More challenging things

Time is obviously still my biggest challenge since I told myself I’d carve out time to post regularly and I’m not doing so hot on that front. But I’ve had others of course. Some anticipated, some not so much. I knew cash flow would be a problem. There’s never as much money as there are things to spend it on. I’ve had a couple difficult customers but I don’t feel like I can complain. My two weren’t really THAT bad and I know people who have the most assinine customers in the world. One in particular should write a book. They’re that bad. I’ve had issues with equipment failure though thankfully not that often. Most of the time if my sewing machine breaks I can take it to my repair guy and he has it back to me the same day.

The most irksome challenge I’ve had is a recent one and something I never imagined. Getting supplies. I needed plain white minky for a recent custom sheep.

The sheep in question

I went to my main supplier. Out of stock. Ummm… okay. That’s never happened before. Go to backup #1, and the website says they have it – yay! Only they call me two days later to say that no, they really don’t. That was pretty frustrating. Finally with the backup for my backup I found it and had it shipped. That process took a week, and thus made me a week late with the custom. Something that gives me stress hives.

But like everything, at least I learned something. Keeping basic supplies in stock at all times is an excellent idea. I’m going to have to get even more organized so when I use the last of something I’ll reorder immediately. I also found a better backup supplier, and the one I ordered from who called two days later has lost my business for the most part. They still have specific fabrics I can’t get anywhere else, but they messed up beyond just waiting two days to call me. I had two other fabrics in the order and they failed to ship them until seven days later after I called to complain. I’m actually still waiting on them to show up.

The silver lining of all this is that my customer was super awesome and patient. Also, I now have that new backup supplier that is fast with the shipping and has great customer service. I’m considering buying fabric wholesale, but the issue there is storage. Faux furs are bulky. I could pack 10 yard bolts of cotton in my dining room all day long, but a 10 yard bolt of minky is a whole different beast. If I come up with a way to store it without sending my husband into apoplexy, I’m going to do it. Just so I never again experience the panic of not being able to get what I need when I need it.

All in all I’ve been pretty lucky in that my challenges have turned a hair or two gray, but nothing overly serious. I haven’t had to track down buttheads using my pictures in their shops, deal with people who say hateful things just for the hell of it or had scammers who say the package was destroyed or lost in the mail or what have you – all things my circle of craft businesspeople friends have dealt with. Let me take a pause to knock on wood.

Hmmm… I’ve just noticed a trend. The challenges I think are the worst all deal with other people. I guess that’s because if it’s equipment or supplies or something like that, you just get it fixed or find another source. If it’s a person, then you have no idea what sort of crazy can happen.

Which makes me really, really grateful for my {totally and completely awesome} customers.