After a couple of dresses that I knitted for the daughter of my friends, I started to get a couple of orders here and there. This particular order was a lesson for me. And not in a good way.
A lady asked me to knit a dress and a pair of socks and mittens for her baby-girl due in 3 months. I had the time and I enjoyed the process. She did not give me any certain requirements, just the colour scheme.
She praised my work when I sent her the photos to check if she liked what I came up with. She loved them. We agreed that she will pay the next month.. and then the next.. and the next.. I was understanding. Until she never answered to my letters nor got back to me any more. So what did I learn?
Lesson nr. 1: Good girl for not shipping the product before getting any money.. Lesson nr. 2: Get 50% of the payment before starting the order (or at least the cost of the material), especially when making something with custom colours/pictures/names/dates. Just in case. I really do charity work and donate my handmade stuff from time to time.. but in this case she ordered the product and I spent my time and money on it. Not a nice thing to do.
These items were eventually bought by a friend who needed a baby shower gift. I was no longer interested in keeping them in my closet and there was no response from the “customer”, so they went to a loving home.
Here’s the pattern I drew for this particular dress:
In addition to the dress, she wanted mittens and socks. I had enough yarn to make two pairs so she would have a choice.
I really believe in honesty and integrity. I want to believe in people, but this case proved me wrong – all people are not nice and honest. When you are just new to this craft world, you really need to do a back-round check in the community to see if there are any complaints toward your customer. From that incident on, I plan to take some money upfront when ordered by complete strangers.