|Here is the art design but with a 5 inch gap in front|
On Sunday (Mother's day) I got a message from someone on Etsy that had their commission through another leatherworker fall through. They needed a custom armor jacket and they needed it for a convention (CON) in Chicago on Friday. Could I help them? Thus begins the saga.Yes, I can do it (Won't probably again without a rush charge and a custom job charge). We chatted, we shared images, we discussed what could be done and what was wanted and we ended up agreeing that it was a strong possibility, which turned into a commission (YAY!). It was needed for ACen in Chicago on Friday, so it had to arrive by Thursday if they were still going to make it on time.
2) Don't be nice/Don't be desperate. See above. I really wanted to be nice to this person, so I kept trying to sweeten the deal. And I think I really wanted to get a sale, so I threw myself under the bus to get it, when I should have priced it more reasonably for the supplies, work, and labor.
3) COMMUNICATE. With a custom job you can't be sure that the picture and the description you were given are exactly what they wanted...you just can't. So next time I need to make sure I send more in-progress photo's and make sure that the person is getting exactly what they want.
4) Never take a custom Rush job on a completely new product. If he had just wanted some bitchin shoulder pauldrons in a custom color with special pattern - EASY. I could have guaranteed his success and happiness. With the rush I needed to put my head down and pull, working hard and long, rather than taking the custom work approach of sending each step in pictures and checking to make sure it would fit. A custom job should have the customer trying on a paper version of the armor, should have adjustments as we work to ensure it's perfection...a Custom job and Rush job are not compatible in my work :(
5) Be happy with what you did. - Ray and I made some awesome armor. This jacket really is very cool and the nerf holster is amazing (I am sure Ray wants at least one of his own now). The pattern for this armor will help me make others...and they will be awesome!
6) Learn and grow. If I remember to apply these lessons I will have a better Etsy shop and be more effective as a business person.
7) Mr. Bear looks awesome in armor.