Sure she does. She has a VAGUE idea. She wants something like the
one you did for your sister. Use that as a starting point.
Which artisans? Where did she find the things that she 'likes'? Just
like you've done with your family over the years, you need to find out
more about her likes and dislikes...her decor...etc.
Bad idea...IMHO. And it doesn't sound like its working, either.
YOU pick something...YOU push...YOU design...YOU set deadlines, etc.
She obviously doesn't wanna be bothered. Most customers don't.
I'm just guessing here...but I don't think whatever you make for her
will be as important as the fact that she had it ESPECIALLY made by
you for whomever she gives it to. It'll be a SPECIAL gift...made
especially for her friend...as opposed to something she could simply
have bought over the shelf.
If she already has the recipient in mind, suggest that you sign it to
include the recipient's name.
You need to take the initiative, Leuf. She is definitely more inept
at this than you are. She's looking to you for direction. DON'T ask
her to make too many choices. YOU put the project together...the
ENTIRE project...and then get her final approval.
I wouldn't worry about getting any money up front, if I were you.
Just build it...and let her know approximately what it will cost. If
you get stiffed for the materials, it shouldn't be the end of the
world for you.
And this whole thing will be a great experience for you...especially
if you plan on future endeavors like this.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
P.S. If things go well, get some business cards made. Later, ask her
if you can use her as a reference.
Have a nice one...
Budweiser: Helping ugly people have sex since 1876!
I was making things more complicated than they needed to be. It took
less than an hour to come up with a rough sketch based on the first
one I did, scaled down with a different top and using the materials I
have on hand. I sent it along with a photo of the woods this
afternoon and have already gotten an enthusiastic go ahead from her.
I was thinking about putting together a little photo album of pictures
taken along the way with my contact info at the end to send along with
it. I can send a few to the client to keep her updated, and then
perhaps the album will bring another job.
Tue, Nov 2, 2004, 5:30am (EST+5) email@example.com (Leuf)
I was making things more complicated than they needed to be. <snip>
Told ya so. Most people do.
When you choose an action, you choose the consequences.
get her to sign a printout of your pattern and mail it to you with her
deposit check. also let her know that any design changes after you start
production will cost her something. this is what i have to do when designing
and producing stained glass projects. otherwise the customer keeps coming up
with changes in pattern or color, and you're trying to hit a moving target.
Good solution and good job...
You could have been more professional in your proposal, but IMHO,
informal is better if you want "artisan" prices, professional is great
for bulk or volume items..
Like most things in life, it's the selling as much as the quality that
makes people feel good about the decision to use you, and referrals
I agree that it could have been more professional, but I tried to do
it as if she were in the room as a sketch to further discussion, with
the intent to follow up with a more formal drawing. It doesn't appear
that will be necessary, though I think I will go through the process
just for my own sake.
Interesting comment about the process being different for "arty" work.
I'd just gone looking at some websites with jewelry boxes and stumbled
across this one site where I read, "Peruse my web-site, and see what
truly fine woodworking can be. (Woodworkers will likely learn a thing
or two.)" And on and on like that. If that's what being an "artisan"
leads to I think I'll aim for glorified carpenter instead. Though
actually the guy's prices were reasonable, go figure.
I think it's a skill that needs to be developed along with your
technical skills. I guess it comes naturally to some people. My
parents are building a new house and in talking with the builder
within 2 minutes you know you want to work with the guy. I tried to
just pay attention to him and learn a few things.
Leuf.. I think we're coming from the same direction, I just didn't
explain what I meant by artisan prices..
I was thinking more of how you want the client to perceive your work
than how you/we do... folks just pay more for something made by an
artist... and to someone like me or to a client, the skill level and
talent to make a good jewelry box (which I hope to develop) is an
When you do or know something well, you tend to take it for granted...
like "doesn't everyone do this?"... but to folks that have never
ripped a board on a power saw, what you do is damn near magic... and
it helps your checkbook to let them believe that.. *g*
I was always interested in what potential customers already had.
Most of them already have some design boundaries set up, even if they
don't know it.
Then I wanted to know where it would go. That can tell you a lot.
Then I wanted to know what it would be used for.
Then I wanted to know how much it should cost.
It was at this point that the conversation usually ended.
"People funny. Life a funny thing." Sonny Liston
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
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