I’m having one of those days. I’m not going to outwardly crazy rant, but I am going to get a few things off my chest right here and now. There’s been A LOT of talk about pricing and value and paying yourself and what your product is worth and at the end of the day, we still have no clue. We’re still hemming and hawing about it. Well, I’m not anymore.
I run a stationery company that offers a service – A customized stationery service business.
I know that I’m at the mercy of customers, but I also know that I am not. And that’s just it. I’m not at the mercy of customers. I choose my customers and I choose my projects. I know that sounds horrible, especially in the economy that we’re currently in, but I’m being honest here.
S2 Stationery and Design makes customized products for people who want personalized paper products. Yes, sometimes S2 makes items that are ready-made and yes, sometimes she likes making those products, but she doesn’t make it her business to make those products and she doesn’t make it her only and most important source of income. You want a greeting card or a crazy witty card, go find another stationery company. You want my design, but don’t want to pay the price, please don’t contact me. Please, I ask you!
I think I’m a fair person when it comes to my business. I really am. I have gone to great lengths to help customers meet their budgets and get a beautifully designed invitation, but I can’t keep being accommodating. Nor do I want to. I will accommodate your design choices, colors, desires, but don’t ask me for something and then keep changing your mind to get to something cheaper AND please do not ask me to replicate something that you saw in a mass-produced book! I know I sound incredibly bitchy here, but just as you want me to respect your wishes and wants, respect my business and what I do.
S2 Stationery and Design focuses on not just layout, typography, printing, and assembly, we focus on EVERYTHING. What that EVERYTHING includes is:
- Finding QUALITY and Eco- paper, envelope stock, ribbon, and any other accessories to go with the final product;
- Designing THREE samples for you to choose from;
- Creating language for your invitations (many times clients don’t know what language to use);
- Designing and laying out ALL the additional pieces – RSVP cards, envelope printing, accommodation cards, and anything else you think you need a card for;
- Printing and Cutting;
- Going to the post office to confirm weight and postage for the invitations;
- Sometimes, at a cost, I address and mail the invitations for you;
- I also do, at a cost, things like programs, seating cards, menus, thank you notes, hand draw maps of event locations.
- I do all the running around so you don’t have to.
- The last and final and probably most important element to this all is I listen to the customer. I listen to their ideas, I incorporate their ideas, I give proofs and really work with each and every client so that they have what they want, when they want.
Do you know how difficult it can be to juggle getting a last-minute order together while working a full-time job? I’m not complaining, please know that I’m not, but it’s hard. It’s really hard. It causes me to lose sleep and get sick. I am sure some of my weight gain is a result of constantly being on the go so that a customer never has to know that their project may have taken longer or been more difficult than initially thought.
So when a customer thinks to ask me for something cheaper, know that yes, I can do cheapER, but what that really results in is in the hand work involvement. That does not mean that you’re going to get something you can find at Target, Wal-mart, or any other place. I can’t talk about what other stationers offer. I would hope that when you buy from someone off of Etsy or any other customized stationery provider, you’re getting someone who loves paper as equally as I do and is charging you accordingly. All I can tell you is what I offer and provide. If you don’t want to pay for it then don’t. That’s your choice. I know that there are customers who do and will. They’ve written testimonials for me and they’ve purchased from me.
You know what else, they’ve been very upfront about their budgets and I’ve worked with them on that. I have. Which is why the may get something in a cheaper price bucket, but they still have ended up with a high quality product that they love and that others love as well. It’s also a product that I am proud to have put my name on.
I offer not just a high quality product, but a high quality service. I stand by it and maintain that. I won’t judge you if that’s not what you want, but I do ask that you not waste my time or yours going after something that a. you might not be able to afford and b. that you don’t really want to afford.
Now that I’ve been clear, I can move forward, hopefully with you, but if not, no worries. We’ll both just keep moving, having learned something from each other. Sometimes that is worth the parting and the frustration.
On that note, I can be calm and happy again. Thanks for reading and letting me air that out!