How to Shine at Custom Orders

Through my years as an Etsy seller I've had many requests for custom items. Custom items are basically a customization you put on an item per a customer's request. It could be small, like a change in color or size, or big, like a completely new design they dreamed up. 
  Whether it's big or small, custom orders are a wonderful way to get loyal customers for your business.

Be friendly, answer promptly.

Sometimes you will get requests that are downright strange. You may even think "that won't even look good!". But when you get a custom request, it's vital to have a  friendly, helpful reply ready. Before you even get requests it's a good idea to figure out how you'll handle requests and what you will accept. Always be friendly. Always be helpful. If you get a request that just makes no sense (perhaps the size is extremely off, or the customer is asking for a much lower price than you can accept), still answer promptly and with courtesy. The best way to turn off a potential customer is with hasty, ill-written replies.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Custom orders can be fun and unique..and challenging as well! Many times I've gotten requests for items I have never even made, yet end up not only being able to make it, but also having fun in the process! Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and just do your best. Obviously I'm not telling you to do something you're incapable of doing, but many times if you're creative you have the capability to do just about anything!  Sometimes it's easy to think we're incapable of trying something new, especially if we've gone years making the same things. But change and challenge are good, and I challenge YOU to not be afraid and have fun with those custom orders! That being said...

...Are You Up to the Challenge?

Are you up to trying anything? Are you willing to put lots of time and effort into large or intricate orders? Or do you prefer sticking with small customizations, like size and color?
Decide what you will and won't accept, then be ready with a friendly, helpful answer when requests come in. I've been on Etsy for over five years and have a pretty good idea of what types of items I'm capable of making. Of course I'm always up to a new challenge, but many times I can tell from the very first request whether or not I have the skill to make the requested item.
Also, it's good to decide whether or not you'll even accept custom orders. Some shop owners choose not to, and that's okay! While accepting custom orders opens up the possibility for more exposure and return customers, it's not for everyone. Weigh the pros and cons and see if it's for you before jumping in.

Keep in Contact

Contact your customer as soon as you can after getting the request. Contact them when you start and as you work on the project. Contact them again when you're done and ready to ship.
I'll admit, sometimes I don't get as many messages sent as I plan or hope to, but I at least try to contact someone right after the request, and then when I finish. I'll also sometimes include pictures of the items for the customer to look at before sending the finished product if I have any doubt that the finished product may not be quite what they envisioned. Be patient; custom orders can take quite a bit of time, between working out details, working on the item, then tweaking it as you go along. Be prepared to put time into the custom order, especially if the piece is a unique or one-of-a-kind request.

That's basically all I have to say about custom orders...have anything to add yourself?

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Recipe // Cucumber Lemon Detox Water

Sorry that my posts have been so sporadic! I've had a crazy last few weeks and things don't look like they'll be slowing down for a while still. So thank you for your patience! Hopefully I'll have a giveaway for you all very soon. In the mean time, I'm shaking things up a bit on this blog by posting a recipe I recently made (because basically all I used to ever post was giveaways and product reviews!) . If everyone enjoys this post, I'll consider doing more in the future!

I am extremely boring when it comes to food. While I love to cook, I'm almost always stuck in a rut eating the same.old.things. So I'm trying to be more creative. So many times I look at a recipe, see one ingredient I don't like, and move on, when in reality if I would just *try* the recipe, I might just find a new favorite.
Enter Cucumber Water. The thought of putting cucumber with mint just didn't really appeal to me, but I decided to give it a try anyway (you know, trying to spice up my life a little).
I had seen infused waters on Pinterest, even pinning a few recipes, but never tried them. Until yesterday.This surprisingly tasty and refreshing drink is perfect for summer. 

1 lemon, squeezed
1 handful fresh mint leaves (or lemon balm)
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced

1. Wash the cucumber (make sure it's really fresh for the best flavor!), peel and thinly slice into circles. 
2. Wash and squeeze lemon (throw away peel, seeds and pulp, or include some of peel for pretty color.)
3. Wash and roughly cut or tear the mint leaves.
4. Add to a large pitcher of water and let "steep" for a couple of hours or overnight.

That's it! It's SO easy and refreshing. Not to mention all of the health benefits you'll get from these awesome ingredients. Lemons help with detoxing, cleansing the liver, and a whole host of other really great health benefits. Cucumbers are cooling, cleansing, and full of vitamins. And of course we all know mint is great for digestion and stomach upset.
So really, you can't go wrong with this drink! Try it out and let me know what you think. Now I'm excited to try another infused water!

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Under Construction

This blog is currently undergoing a makeover! Thank you for your patience as my blog gets a face-lift.
Lots of exciting things are coming soon, so check back for my "official" reopen in August!

PR & Feature // Akamatra

Blog // Etsy // Facebook // Twitter

"Hi there and welcome!
Everything you see in my little shop is hand crafted by me in my cozy little corner. This is the way I express the urge for creating, altering, recycling or transforming something into something else.
I have fun making every single item, I sure hope you'll have the time of your life wearing them!

Laugh out loud and have fun!"

- Product Review -

The owner of Akamatra kindly sent me one of her handmade zipper pencil cases for review! I have quite a collection of colored Sharpies and pens and like to take them with me for when creativity strikes. The bright colors of her Rainbow Pencil Case were the perfect thing and I was delighted to be able to review it.
The case is very well made and sturdy. I love the unique look the zippers give it!
It easily holds a nice selection of pens, yet is small enough to toss in a bag and take with you on the go. Overall I'm very happy with my pencil/pen case and know I'll get lots of use out of it!

Akamatra offers more than just pencil cases - you can also find handmade hair bows, cup cozies, earrings, bracelets and pouches, just to name a few of the handmade items offered. Take a look!