Bad Luck Comes in Threes

So, I have had a bit of bad luck lately.  It started last week when what I thought was a really bad chest cold (that had been going on for about 2 weeks) ended up being diagnosed as pneumonia.  Then yesterday, my temporary crown fell out as I was eating lunch.  Gross.  These first two instances of bad luck ended up resolving themselves pretty nicely, however.  The antibiotics I was prescribed worked so well that I am feeling almost 100% again, and this is great considering that my doctor told me it takes some people 3 months to feel like themselves again!  As for the temporary crown, my dentist was able to see me on short notice and put in my permanent crown one week early.

This morning I got my third stroke of bad luck.  I received a very polite email from a woman that I had recently sold an apron to.  She explained that the apron was lovely, but that there was a flaw.  The raw edge where the bottom of the apron and one of the pockets come together was not completely sewn into the bias tape, and the picture she attached showed a little bit of raw edge poking out 🙁  Blast!  When I saw this I was so upset with myself because I am always so careful when I am sewing on the bias tape (it can be tricky sometimes!).  And, I thought that I was usually pretty good at checking to make sure the raw edge is actually caught in the tape, but in this particular case I missed it.  To make it worse, this particular part of the apron is not the most difficult part to attach the tape (like around the neck and armholes), which is probably why I wasn’t as careful when sewing or checking my work.  I guess I need better quality control!

I apologized to her and shipped her out a return envelope this morning.  I offered to fix the mistake and send it back, but I have a feeling that she will understandably just opt for the refund.  The thing that stings the most is the bad impression that I have made on a customer.  You only get one chance to make a good impression on a new customer, and I feel like I blew it.  It doesn’t matter how hard you work to make a high quality unique product if the only experience they have with your work is sub par.  The longer I work at my Etsy business, the more I learn and the more I admire other small business owners.  My business is so small that I don’t see a lot of the problems that other business owners must come across all the time.  It is hard to take sometimes.

And one more thing about bad luck – this particular apron has become a “bad luck apron” for me.  First because of the construction flaw I just described, but also because I shipped this same apron out to another customer about a month ago and the package just went missing.  I love the way this apron looks, but I don’t think I will be making any more of them.

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