damselcorsets.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Brief Conversation with Halloween 2010


So, I had a conversation with Halloween 2010, trying to figure out what he had against me. I mean, I worked my REAR off trying to make sure all of the ladies of his night could dress in the most high quality seductress costumes available, and STILL he tries to murder me in cold blood. I have been SOOO tired and stressed out for about two months that I think I'm just a pale shadow of my normal vibrant self. It may have something to do with the diet of cookie dough and pre-Halloween candy that I shove in my face as I sit rigidly at my sewing machine, pressing through the pieces of fabric and hoping that my tears won't stain the corsets and that my angry profanity-filled outbursts won't be embedded into the fibers. I might be a little worn because I've been waking up at 4:30 every morning and VERY LITERALLY working until 10 each night.

Now, I'm not complaining about the number of orders. That was pretty dang awesome. I think what has ended up killing me is that we get sooooooo many emails. And, bless your hearts, some of you might have been slightly more understanding about the weight that I'm under. Well, me AND my Midwest Branch. We're small companies, plain and simple. We stay this way because I honestly like feeling a personal connection with the customers and I LOVE being the one who sews all of their custom orders, and I'm really genuinely excited for most of you to get your corsets and put them together into fantastic costumes. It's also nice to work with people who appreciate good craftsmanship and understand what work is put into my pieces. However, when you multiply the normal number of pleasant customers by 20, then things start getting out of control. Your emails start sounding angry in my head when I read them. Here's an example.

Customer: Hey! I was just wanting to check up on my package and see when it would arrive!

How I read this same email- HEY @$^%*$!!! WHERE THE H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICK IS MY $%^&*&** CORSET? WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? I'M YOUR ONLY IMPORTANT CUSTOMER AND I DON'T GIVE A DANG ABOUT HOW TIRED YOU ARE OR ABOUT HOW YOU ALREADY GOT THE CORSET DONE AND SENT IT OUT YESTERDAY, 2 WEEKS BEFORE THE EXPECTED TIME! I WANTED IT A WEEK AGO! YOU SUCK, YOUR PRODUCTS SUCK AND YOU CAN BURN IN H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICK!

I'm not even joking here. When I'm this overwhelmed with orders and I've been working this hard, I get really irritable and emotional, completely taking everything said the worst possible way and feeling judged, inadequate, stupid, imperfect, and idiotic.

Now, in my defense, I DID hire extra help. I don't actually answer the emails (that's my brother..he dictates, I answer, he types.) and I was FINALLY humble and beaten down sufficiently so that I could ask for help from some of our neighbors. They have literally saved our life, making my sewing shop so it doesn't look like a bomb hit and organizing, grommeting, and helping with shipping. All the same, I just take everything sooo personally with this company. It's an extension of who I am and what I stand for, so if anyone is ever upset or disappointed with me or my products, it just grates on my nerves. I sit there and sew and stew and am nearly driven out of my mind. It's worse when I get emails where the people REALLY DID want to guilt-trip me and put me down. Those ones play as a constant track in my head, over and over. I can promise you, I never forget them.

Basically, I just want Halloween to be over so I can stop feeling guilty for not being perfect. How could I try SOO hard and still fall short of the mark? Poopy.

On a MUCH LIGHTER note, I have a REALLY great promotion coming up in the 2 weeks. We're trying to clear out fabrics to make room for more!!! We'll be headed to the LA fabric district and we're planning on buying massive amount of fabric so you guys can have new selections, colors, and patterns! But, that means we have to make room, and we have such profusions of little pieces of fabric that just need cut up and used into corsets. The reason most of these are still kicking around is because they're sort of...ugly. So, I'll be having an "UGLY FABRIC CORSET SALE!" YAY!!!! (funny thing is-I LOVE most of these fabrics.) We're making some hilariously ironic and swell steampunk corsets out of the ugly fabrics. You guys will love them!

25 comments:

  1. this is why I decided not to place an order now (that and teh fact that I seem to be losing weight these day. ...) hang in there, you are an inspiration. It is GREAT to see that some small business which deliver a phenomenal product (you, and for exaple Katwise on Etsy...) are doing so incredibly well.

    Halloween doesn't hate you. Its entire existence is just so that you can afford the lovely xmas presents you want to give to your peeps ;)

    Good luck

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  2. This is why I am waiting till after Halloween to buy my custom corsets LOL. I really want that precious queen of hearts corset but I wont throw it onto your load. I just keep hoping you will have enough fabric to make it for me when the madness is done.

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  3. Just wanted to let you know that I think you are totally awesome!

    Hugs,

    Rhonda

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  4. You are crazy Michelle. I though this Halloween was going to be different for you! LOL!

    My mind works exactly the same way as yours which makes it extra difficult in a customer-seller relationship. ;) We <3 you. Except not me right now because I'm broke and I know I'm going to love these ugly steampunk corsets your going to put out.

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  5. You poor darling! I'm happy for all of your amazing achievements and just remember that you are human...not a sewing robot with 10 arms. Don't be ashamed for not being perfect or for not being able to be everyone's personal sewing slave. It's not bad to grow and develop and you are wonderful for admitting that you need help. You can't keep doing everything and working yourself to death! You just can't. Maybe you can get help for regular corset that you mass produce and only do custom orders and new designs yourself. Please find time to relax and breath or you may end up killing yourself. And then who would we buy awesome corsets, skirts, and jackets from? No matter what you are still our beautiful, inventive, hilarious, and sexy hero!

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  6. These posts are what make me read your blog like an emotion-junkie. I love them, the anguish, torrent of despair, fountain of stress. It's all the failings andinsecurities of my own life work balance in a bite sized electronic dose. Is it bad to relish your agony? In an empathetic way. You are awesome as always! Hugs from California.

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  7. I can't wait for the "ugly" fabric, it will probably be just what I've been hoping for! Anything obnoxiously metallic????

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  8. We love you!!!! Later on (when it's not the crazy busy season), you should tell us when the non-crazy-busy season is so we can all save up to make our fabulous custom orders when you are relaxed and the creative juices are flowing.

    And we love you!!!

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  9. This is exactly how I feel by Halloween. I absolutely love making my children's costumes (always much more elaborate than the previous year's), but when I am stitching them into the costume on the 31st as I have trick or treaters knocking at my door, I feel very inadequate. And that is JUST SEWING FOR THREE! I admire your attachment and dedication to your corsets, and prefection and look forward to finally placing an order for my own. Very soon I HOPE!

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  10. Don't feel bad, you are the best! Seriously, I just bought a corset from you, got it yesterday and love it beyond belief! I ordered a pre-made ready to ship one, so I could still wear it for Halloween, but you wouldn't have to make it to order. Anyway I have been pretty much stalking you (well not you personally, I am not that creepy, just your corsets) for like two years and am super excited that I finally managed to have the money to buy one. You rock!!

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  11. ps. that cartoon of you and Halloween is hilarious.

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  12. eeh ignore the dork. You make gorgeous stuff and I adore drooling over it!

    www.damselinadirtydress.com

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  13. I cannot even explain to you the level of excitement I got from the idea of patchwork "ugly" corsets!!! I will be first in line.

    You're the best, Michelle. Every single one of your LOYAL customers appreciates how hard you work and the beautiful products you create. Keep up the amazing work!

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  14. Awesome! A sale! And plenty of warning to get the funds together to snatch up one! Although I have been saving already because I want a "winter" corset.

    I'm glad you survived your Halloween rush! This is when you start planning for next year right? I hope you made tons of funds too!

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  15. I am sure each and ever corset will turn out wonderful! Your work is amazing!! I too am looking forward to the "Ugly fabric", if it is off beat, a strange color or a weirdly patterned, I am SO THERE!!!!

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  16. I love love love ugly corset sales! I have the weird green corset and get complements on it EVERYWHERE. Such a unique and weird color!! I need to get some pictures up... Huh... Especially now that I've moved.

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  17. Michelle, you have got to stop being to hard on yourself! As someone who once asked you to make an alteration to a corset you made for me, I was not complaining. I knew when I e-mailed you about it that I was asking you for a GIANT FAVOR and when you said yes I knew that you were the WORLD's SWEETEST and BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE person for doing it. I love and admire your business model of wanting to work with your customers to meet their needs, but believe me - there are plenty of us out here who understand that you are not obligated to do that for us - you do it because you care and are AMAZING! It's why I keep coming back to you, and tell anyone who even mentions wanting a corset to call you. Take a deep breath and remember how WONDERFUL YOU ARE!
    Rachel in Atlanta, GA

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  18. It's a good thing your orders are going up, but I agree...the holidays (whichever are important to a business) are always super-stressful. The fact that you are doing the custom corsets yourself is crazy! You should find an apprentice :-)

    Also, I LOVE my Robin Hood corset, and so does my sister. Thank you!
    Can't wait for the "ugly fabric" sale! Sounds like it will be amazing!

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  19. No I completely understand why you haven't returned any of my emails!! I understand you are so busy and I will wait until after the holidays to purchase a corset!! I can wait!! Hang in there!! The wait will be well worth it!!

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  20. Don't ever let anyone make you feel bad about yourself, or your work! You make beautiful, unique items for us. Chin up, chest out, smile on - because you are the best!!!

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  21. And, again, I am so beyond EXCITED about our current project. I love every one of my corsets. And this new design will be the most wonderful of all. Can you say, "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!"?

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  22. Thank you soooo much for getting my complete costume to me on time! Of course then my apartment complex and the post office had to go screw it up by refusing to hold packages and for some reason not placing my package in one of the big mail boxes allotted for such boxes, making me waste an hour trying to get it, BUT I GOT IT, AND IT LOOKS AWESOME! :D

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  23. Ok, first of all, you TOTALLY ROCK! And so do your wonderful corsets! :) I'll be waiting patiently for my fabric swatches, too. No worries, it can wait until after you get back from LA.

    Secondly, a cool, mix-n-match steampunk corset sounds *amazing*! I'm sure I'll be wanting on of those!

    Thirdly, make sure you take care of yourself, so you can continue to make such wonderful things and provide amazing customer service. We adore you and your products!

    *hugs*

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  24. Just wanted you to know I think you're incredibly talented and dedicated aaaaand I can't wait to order a corset from you after I've had this baby of mine!

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