If you’ve read the My Story page, you will notice I said I would be sharing everything with you, including when things go a little sideways. When I wrote that, I think part of me thought there wouldn’t be too many of them and that that they wouldn’t be that big a deal. But I have discovered any issue can feel like a big deal when you are in the middle of it.
Things have not gone to plan and I have made the decision to fire my designer.
In some ways, it was an easy decision. And in other ways, it was really tough. This wasn’t what I had envisioned when I started out. I imagined developing a fantastic relationship with my designer. A friendship with a kindred spirit. A fellow artistic soul. While our emails were lovely and the first set of designs had gone well, something happened on the second set.
I got the first draft and to be honest, they were absolute rubbish. Too simple. Too generic. And nothing like what I had envisioned. Or what I thought I had asked for. So what did I do? What most of us girls do – I blamed myself. I hadn’t been clear enough. I hadn’t explained myself properly. We had just missed the mark a little. Something inside me told me things weren’t quite right, but I pushed on.
I spent a few hours writing a manifesto of the entire range and sent detailed photos and explanations of what I wanted. I was sure I had articulated everything perfectly this time. I suggested we email back and forth to make sure we were on the same page before she did anymore design work. I was paying her for the project on an hourly basis, so I didn’t want her spending hours designing something that was off track again. My designer promised to respond to me “at the end of the week”. I thought that meant one week. At the end of the second week I emailed to follow up on the progress. She was working on more designs and would have the draft to me by next Tuesday/Wednesday. A couple of days before, I sent some more information that meant it took until Sunday to get the next draft. That meant from my manifesto email to the proofs had taken 3 weeks.
While I was waiting, I began to realize just how long things were taking. I began to stew on this a little bit. When we decided to go ahead, I had to wait 2 weeks to be scheduled on to their job board. I waited 2 weeks after that for the first draft. Then a week of emailing back and forth. And now another 3 weeks for the second draft. At this rate, it was going to take a year and a half to create what I wanted. Despite being the Queen of Impatience, I thought I was being more than fair. As I waited for the second draft, I thought to myself “these designs better be amazing or that’s it”.
And guess what? They weren’t good. In fact, they were terrible. My heart sank. But that 3 week wait had given me time to think. I knew what had to happen next. I had to break up with my designer. I sent a short, polite email. I received a nice email back. But reading between the lines, they didn’t seem disappointed I had decided to stop working with them. And that was the end of the relationship with my designer. Just like that.
I got the account for the work done to date. This upset me a little. I was paying a lot of money for what I considered a half hearted effort. And it was made abundantly clear that despite “waiting for my turn”, my job wasn’t treated as a priority. I was only billed for 5 hours for that 3 week wait. To spend a large amount of my budget and walk away with nothing – that hurt. Not just the budget. My pride. My ego. My expectations.
I paid the account quickly. I wanted to clear the bad experience away. To put it behind me. I didn’t want this feeling to hang around any longer than it needed to. I was upset and frustrated enough without dragging it out. Without it hanging over my head. And my heart. I think I had prepared myself by deciding if the designs weren’t what I wanted, I would be ending the relationship. I think I had partially made peace with the decision by the time I had to make it.
So after somehow letting the last 3 months get away from me, I am back to finding a designer. I will keep you updated on where I go from here.