Inside Our Atelier- The Forgotten Order
It was the day before Christmas Eve in 2019. We were working around the clock that season, making orders, posting advertisements to our Instagram and Facebook accounts, booking courier pickups and managing deliveries, and then repeating the process every day while more and more orders were being added on a daily basis. It was hard work, a painstaking season, an experience of exertion that only God Himself could have refreshed. However, with many sleepless nights and busy days behind us, on December 23rd we were ready to close our doors and recover...or so we thought.
I received a message that morning on my personal Whatsapp account, from a customer enquiring about the status of her order delivery. As I went through the courier list over breakfast, thinking that I would be able to give her an adequate assurance that her order was on the way, I noticed that her order was not even there. It was a document tote from our Worthy collection, a gift she had ordered and customised for a male to receive from her for Christmas. It was December 23rd; it was not out for delivery and she had not received it. Did we forget her, she probably wondered? Sad to say, we did, sort of. A month ago we took her order, we booked her order, and we had it on the order list. But, someone else ordered an exact replica of her design (which in itself, looking back, is a strange coincidence for custom designs), but they later cancelled. So guess what happened, we thought the cancelled order was hers and we closed our studio, thinking our season was done and dreaming of blissful rest until December 28th.
Being the tenacious person that I am, however, I got to work. I had two hours to create, package and deliver, as if nothing was amiss. The order could not be rushed, but it also had to be, because it was already December 23rd! I also had horrible recollections of one dissatisfied customer about a year prior and the words she fired at me personally over the phone that took me a while to recover from psychologically; I was not looking forward to facing similar heat and we were not going to be the reason that some young man was gravely disappointed for Christmas due to an issue like this. So within a couple hours, a forgotten order was created by the grace of God, and delivered (luckily the client lived ten minutes from our atelier) with time to spare and apologies made. She was not one who cursed, was mean or threw tantrums as some do (rarely though as we only had two out of hundreds of customers who did this), and her warm smile made my panicked emotions calm. Not everyone was out to attack my business due to mistakes, I assured myself.
Moral of the story? Inside our atelier we are not perfect. We have hard days, good days and great days, and to any other business owners out there reading this blog, know and remember that on the days that you mess up, are stressed out and just can't manage it all, know that you are not alone, and that not every customer lacks the patience and support that you desperately crave when you think you are on your last.