Saturday, November 3, 2012

I have lived and I have learned.

Ugggghhhhh.  I really hate "live and learn" moments. 

Here we go: and any of you more experienced Etsy sellers out there, feel free to give me a little advice!

So in my Etsy shop, among other things, I feature embroidery hoop art.  Mostly Scripture verses and things like that.  I design the layout myself, because as I found out early on, finding embroidery designs WITH permission to sell the finished product, is like finding a needle in a haystack!  Here's one of mine:

And another...

And in every one of these listings, I let people know that if they want a custom piece made, they can do that, too.  They can pick their own verse/color scheme/etc.  I've done one custom piece so far (pics to come!) and it was, you know, a nice transaction and all. 

So I got an Etsy message about a week ago from a perfectly legit-sounding person, wanting a custom piece.  We went back and forth about what verse she wanted, and she asked if she could see a sketch before she ordered.  I thought that sounded fair, so I worked up a design, watermarked it, and emailed it to her. 

Have not heard from her since.  

Ugh.  Did I fall for something?  What just happened???

The thing is, if it were me, I would also want to see a preview before I ordered.  So her request didn't send up any red flags. don't know what to make of this. 

Opinions?  Speculations?  Advice?


  1. Rachel, I know this is an older post but I just found you on (Surprise)Pinterest. I had a lady request a pretty large pillow out of a certain quilt I had another pillow out of. I made it email a photo and nothing. I asked her to let me know if she wanted changes. No response, ever. Luckly I sold it at one of my shows. My friend ask for 1/2 down up front before starting a custom order. That may weed out the crazies. I am enjoying your blog and am now a follower!

  2. So frustrating! I have come to realize that my design is part of what they're paying for. So the next time I got an inquiry, I told the person that I'd put up a listing for her, and when she purchased it, I'd email her a design and we'd go from there. Well I'm glad I did that, because that listing is still there.

    So glad to have you here! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Speaking as someone who just found you via Google looking for Bible verse embroidery patterns (not finished products)... that's really awful, and it's hard to believe someone would do that, but... have you thought of making your patterns available for sale as PDFs? I wouldn't think it would be the same market as for finished products. It's way too easy to take even a photo of a finished work and print it out and convert it to a pattern. But then the ethical people could buy your patterns! I've been inspired by your work and would gladly pay a reasonable amount if you would convert a particular verse to a nicely arranged embroidery outline. I've tried to arrange verses myself -- well, I've DONE it myself -- but it really is a lot of work and my results are iffy. ;) HA. Anyway, all that to say, you have a lovely talent, and may I suggest selling *patterns* for all us embroiderers out there? :)

    1. Oh my goodness Julie, thank you so much! I wanted to email you back, but couldn't, so I hope you read this. :)

      That is a really great idea. I can't believe I didn't think of it. I may just give that a try. I do love designing the verses, and the possibilities are endless - verses that inspire me, praise song lyrics, etc. I just thought that since I'm not a graphic designer, I couldn't sell patterns, but maybe I should have more confidence than that. ;)

    2. Well, I would totally buy your patterns, for one! I pretty much only embroider verses (with illustrations when possible for prettiness) and so I've spent lots of time hunting for inspiration and actual patterns, and yours are really high on my "like" list, and also, there are very very few Bible verse patterns out there...