Imagine me doing interior design for many years, then moving to the leading design company in my area! Of course I wanted to jump in quickly, meet and work with clients, and do well for us all. Many of my clients have become friends, who call me to work with them over many years as their needs change.
This blog will be posts with stories, good (and bad), of some of the experiences my clients and I have shared. I will include tips, some ideas, and just see where this leads!
Missing Furniture !
Having met with the client, a young newlywed with a new home, she and I worked on selecting her dream living room. She liked color, so our fabric choices were bright with florals, softers solids, and comfortable seating. We were going for a somewhat country English look. The fabrics and frames of sofa, & chairs were special order custom selection. The tables, end tables, accessories were all approved, and ordered. Our plan was to install a week before she and her husband were planning a party. As custom ordering from the manufacturers can take 6 weeks or more, we tracked the delivery estimates closely.
Finally we received confirmation that the delivery would be scheduled the Wednesday before the party on Saturday. As Wednesday approached, I cleared my schedule so I could meet the delivery company who would have received, inspected and unpacked all the furniture, bring it into the house where I would be to make sure the placement was correct.
On Monday, the receiving company had not received the shipment from the manufacturers. We began some serious phone calling.
We were assured it had all left on schedule, and the over the road truck would be there Tuesday.
Suzanne, my office manager was calling and tracking for me when I had to be out of the office.
Wednesday arrived, and no word as to where the truck was. Desperately reassuring my client, we called, tracked, and called again!
At that point, we offered my client the option of having us "stage" her home for the party, using our stored furniture ordered for some of the model homes we worked on.
My client declined, was frustrated, as well as annoyed that we had no furniture to complete the project. I couldn't blame her, as I too was frustrated! What had happened?
Of course we offered her her money back; we offered to reorder it all on an expedited plan, anything to prevent losing her as our client, and still give her what she had so patiently waited for these two months!
She declined, and told us she would be buying from the local department stores, who had in stock merchandise.
A big disappointment for me, my only option was to move on - though we continued to try to locate the missing truck.
Finally about 2 weeks later we got our answer. The truck driver had stopped along the way, pulled the truck over to the side of the road in a residential area, and SOLD THE FURNITURE off the truck to anyone who was interested! I imagine he made a few hundred dollars, maybe more. The people who bought these new custom upholstered sofas, chairs, unique tables, and more got the deal of their lives!
The truck driver was eventually found in Georgia somewhere, where he was arrested and charged with robbery. Insurance covered some of our losses, the furniture manufacturers were more than cooperative, but the furniture was gone.
Losing a client is upsetting, especially as we get to know them, their dreams of what they want for their home, and do our best to listen to what's unspoken. We work with them creating their dream homes, laugh, sometimes cry, and share the progress.
I laugh about this event today. I never could have imagined this was even a possibility! As far as I know I have never heard of this happening before or since - with any designer!
These images from Google were the English cottage look we had been going for.
Since I didn't get to complete the project there were no photos to show.
"We don't need a designer!"