Arts and Crafts
A lady contacted me through my website and expressed to me that she had a custom order request. Many custom orders enthuse me. As a jeweler who primarily works independently, the time isn’t always there to keep new creations coming as I would like.
So when she expressed to me the details of her requests, I was excited to work with her and get going. Along the way, we corresponded a bit, we worked out a few kinks, and in the end, the product came out as we both had hoped for.
I completed her order feeling refreshed, and was thankful to have another demonstration product to add to the repertoire.
It occurred to me as an afterthought that, as with any business, it is primarily sustained by people who choose to shop at a particular location for their own particular reasons. This is great and necessary, and of course, these shoppers should be valued by that entity for their patronage.
But I’d like to take it a step further and propose that there are ‘shoppers’ and then there are ‘customers’. An individual that chooses an establishment to shop at is a great asset and valuable being. Customers however, challenge a company regardless of size or stature to take things to another level. It may be through their request that a business expands it’s menu. Customers help to reveal a growing demand where maybe at one point there was only an occasional request. I’m sure that this will apply somewhat differently depending on the nature of the business, however the overall principle is the same: Customers play an integral part in helping to shape and grow any business.
Upon making this realization, I’ve since learned to value each request made by a potential customer in a greater way. Even if the conclusion is made that the requests just aren’t a match for my style or brand, it is still an opportunity to observe the market and determine whether there is anything that can be extracted and newly applied to my own product line. In a nutshell, I’ve learned a lot about what it is that I have to offer as an entity through my customers. It is through several encounters that I am constantly fine tuning my niche.
So, who are your customers/clients? What have you learned through those who value your services the most? What changes have you implemented because a special someone or group of someone’s who have graced your business with their presence? Love to hear about it in the comments below.
So, after getting through my 1st year in business as a Crafter, here are a few short lessons I have learned and am sharing with you:
If something hits, stick with it. Once I started to gain momentum in a specific area of my craft and I found people who actually appreciated it enough to spend their hard earned dollars, I continued to fine tune and repeat it again and again.
Listen to the voice within. If there is nothing burning inside about a personal creation or design, chances are others may not desire it either. On the other hand, if you feel strongly about your work, there is probably something within it that may just need minor tweaks and adjustments.
Appreciate Your Customers, Always. No matter how talented we may think we are, creative, etc., people can choose to purchase from anyone / entity that they desire. They do not have to give us their business, and for that, they deserve the utmost respect and appreciation. I strive to find new ways to excel in this area because it is very important.
Excellence Goes A Long Way. Regardless to how simple or intricate one’s style of work may be, it is important to present it in a way that is quality and shows a great deal of effort. Having high standards for my self often keeps my customers satisfied with their items once they have received them. It should be evident that care and pride goes into each product that is made. Sloppiness is a sure way to turn people off and damage a business’ reputation.
Better to try and make a mistake, than to do nothing at all. Had I never started posting my products online, I never would have gotten exposure, feedback, support and experience to go to the next level. There comes a point when it is just time to end the procrastination and launch–period. This also applies to new ideas for your business that you have been wanting to try. If you have the time and resources, try it. It’s the only way to know if it will work for sure.
As I think of more things, I will be certain to do another update, so be sure to follow this blog.
As always, thanks for checking out my post 🙂