just the right pattern or style, I stick with it. I don't think I could have torn out that fringe after all you went through to get it just right, either!

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    1. It was fairly tempting- just to make the sale. That is until she thought she should get a discount!!

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    2. A discount for doing MORE work! Of course.

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  5. I did the same thing a year or so ago with a bracelet with a "Buddha" theme - the clasp, the Buddha head charm, the etched metal tube with the word "joy" all pulled together with amethyst to create a very unique piece. A customer came in and wanted the bracelet, but only because her NAME was JOY and asked me to remove the Buddha. Doing so would have meant taking apart a good portion of the bracelet, and she too, wanted a discount without the 'buddha thing'. So I refused, lost the sale, and then just a few weeks later - made the sale - to a man who bought it for someone who turned out to be a friend of mine (I didn't know him, and he didn't know I knew her). All was at it should be, my friend still LOVES her "Joyful Buddha", and I maintained my integrity. I HAVE made changes for people - but very rarely - and only if they commit for certain to purchasing the piece with changes first.
    Lovely piece, Betty. I always love all your pieces.

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    1. Geesh- I guess sometimes people just don't understand how much work goes into a piece, and also how much work it takes to change it. Not to mention our emotional attachment!! Thanks Sheryl!

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  6. Gosh! Good thing she mentioned the discount in good time. Think how you would feel if she had made you take out the fringe first then suggested the discount. It is a lovely item as it is.

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    1. Thanks Naan! I actually think I would have felt pretty bad even without giving a discount!!! But you are right- it would have hurt twice as bad!

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  7. I would have offered to make her a new one without the fringe. I LOVE it with fringe myself. I like fringe on clothes, purses, belts, jewelry, & shoes!

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  8. That necklace would be beautiful either way but I certainly would not have given her a discount to do more work. Sheesh! You made the right choice.
    I had a client ask for a change that I thought was all wrong. I took photos, make the change, finished the bracelet, took more photos then merged the two photos together so it looked like it was completed the way I liked it. I posted it on my website showing both ways so as not to offend her (she is a good client) so we were all happy in the end.

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  9. Customers just don't know what is involved. I understand not wanting to be overwhelmed by a fringed necklace, but I also realize those necklaces are meant to be worn by someone else. I altered one of my favorite necklaces as the customer requested telling myself she paid the money. It was a relatively simple shortening of two sections of strung beads and a larger lobster clasp for an elderly woman in a wheel chair. I regretted doing it when I saw how much the shorter length changed the character of the design. Lesson learned. Glad your situation worked out well. Doubts creep in at those slow shows.

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  10. I honestly don't think it would look better without the fringe. It is beautiful like this and it would be sad if you had to cut it off. And when a customer asks you to do extra work and then wants a discount for that extra work you would have to do, sorry but then the customer is just not worth it.

    Portokali

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  11. Absolutly great! I don't have enough words to discribe, what I think about this work! Amazing

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