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Swamped under the pressure.

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  • Swamped under the pressure.


    I never knew how popular my little things were going to be, I now have orders to keep me busy for the next month or so, which is all good and proper. I have only had my facebook page for 3 weeks.

    This is my hobby, people don't relise that, there is only one of me and two hands. They are expecting me to have it finished and mailed out in a matter of days. I work during the day, I have a 3 year old and now all this pressure. .

    Does anyone know how I can explain to them, I a nice way, that it will take time. I have put a hold on orders for now, so I can finish this backlog. Its making it into a job rather than a hobby and I am not enjoying it as I should. Does anyone have any advice?
    "nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible"!" (coming soon)

  • #2
    I can only empathise - I'm struggling with my orders too. I'm walk my two dogs in the morning, then am out of the house 8am-7pm, have a quick tea (luckily OH does the cooking) and then I'm in my craft room for 3 hours sewing and am shattered. I only set up business a few months ago but its taking off really well through word of mouth. I'm contemplating going down to 4 days work but need to be confident I can sustain that income so for know I just have to try and balance things. Luckily I have a really supportive OH who understands that he only sees me for 1/2 hr a day at dinnertime! I too have put a block on orders for now to try and make up stock for an event.

    Its a hard one to balance - on the one hand to you it is a hobby, but on the other hand they have made payment for goods. All I can suggest is that you are up front with folk. Put messages on your sites stating timescales for delivery - I find so long as you keep people informed they are generally ok - and you can always put a timescale longer that you expect (say two weeks) and then if you manage to post it sooner you've exceeded their expectations!. And dont put added pressure on yourself. I think that as soon as I receive payment I should have the goods out the next day but the majority of my customers dont. I have has thank yous from folk who have received goods after a week of placing an order thanking me for the quick turnaround.

    Deep breaths and congrats on doing so well


    • #3
      It's great that you have orders. Make it clear on your product pages how long people can expect to wait once they order. On many of my made to order products I state up to 14 days and I've had no issues with this.
      full time mum and very very part time crafter.


      • #4
        Hi fairypop.
        Good to hear you have orders, do you not state how many you have in stock or do you make to order?
        Hope you get on top of things, take care.


        • #5
          Hiya Sharon

          No wonder you're inundated!! your pieces look fab. Just let people know that due to high demand they may have to wait a while. Then they at least know that they're getting a great product that is clearly in demand.

          Good luck
 for semi precious, pearls and glass beads
          Twitter - The Bead Hall Ltd


          • #6
            Just one wee thought when I looked at your Folksy site Sharon - are these pieces made up or do you make them as the orders come in? I think that Folksy has a rule that all items must be despatched within 3 days unless otherwise stated in your description so might be best to add something there


            • #7
              That's great that you have all these orders! I would put a note in the description to say that things are specially made to order so that people know that they wont get right away and may have to wait a little time for them to be made.


              • #8
                hi everyone,

                thanks for the advice. All the items on folksy are ready to be despatched, sitting waiting, I remove it from there if I sell it via facebook. Its the commission things that are backed up. I have stated on facebook that there is now a 2-3 week delay on the items. This will hopefully give me the time to get everything finished.

                I like the things to be OOAK, so I try not do the items in the same colour, but if someone wants it the same then I will do it.

                I think I wasnt prepared for all the interest in them and its been a bit of a shock to the system. I'm no longer doing things to suit myself but for other people so I need to get it done. x
                "nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible"!"
       (coming soon)


                • #9
                  Well done on being busy.
                  The usual way to slightly slow orders to a manageable level is to increase the price
                  If you increase price by 10%, you will prob lose 10% of your orders and be able to cope without losing any income.
                  Worth a try?



                  • #10
                    3 weeks. My order book had a 3 year wait before I panicked .
                    I'm down to 3 weeks now and panicking I won't have anything to do. Only joking because I'm good at inventing work for myself!

                    Things I did.
                    I have a sentence on my website saying because so much is handmade and somethings are seasonal there might be a wait.
                    Folk think I'm daft but my customers pay after they receive their goods. That's because I have so many variables, stuff is tailor made and we have tochat first. If there's likely to be a wait, that's when I tell them. They wait or walk away. They usually wait. Obviously that wouldn't work for you.
                    I have done the work from breakfast till 3 in the morning thing. I don't recommend it.
                    The thing that really cleared my order book was being taken in hand by friends doing similar things and forming a co-op. Whoever finds the customer and seals the deal gets 10% finders fee but if it's more than they can cope with they offer it out to the rest of us. That's worked well. Maybe too well!
                    They did make me put my prices up. There was a blip of 3 months when I lost some orders then they poured back in.

                    And well done for being such a success


                    • #11
                      I havent got any orders - Can I have some of yours?
                      Well done, enjoy it while the going is good, your pieces are lovely!, xx


                      • #12
                        It is really about managing expectations - if as I understand it, it is the commission side of your work that is providing the challenge, you are lucky because you can tell the buyer directly, you are no. X in my queue, I expect to get this item completed in 10 days, if there is a problem, I will let you know.

                        Also, you need to put your prices up, you are far too cheap... you are barely covering the cost of your wool, let alone your time, you could easily double your prices. At Craft Fairs, I regularly sell my booties for £9, made in Merino and cashmere... so if I can get that much, so can you.



                        • #13
                          It's nice to hear from folk who are doing well. Gives the rest of us hope that there is a market out there. Not sure I can add anything which isn't a repeat of what's already been said, but managing expectations can avoid disappointment.
                          Hope things continue to be as busy as you want them to be....


                          • #14
                            Thank you for all the advice, I think that I have caught up on most of the orders in the last 2 days. I dont take payment for items until they are completed and ready to be despatched. I have now told everyone that there is a delay of 2-3 weeks before I even get onto their orders and everyone has been happy with it, so far. I will be putting the price of thinsg up after christmas, at the minute as it is my hobby I'm quite happy about the feedback that I have received about how affordable things are. I do just and mean just get the money back on the wool and it would be nice if I could in the end up make this my job, but at the minute we cant afford it
                            "nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible"!"
                   (coming soon)


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fairypop View Post
                              I dont take payment for items until they are completed and ready to be despatched.

                              be careful with this. ( read some of the threads about people coming unstuck with custom orders) If you were to put up your prices you could take a deposit that would cover the wool cost.
                              full time mum and very very part time crafter.