What am I doing wrong?

When I first started designing cross stitch charts I used to provide all of the materials for each design. I also lived in an enormous house at the time and had the space (and time) to do this with ease.

However, 10 years on and a massive downsize later I now only provide charts via email and most of my customers understand this and sales are still great.

I think that my website explains this pretty clearly. In fact it is mentioned on EVERY SINGLE page and section and within every item that you click on. It is also in the FAQs and T&Cs that customers tick during checkout to confirm they have read – and it’s right at the top of those so no trawling through reams of junk first. AND, finally it’s in the confirmation email they receive once they have ordered. So that’s at least 6 times it is written for customers to see.

And yet, I still have customers who complain once they have received their bespoke, personalised chart saying they didn’t know what they were buying. One customer recently even admitted that she hadn’t bothered reading the website but still expected me to do something about it!

So, my question to you is this… Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong? Is there another way of making this completely idiot-proof or do I just have to suffer the backlash of unhappy customers as I am unwilling to refund their money for a job I’ve already done??

Your thoughts would be appreciated on this one, especially if you order online. What do the words ‘Cross stitch chart via email‘ mean to you??

It really is soul-destroying when I put so much effort into all of my designs and still have people not value them for the work that goes in…

H x

bugs-scarlett

Super Stitchers Club

Hello everyone!

Having restarted this blog back in January I have been busy designing a brand you range of charts (launching soon) and creating an exclusive new club – the Super Stitchers Club which I launched today!

I am really excited about this new way of connecting with my loyal customers and there has been an amazing response already in the few hours since it has been launched. Continue reading

I’m Back!

OK, so I experimented with having my Blog as part of my website and to be honest so many of you are still finding this one that I’ve come back!

I can’t promise that I will post every week but I will make it easier for you to move between my website and this blog with menus, etc, and will share my competitions and designs with you here too…

Thanks for reading & looking forward to a fantastic 2014!

Holly x

Plans for the New Year

2013 is finally here and I have big plans for my cross stitch business this year.  As much as I love designing and stitching, it really must start paying some serious bills so here’s what I’m doing:

Advertising – I spent far too much money in all the wrong places last year and a quick survey of my customers in December showed that over 80% of them found me via Google and not via all the shiny printed adverts I’d paid for.  So this year I’m going back to basics and making sure my website and images are great and setting myself a challenge of paying for no advertising at all!  I sell worldwide and I doubt whether my latest customer in Mexico found me through the Birmingham News in the UK…

Designs – one of the problems of working for myself is that I find it hard to get motivated with new designs, especially if the existing ones are already selling OK.  My customers are asking for more though so I am planning to release at least one new personalized name sampler kit each month in a new theme – just picking the themes is going to be difficult now.

Organization – I used to be a great organizer – and then I had children!  All of my organizational skills seem to have been sucked into making sure they get to school on time, eat on time, do their homework on time and get to bed on time.  So when it comes to my business, I have really neglected it as it’s had to fit in around them.  However, this year will be the first year that both of my children will be at school full time so now I have no excuses and plan to get myself organized!

I’m sure there are more things that I could and will change and look at during 2013 but these are my Big 3!  I find it easier to focus on a few points than crushing myself under the weight of what I should have been doing all these years.  I’ll keep you posted on how I get on…

Pitfalls of working for yourself

On the whole I love being my own boss.  I get to work around my kids and their schedule and can work at any time of the day or night if I have orders to do.  Days can be spent outside in my lovely garden during the Summer and orders can be stitched by the fire during Winter.

My latest order all designed and ready to go – even on a Saturday night I find it hard to switch off…

But this fantastic flexibility comes at a price.  It’s Saturday night and I have returned from a course today to find myself sitting at the computer doing yet another order.  I find it hard to switch off.  None of my customers expect me to work on the weekend, but as I am used to fitting things in when I can, I am the one making myself sit here to keep on top of the orders I have coming in.

So tonight I am consciously going to make myself turn off my PC by 8pm and spend some time with my very patient, but also very busy hubby…  I think we both deserve it and my orders can wait until Monday morning like the rest of the working world!

Hello world!

Hello cross stitch

Ooh!  OK, I am slightly excited and just a bit nervous starting my new blog.  What am I going to write, who will read it, is it worth it, can I do it?  So, I’m sort of new at this and I am sure that I will get the hang of it soon.

I hope that I can share some fab cross stitch ideas with you all and also feature some fantastic creative talents too – it’s not all about cross stitch you know…