Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Just say no."

This week started out crazy. On Sunday morning a friend told me that she had a project for me. She wanted me to make scrubs in a size 6x for a family member of hers, and she wanted them by Monday morning at 6 AM. I said yes. As soon as I hung up I felt like an idiot, but I really have a problem saying now. I always wonder how much one will hate me etc. etc. Bear in mind that I'm at church from 10 AM til a little after noon, and then go on to another church from 3-5 PM. She said she would drop it off at 6 PM. She brought supplies:

  • A pattern in size 3X for me to revise up to 6X
  • Measurements for the bust and hips (I don't know what happened to the waist either so don't ask me.)
  • Fabric
Judge me if you'd like, but I'm still new at revising patterns when I've never seen the person, and well, period! Sooo it took me from 7 PM Sunday (with a few short, well-deserved breaks) all the way to 5:30 AM on Monday. No sleep. My room looked like someone broke in and left things instead of took them. I undercharged by a major amount, I felt horrible most of Monday, I didn't get my money when I was supposed to, and I had to do alterations today. Soooo dear internet people, whether you know me or not, I need you to help me say no. I have now come up with several lessons I learned:

  1. Never work with friends.  Don't automatically say yes just because someone is a friend. 
  2. For custom orders (especially the more expensive and time-consuming ones) take partial or full payment before starting. 
  3. Make up a pricing sheet with the lowest price you'll charge on any given item so that people can't catch you off guard.
  4. Just because people try to get you to do projects for less doesn't mean that you're actually worth a pittance. People do NOT walk in stores and take out an item to pay later, so no more letting people get a product without paying before it passes from your hand to theirs.
A friend of mine told me to just say no :-) and although I shall take that into advisement (that would mean no money ever lol) it is necessary to have some backbone and charge what feels right. Do you have any advice to add?

Elisabeth Arona


  1. Oh wow, girlie!!! You took on a Herculean task, didn't you? And you must have a heart of gold too. :)

    It's hard to say "no", especially to those we like and want to know better. I used to say "no" to family members a whole lot faster than I did to my friends.

    But we learn through lessons like these! I love that you made positive steps to prevent this from happening again, instead of just vowing to say "no."

    And I've learned to put myself out for family, and say "no" to my friends first. After all, family is forever. :)

    You should rest really well tonight. LOL!


  2. Good idea Alesha...my sis has been begging for a skirt for ages :-) I think hearts of gold might not regret saying yes quite as much as I did lol.

    At least I slept 11 hours last night.

  3. WOW!!!! is all I can say right now!! I can't believe that you went through all of that for a friend....I have been there and have had to tell a friend NO!!!
    She wanted me to alter a dress she got from Old Navy and I had to tell her I was working on some other quilts and didn't have the time.
    I did feel bad about it, but sometimes you have to.

  4. I'm glad you learned some lessons, even though it was the hard way! *hugs*


  5. I know how you feel saying no - but you gotta. I hope they are going to pay you!


  6. Miranda, it slipped out. If I had known what I know NOW...

    Anastasia, I know. So am I. Maybe someone will read and realize their worth :-)

    Suki, they were supposed to pay me tonight. I waited. Nothing. I guess tomorrow!

  7. Oh dear Lizzi! I can't imagine all of us had not had to learn that lesson the hard way too. Present it to the Lord, ask Him to give you grace & love for the person then learn! God will bless the good intention you had in your heart and help you grow in wisdom.

  8. you already kno my advice..but i shall help u say NO...just as long as you help me say NO as well :)


  9. Contrats on your design degree, hope people don't always take advantage, but I know how it is, i can never say no, because I have been said no to so mannnny times. My husband's cousin is a fashion designer and went to NY and worked for DKNY and Kate Spade and now is independent and lives in Bologna Italy. We went and visited her. How fun. Have fun in your career.

  10. Thank you Jacqueline! I think I've learned by lesson. One person told me that it's good I learned it now rather than later. I guess there is always something to be grateful about!


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