I need you to think about a number of things before we start our collaboration.  This information is written by me to give you a general awareness of the process and how we can make this work well.  Sad that I have to write this but after being bitten on the butt too many times I feel I have to outline everything in detail. 

Have a 100% idea of what you want.  What is it you want?  Do you have a 100% definite idea of what product you are after?  What colours do you want?  How do you want them to dye? What fabric weight do you want? These affect your product.  Think about every aspect of your piece.

Understand that dying is an organic process.  The colours that are used will never match 100% your ideal colour but will be as close as I can achieve at that given time.  The dyes move and groove in unpredictable ways, you may get colour overlay, colours in other areas and special patterns – these are natural parts of my organic process. 

Understand that I need to fully comprehend what you want – a verbal description of colour and product is not good enough.  My interpretation of a verbal description and yours will be different and you will waste my time and yours by not putting in the effort of giving me a visual image of exactly what you want.  I will produce my interpretation of your description as I am the artist.  I will not start work without this visual.

Please don’t haggle or complain about price, this is not a souk, it is a luxury service based on very specific knowledge.  I have worked super hard, sacrificed much to get to this point and to have the service of such a professional, professional rates are due.  If you aren’t prepared to pay the rates for hand produced silks within our gorgeous country to your exact requirements please go to ebay.

Read my documentation.  I am based online, all the information has been made available to you and I will continue to do so through email.  Please please read everything.  Ask questions – I want to ensure that you are fully aware of every aspect of your piece.  If you do not read the information I provide you it is not my fault  - I have provided you with the data, I am asking you to read it.  This is the reason also I do everything through email.  Emails for me constitute a written file from which I work.  A phone conversation rarely imparts the visual facts I need to produce your piece where as I find an email does.  Please email or post all information you wish me to consider.

Be clear about what you want – I am not a mind reader.  Do not give me a vague colour selection then tell me you love anything I will do – you won’t.  We then would enter into the awkward situation of you saying you don’t like your ‘do whatever you think piece’ which I clearly will have done at your instruction, and you will think I am not too great at my art.  Don’t do it to me, be clear – if I could read minds I would be a wealthy psychic.

If you are in need of your piece ahead of the time frame I have informed you is my current schedule please be understanding if I say - a) this is not possible or b) There is a surcharged involved.  Rushing your piece through means your order is pushed ahead of other clients who also have deadlines, as well as stressing me out to have to re-juggle my workload to live, breath and loose sleep over getting your piece out in a rush. 

On receiving your product check it immediately.  You wouldn’t buy something from Harvey Norman, not open it and take it back two months later saying I changed my mind….

I unfortunately am not stressed about your performance date; I am stressed about my work for you and getting that right.  I understand you are stressed about your performance but my job is simple – based on your written description create your piece and get it done properly not rushed.  Allowing the time frame to become too close to your performance will mean me rushing your piece through as you have not been organised.  That is your problem not mine.  Sorry but true.  Order your pieces with much time, for practice and to not stress you and me out.  FYI I have been in the dance industry for over 10 years myself so have a very indepth understanding of the process – I get the importance of costume completely hence my business direction, but I also now understand the importance of getting orders placed on time to ensure a relaxed performance.

There are no refunds on custom work.  None.  If you want a custom piece, that is exactly what it is – custom to you and your needs.  There is no one else out there with your exact needs, therefore no-one else to who will want to buy something you thought you wanted.  If you receive what you believe you wanted and change your mind on seeing it, then you are the one who has to sell it.  Your change of heart is your choice, not the choice of me who has spent days/weeks working on your piece.

Understand that you dear client are working with a real human being whose day, week is likely to be ruined by you not working with me in a collaborative manner.  I work hard, I work long hours, my family suffers, my house gets left behind while I create your beautiful pieces.   Please understand what is involved in purchasing from me – clear visual communication, pleasant communication.  I am committed to making things as beautiful as I can for you, if you can work with me it makes the process so much easier.  Your change of mind while not much to you means the world to me.  Please be clear on what I need from you and I will make for you your beautiful silks.

Thanks for your understanding.  Peta