Tuesday, 26 July 2011

getting a little tougher...maybe!

Good evening lovely people
I am told I am too ‘soft’! I am sensitive, by my own admission and I do tend to worry about what other people think of me as a person. I would like to think I will treat others in the way I would like to be treated, too. I think it’s great to help people, and where ever possible, if I can, I would try to.
Recently, to my detriment, I think I have ‘given too much away’! My partner Chris has politely pointed out that I tell all, too readily, and sometimes it leaves me a little open and enables others to use my information to my own disadvantage!
It seems, in business, it is good to play your cards close to your chest and this is a lesson I must learn. You see we had a visitor to the shop and we chatted at great length but after several hours of me being accommodating and friendly, and despite me desperately trying to ‘get on’ I realised the information gleaned and my approachable nature left me wishing I had just simply been pleasant, but business like and more efficient with my time. I should not give away my business ideas, hopes and dreams.
I find it hard to be unwelcoming as naturally I am a chatty, bubbly person, and certainly with customers, I find myself making them tea and hearing many a tale whilst discussing their requirements, and I believe this is part of the service.
In the past, because of my good nature, I have lost out in business for fear of creating a situation or confrontation. Instead of standing my ground, I have simply walked away, knowing I was right.
 But now the stakes are higher. My premises are more expensive and professional. My status in the business has improved and I am being recognised and rewarded. So I must toughen up. It’s not about being ruthless and feisty, but strong and confident, but still providing excellent service, with a smile. But I shall be watching out for that ever so friendly caller with an ulterior motive ;-)
sleep well lovely people
love Sue  x

Monday, 25 July 2011

Just a little update!

Good evening folks,
Sorry its been a while, again, I am such a naughty blogger! I really must try to improve  the situation!
Its been a very busy month, we opened the new shop/studio on 1st June and its been very well received. The Seamstress is going from strength to strength and I am so optimistic about the future; I get up every day with renewed vigour and cant wait to get to work, and its a lovely feeling.

I had worked from home on and off for years, but seeing the demand for couture dressmaking increase I simply couldn’t expect clients to shimmy past my dining room table for a fitting. The Seamstress is a light, modern unit, and I have changed the shop around so many times since we opened I am sure my partner Chris feels dizzy!

I am busy with dressmaking orders and alterations, the bulk of which are currently bridal. I know this will be seasonal and am looking forward to be able to complete more bespoke dressmaking  when the bridal alterations subside a little as the season progresses.

I have spent some time researching this week, as I have had quite a few gowns into the shop which have been a little problematic to say the least. These gowns have been ordered from abroad, and the biggest issue being the bride has ordered a size she feels may fit, but they are tending to ‘come up small’. The other issue is the quality is a little ‘poor’ in places, the finish isn’t brilliant, and the colour (when the bride chooses something other than white) can be rather different from the intended shade.
It is very hard to start a business from scratch and increase your orders, especially when the competition seems too good to be to true, price wise. I have been a dressmaker and craftsperson for many years, and previously doing this for ‘additional’ income was definitely easier to competitively price than when you have to make allowance for the business premise outgoings.
A few weeks ago I offered my lifetimes’ stash of vintage materials for sale. Seeing the direction of my business change so definitely I decided I no longer had  the space or the time to make textiles and very few of the garments I now make utilise the fabrics I had been lovingly storing for years. I was fortunate enough to be able to pass the collection on to a really lovely woman called Karen, whose blog I had read from time to time. see her lovely goodies here http://tilly-rose.co.uk/
Karen has recently embarked upon a new project herself, taking her business from entirely web and direct sales based to a fabulous new Vintage Craft workshop where she will assist fellow crafters and newbies with beautiful projects to treasure. I wish her well! I actually wish I lived closer, as even though I only met Karen once, if felt like I had known her for years!
Well, I better go, I promise I will be back again soon and I will upload some more recent photos of the shop, complete with new rail full of ready to buy gowns and rosey fitting room!
Take care and see you soon
Love Sue