This week after wearing the post-op ski boot for 3 weeks and knowing another 3 more weeks of the same are in my future, I have decided to take action.
For the past couple years I have had a display in one of my sewing rooms with business cards from hairstylists, masseuses, estheticians, musicians, caterers, make-up artists, franchise cosmetic makeover specialists, used bridal gown sellers etc, in case my brides needed any suggestions for their special day. Although I get most of my brides a month before the wedding and most details have been secured by then.
It got me to thinking…why am I doing this?
Do I ever get referrals from these women with clients needing alterations – NO.
Do I ever get any thank yous for sending my brides their way – NO.
So the display was dismantled and it gave me a feeling of claiming my room back.
Also in the batch were cards for a leather repair shop…how did they get in there?
So as it goes, when you clean out one area, something comes in to fill it…enter 2 other women wanting to get their cards and business promoted by me. They both told me that because I come across way more people in my line of work than they do that I have a responsibility to help them out…Really? So the volume of my work determines the strength with which I must help other women to find their own clients or advertise? Hmmmm
As though my little sewing business is a freaking “gravy train” for massive referrals for all the other needy business women out there. The normal amount of brides in a season lasting from Mar-Oct is around 26 with the same amount of bridesmaids. In our valley most gowns are bought at David’s and the receptions are on a tight budget usually held in a church hall or backyard or they travel to the coast for a beach wedding. Shoe are really minimal and I would say half the brides wear no shoes or flip flops unless the venue requires footwear such as a country club.
But along came a woman who says she has been making custom shoes since the 70’s and she thinks I would be the perfect resource for her to get her business really going again after a long spell of inactivity. She thinks brides would really “dig” her shoes and she needs me to promote her work. She drops off cards just to make sure I will follow through on her plans.
Seriously, I cannot promote this at all.
The next businesswoman said she was a life coach. OK…go on. We have so many “life coaches”, spiritual guides, hypnotists, channelers, energy gurus, past life regressionists, nutritional advocates, etc in this valley already it just seemed to fit right in. I told her I did not need her services as in the back of my mind I did actually have my sh*t together. Well the next day I get a newsletter. It is promoting her website that is a weight loss program for morbidly obese people. It makes me wonder why she targeted me or my brides. Maybe it is like she said “you come in contact with more people than I do” but this is a bridge too far.
Maybe it is the straw that broke the camel’s back but none of this feels right to me and from now on there will be no more referrals from my sewing room. The gravy train has pulled into the roundhouse and will not run down the track again.
I happily refer clients to other local seamstresses and they do the same for me because it’s nice to help and support each other. There is plenty of bridal and non-bridal work to go around. We all have our specialties, our niches that make us happy.
On a happy Spring Cleaning note here are some photos of some re-arranging I did to make the areas more user-friendly. The table newly covered in terry cloth used to be in the corner of the cutting room/annex. It really should have been at the end of my sewing machine counter top to help hold all those heavy gowns and the terry cloth will keep the slippery fabrics from racing to the floor (fingers crossed!)
The cutting room/annex now has my older smaller cutting table from JoAnn’s to store all the rulers etc and the large 3 sectioned cutting table has room around it to walk and work…Yippee! You can see my mannequins/ladies-in-waiting all lined up in happy anticipation! To their right are all my favorite fusible interfacings hanging on the back of the door, all pre-shrunk and ready too.
The first bride of the season has dropped off her dress to be ready in a week. Here is a photo of the bustle…I covered a 5/8 inch button with fabric and made the loop at the bottom of the back opening. I hang the bustles for a few days to make sure they can handle the weight and then steam the dress ready for action. It is as simple as can be but the shape and length of the train was perfect for just one attachment point.
May all your sewing projects be rewarding and simple this week…wouldn’t that be a nice change?