Today's maker is Kate, with her business DaphneRosa she works alot with bespoke orders and creating custom orders specifically to her client's requirements. We thought it would be interesting to hear from her about how she goes about working with them and her tips for dealing with custom clients.
DaphneRosa began after I made all of the flowers for my own wedding which then led - rather unoriginally - to making flowers for other people too and my business was born! As everyone's wedding is different, this meant that 90% of my business was custom products. Now anyone that works on custom orders may be thinking I was crazy - I possibly was - and I am definitely a lot happier now I have a mix of ready to go and custom products! But I have learned a lot over that time & the lovely H & Sammy asked me to share that with you today so here are my top 5 tips...
Photo credit: Marie Wootton Photography (http://www.mariewoottonphotography.co.uk)
1 Be clear - not only do you need to be clear with your client about what they should expect from the process, you also need to ensure you are clear as to what the brief your being asked to meet is. Custom orders can sometimes be tricky to navigate and the clearer you are about everyone's expectations from the beginning, the less chance there is for you to become a big ball of stress trying to make your customer happy! I find it useful to ask lots of questions at the beginning & put the finalised brief you have agreed on with your client in writing so that you have something to refer to if there are complications later on.
2 Be selective - at the start, I took on every custom order I was offered which although was brilliant to establish myself and gain experience did lead to me creating work which was not exactly my style or brand, a bouquet of flowers made out of the American flag springs to mind! Although it was really fun to work on these projects and my clients were all super happy with their creations I now recognise the benefit of working with your ideal customer! For example, when Jess got in touch about a pom pom bouquet for her wedding I knew hers was going to end up being one of my favourites, which was confirmed when she excitedly accepted the suggestion of adding a little glitter... oh yes...
3 Be smart - if you are creating something which you already have examples of, use them! If your custom order can be just a variation of a product you already have, it will save you a massive amount of designing and development time. It also means that your customer knows exactly what they are getting which leaves no risk of disappointment or the need for amendments later on. For example, my individual leather roses which although come in a range of colours in the Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DaphneRosa) could be made in others colours for a wedding bouquet for example.
4 Be specific - if you are working on a custom order which requires you to design something from scratch, it is worth considering having a policy on amendments. I have found there to be three types of custom clients. Those who know exactly what they want, those who are happy to leave it all up to you and those who have a bit of an idea and want to be involved in the process. No prizes for guessing which client can often create challenges! Although we all know 'the customer is always right' if you've agreed on a design and then your client wants 15 different amendments you are going to end up out of pocket for the time you invest, so worth considering limiting this in the beginning.
5 Be flexible - sometimes working alone can mean you get a little protective over your work, but working with a client on custom orders can give you ideas you may never have thought of. Obviously, it can at times be tricky to incorporate another's ideas into your own but when you get a gooden its worth it! I created a card recently for a man who wanted to give his wife a card on the day she gave birth. I currently had a 'you made a baby' card but created the 'we made a baby' card for him, and it's great now to have something in the shop I would have never have thought of myself!
So there you have it, my top tips for custom orders in a nutshell! I'd love to know if you've created any exciting custom orders or have any questions so please feel free to get in touch on the usual channels!
Check out Kate on her website https://daphnerosa.com/ Instagram @daphnerosaflower and Facebook daphnerosaflowers
Sammy and H
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