Do I take commissions anymore? Well, the short answer is, no. I make some exceptions here and there but overall I have stopped taking commissions. It took me much too long to learn the lesson that I just can’t turn a commission around quick enough to keep my customers happy and keep my stress levels at a low. As a business owner and artist, a stay-home mother to four (and now add homeschooling...thank you global pandemic) I just don’t have the time for special orders. I took them for years because a "sale was a sale" and I was excited for new work. Only working one day in the studio a week, however, made it really difficult to make that turnaround possible. It would loom over me and while I had legitimate reasons why an order was taking so long, it didn’t leave my customers very pleased. When I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, I stopped all work and got the last of my orders out the door and that was it! It has been very freeing to let go. I work on my inventory in small-batch form, seasonal pieces, restocking and working towards some bigger goals in my business. The majority of my commissioned work these days are corporate related.
So, let's go ahead and address the burning question of why I don't take orders for Advent Pots. Advent pots are probably my most unique creation and also my most desired work each year. I make a limited quantity each fall as they are extremely time-consuming. I have lots of other work to accomplish in a season, so I don't have time to make them throughout the year. The end of summer is when I start production on Advent Pots for a late fall completion. Perfectly timed for the advent season. Every year I have been asked to reserve a pot or take a pre-order. Maybe one day I will do so, but for now, I make a limited number and they are first come first serve as far as the sale goes. Why? To be honest I don't want any unfulfilled order hanging over my head, especially leading into the holidays. A couple of years ago, I made 14 advent pots and only 4 survived! That's correct...I lost 10 in one bad kiln firing! It was agonizing! Hours and hours and hours of work completely lost. Can you imagine if those were all spoken for and prepaid? I hope that brings some clarity and a vision to my side of things as artist, creator, business woman, wife, mother, teacher, etc.