Thursday, August 12, 2010

busi-ness and a rant

I am sorry it has been quite a while since I posted, I have several updates coming now that I can get my camera to work.I have not had a lot of time to stitch lately due to work. I have had the chance to meet with my stitching buddies so some progress has been made. You gotta love those ladies. I got several blocks filled in on CHS Alphabets and am almost finished with the first page of Mary Wigham. I am loving the 45 count now that my eyes have adjusted to it. Not saying I would use it exclusively but would use it again. My idea of starting Victorine Delacroix for my birthday did not work. The kits were filled with the wrong sized linen and the problem was fixed swiftly by The Essamplaire but then I found I didn't have scroll rods that would fit the new size of linen. I have not had time to remedy that situation so that was a non starter for me. I have just stuck with my current rotation with dreams of more whirling around. I did get a great little freebie done that was a frog biscornu for a  friend who collect frog things. It turned out so cute and I forgot to take a picture of it. I will see if she will bring it back to stitch night so I can get a picture to share. It is a free pattern with a flower on one side and 4 frogs on the other, I really enjoyed that one. There are some more gifts in the works but not able to be shared yet. I really like stitching the biscornu's as they are fun and portable. I am trying to post some pictures today so look for more posts and no more rants.  Read no farther if you just don't want to hear it.
I am frustrated today with a lot of things but since this is a stitching blog for me I just want to rant about the stitching industry for a minute. I am not a computer geek by any means but I use my laptop quite a bit and since stitching is a passion of mine I do read a lot about what is published by other stitchers in their blogs, newsletters from various stores I do business with, professional stitching groups such as EGA as some sampler guilds I am a member of. I love browsing the sites and looking for what is latest and greatest by my favorite designers. I love seeing what everyone else is stitching and enjoy spending time with my stitching buddies whenever I can. I live in a remote area and stitching stores are non-existent here. I have to do all my business by mail order by virtue of where I live. I have my favorite shops online and I try to spread my business among several different shops based on their own specialities. I have read how shops are loosing business because of the economy and how many are closing due to the lack of business.  My problem with this is the utter lack of service and communication I have gotten from 3 totally different shops in the last few months. I realize things are hard to come by especially specific specialty threads, or fabrics or whatever. I get that and don't mind waiting for what I want. Really I don't. But I do mind being ignored totally, having orders just not filled with no communication as to why, being told my order is being shipped when in reality the items ordered don't even exist (sold out and no longer available), being told my order will be shipped and not shipping it. That is from 3 different shops recently and I have to wonder if I am being treated this way, and I am a  small consumer for this business no wonder the shops are in trouble.  I do have to wonder though if what I read about shops being in trouble is really something of their own fault.   Oh well enough said. Sorry about that but I have spent quite a bit of time trying to find the status of a few orders I have made recently and when one shop owner suggested that it was my fault that my order had not been filled because I didn't follow up fast enough (why do I have to follow up at all???) that sent me over the edge. Even though I did follow up apparently even that was not good enough as here we are almost 4 weeks to the day that I placed an order and still no sign of it.  Even to Alaska Priority Mail is 3 to 5 days, usually just 3 no matter where you are mailing from. Cannot put all the blame on post office - I always check the post mark. UGH.
I feel like I do need to say that there are still many many stores that give excellent service, great products and are quick to work out any problems either with items shipped or unavailable.  I am always saddened to hear of someone's favorite shop going out of business. I am not trying to bad mouth anyone (no names even hinted at so not to cast aspersions.) Just expressing some frustration here with an industry I love.
Back to stitching.  Hope you find some time today to stitch.


  1. It seems like everyone is busy right now. Bummer about your camera. I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures. I like 45ct, but I still prefer 40ct the most. I think my eyes are getting too old. lol!

  2. I can certainly appreciate your frustration. I have experienced great customer service with 123 stitch and the silver needle.

  3. I totally agree with your rant Marjo. I feel that way whenever I order something from a store, even if not stitching-related. It's all about communication and email is easy enough that shops should be able to keep up with giving you a status. Since I manage about 200 emails a day at my job, I just don't have a lot of patience for people who can't follow-up on things! Some people just are not organized that's all I can say. Even though I have a LNS there are times I have just wished I ordered it online because even ordering something in person can result in the same frustrations believe me. You ask and no one knows if the item was ordered or not....they don't know how long it takes to get came in to the store but now they can't find it....etc etc. (Guess you've touched a sore point with me LOL). Once you place an order THEY should follow up with YOU, it shouldn't have to be the other way around. Glad you are getting in some stitching despite all the issues....hope you can post some photos soon. I have not tried 45-ct....I've finally adjusted to 40-ct but I use magnification for just about everything so I guess it doesn't matter that much.

  4. I have to order on line also. I receive weekly e-mails from this one store on what's new. I saw some thing I wanted and ordered the whole thing they offered. Pattern, material and floss. A month goes by and nothing. No email to let me know what's happening. I had to contact them. Where's my order? Is there a problem? They emailed me telling me they had to order the material and they were waiting on it before they sent the order out. OK why couldn't they just email me that in the beginning? I now order from 123 Stitch, they seem so on top of it! Thanks for the rant, I thought it only happened to me!

  5. I think 90% of service is communication; it takes so little effort to let people know what's going on with their orders and it makes such a difference to the customer. I vote with my credit card; the shops that have given me lousy service and/or poor communication don't get my business again. The shops that do well, do. I've had good service from Elegant Stitch, Needle In a Haystack, and, most recently, Attic Needlework. I called Attic on a Saturday afternoon and placed my order and it arrived -- I kid you not -- on Monday. I about dropped my teeth. That's the first time I've ordered from them and I was *very* impressed!

  6. You'd think in the current environment that customer service would be world class! We don't mind waiting for our orders but communicating that there is a wait is the responsibility of the shop owner IMO. My only suggestion is to spend your dollars with the businesses that give you the service you deserve. I've had many happy experiences with online needle shops who also have a brick and mortar store. I'm glad to give them my business!

  7. Hi Marjo - I feel exactly the same way you do - I have stricken a couple of popular shops off my "order from" list because of non communication when things are not shipped in a timely manner. Then when they don't even answer my email of inquiry - FORGET IT ! There are several shops that do things SO well - as for having a local shop - there is a LNS in my city but I won't set foot in there - after the shop owner yelled at me in the middle of the shop about an email of inquiry I sent her about a discontinued item that she did not acknowledge or answer for 10 days - WHEW - that was scary - so in essence - I am completely on line now as well so communication and timely shipments of a customers order seem to be important to every customer. Cheers! Melody

  8. I feel your pain!

    When the last market came out I called my local needlework shop and talked to her about what I wanted. She didn't go to market but told me she'd order what I wanted and if I changed my mind because I didn't like it in person, not to worry, it would sell anyway. I sent her a list of about 25 items. I called her a month later to be sure she received my list and was told that she was still gathering things. To date I have not heard a single word from her and have decided to never purchase from her again.

    My other issue is a shop that has something for sale on their site but doesn't have it in stock...however, they want you to pay for it anyway, and you still have to wait 2-3 weeks to get it in?

    I now order almost exclusively online from Elegant Stitch, Needlecraft Corner, and The Attic (who will become my LNS once we move). All 3 of these shops have excellent service and every single time I've placed an order they have responded to my email whether they have the items on hand or not. As mentioned above I'm also always floored by how fast The Attic ships out.