|In-stock slots: 0||Week of May 27: 0|
June 3, 9am Eastern
Please read at left for explanation!
I've started using the sewing slot system again. I hate to do it, but I simply can't keep up with the order volume that's been consistently high for months now. Please click the link for an explanation of how it works and why I need to use it.
At right, In-stock slots are for fabrics I have on hand (basic and organic fabrics) and will be sewing from scratch; WCRS slots are for things you're having sent to me like wrap pieces, custom fabric, or sling shoulder redos. Next refresh is the date and time I will be adding more sewing slots.
I've changed from sewing a mix of WCRS and in-stock slings each week, to just doing WCRS one week and in-stocks the next. I think this will be more efficient and allow me to sew more slings, and may also may sewing slots easier to get. Sewing slots for both types will be added every other week, in a several batches to give people in different time zones the opportunity to order. If these present a difficulty for you, please email me at email@example.com and let me know.
There's only one of me and there's only so much sewing I can do in one day, so when I get more orders than I can reasonably sew, some get pushed to the next day. And if the same thing happens the next day, my backlog gets bigger and bigger until I have to close the store completely to catch up, which is no fun for anyone. The sewing slots limit the number of orders that are allowed to come in, so I can keep an impossible backlog from forming. If you'd like an analogy, think of it like making a reservation at a popular restaurant. There are only so many tables available, and if the place is always busy on a Friday night, you make a reservation to keep your spot. The sewing slots are like that -- I have limited time, so the slots are like a reservation for my sewing table.
There are two separate slot categories:
A note about reserved sewing slots: I can make reserved sewing slots for people who email me after trying for several sewing slot additions and have not been able to place an order. These are for use of the people who have emailed me. If you see a sewing slot that does not have your name on it, please do not use that slot. If you use a reserved sewing slot that was not for you, I will cancel and refund your order. I am happy to accommodate people who have taken the time to email me, but I do not appreciate it when others try to work around this system, which is what allows me to stay in business in a reasonable manner.
No, it just means my sewing time is spoken for until I add more sewing slots. In the product detail page, the slots are shown as the last option for the applicable products -- it says "Sewing slots available" with a pull-down option group below it. When I add sewing slots, you'll see that number in parentheses next to the week in question. If the number is not zero, then I have time to sew a sling and you can order. If it's a zero, that means all the slots have been filled and my sewing time is spoken for until the next refresh.
You can look at the top of every page on my website -- I will always put the date/time of the next sewing slot additions in the upper right hand corner, under "Next refresh". I will also post on Facebook before I add slots, so I would recommend following my Facebook page. If there's interest, I will also start a Twitter account for SBP to tweet before I add them.
I'm sorry about the inconvenience the slots cause -- I understand it's a headache to have to check in often, especially if it's been a couple of days. The sewing slots are always a last resort for me when it's just impossible for me to keep up otherwise. However, one of the reasons I have the slots is because I really, really, really dislike having a waiting list or a long backlog of orders. To me, it's like trying to write a whole term paper at 1:00 a.m. the day it's due. It's stressful and overwhelming and exhausting, and it affects my quality of life badly. I need to structure my business so that I get as much work done as I can without burning out, and this is the best way I've found to do it.
I know customers are willing to wait for a sling, and I appreciate that. It just doesn't work for me. If you've tried for many days in a row and are still unable to secure a slot, you can email me and I will make a reserved slot for you. If you still have several months to go until your due date, or you don't need a sling in the next two to three weeks, I would respectfully ask that you keep an eye on the slots until you get closer to actually needing the sling so that I can sew for people who have a more immediate need. Conversely, if you have a scheduled event like a baby shower coming up, please don't wait until the last minute to try to secure a slot. These things are usually scheduled weeks in advance, and as the saying goes, a lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine :)
I could do that, but hiring someone means adjusting my insurance coverage (probably making it ten to twenty times more expensive; right now, it covers me because I'm doing all the sewing, but covering someone else is a big jump), dealing with all the tax issues that come with having an employee, probably having to rent a space for her to sew in (or also covering her sewing space where she's set up shop), and all of those things cost a lot of money. The same goes for putting work out to a factory. I would have to increase my prices very significantly, and I don't want to do that because I'm happy with a niche producing safe slings that don't cost an arm and a leg. As for pre-made slings, I've done that... and it's incredibly dull. Sewing 10 of the same sling in a row is more efficient, but it's also really boring, and then I don't get to customize the sling for the buyer. I may be wrong, but I think one of the appeals of a SBP sling is that it's all yours -- I don't have pre-made slings, so when you order a size medium French blue linen sling with gold rings, I'm sewing it just for you, and I like doing that. I don't get the same connection with my customer with pre-made ones. I've been doing this for nearly twelve years now, and I'm happy with my little rut -- I don't want to make major changes unless it becomes completely necessary, and as long as I can limit orders somewhat, that works for me and my family. I'm not interested in running a corporation; I like sewing for people one on one.
That's absolutely fine, and there are plenty of other quality sling makers out there. I understand that having the sewing slots means I'm losing some business. I truly am sorry about the inconvenience this causes. It's always a very hard decision for me to put the slots in place because I hate to say no to people. I genuinely dislike turning away business or making it hard to order... but I also don't like having to say no to my three children when they ask to go for a bike ride or to the town pool in the summer, or spending all day at my sewing machine instead of spending time with my preschooler when she's home. This is the best way I've found to serve as many customers as I can, and still be a halfway decent mom to my kids. It keeps me from completely burning out while allowing me to stay in my lower-cost, customized-sling niche. I don't have the slots for any arbitrary reason, and I fully appreciate that sometimes, you just can't wait for a carrier. If you need one right away and haven't been able to secure a slot, there are dozens of other great slings to choose from. I'm friends with many of the owners and makers of those slings and won't be offended if you buy elsewhere. (Then again, many of my customers also say my slings are well worth the wait, for what that's worth.)